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On June 15, 2005, Connecticut’s Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law “An Act Permitting Stem Cell Research and Banning the Cloning of Human Beings.” This landmark legislation appropriated the sum of $100 million over ten years for the purpose of grants-in-aid for conducting embryonic or human adult stem cell research.

Passage of the act positioned Connecticut as just the third state in the nation in providing public funding in support of embryonic and human adult stem cell research. CURE was a major supporter of the legislation and instrumental in securing its passage.

“This is a great day for Connecticut bioscience. It marks a significant step forward for those suffering from a host of diseases and conditions. It is also a further step toward attracting substantial investment and high-paying jobs to Connecticut,” said Paul R. Pescatello, president and CEO of CURE, when the act was passed.

News Flashes

UConn researchers create new stem cell lines.

Connecticut hosts a major international stem cell conference March 23-24, 2009, in New Haven. Read more

On March 31, 2009, the State of Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee directed an additional $9.8 million in stem cell research funds, the third installment of grants from a Stem Cell Research Fund pledged to provide $100 million in funding over 10 years. Read more

The University of Connecticut has named Ren-He Xu, a developmental biologist and expert in growing human embryonic stem cells lines, director of UConn’s new human embryonic stem cell core laboratory. Xu will also become a faculty member of the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the Health Center, with a joint appointment at the Center for Regenerative Biology in Storrs. Read more

Haifan Lin has been appointed director of the Yale Stem Cell Program, Yale School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern announced. Lin, formerly a cell biology professor and co-director and co-founder of the Duke (University) Stem Cell Research Program, will oversee a group of a half-dozen scientists devoted to research into fundamental aspects of stem cell biology. Read more

Implementation of the Act

The act established a Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory and Peer Review Committee, with the Commissioner of Public Health as chair. Implementation of the Act is being achieved through the development of collaborative relationships among the Department of Public Health and members of the local, national and international stem cell research community, including scientists, policy makers, advocates and consumers.

In addition to CURE, major partners in the Connecticut stem cell effort include Connecticut Innovations, the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Coalition, and academic research institutions, Including The University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.

Connecticut is committed to getting public dollars into the hands of its very talented and very passionate stem cell research community. The state is also committed to leveraging public dollars to attract new researchers, to improve and promote for-profit and not-for-profit embryonic and human stem cell and related research, to identify additional public and private funding resources to support such research, and to recruit new scientists, researchers and businesses to Connecticut.

The Department of Public Health maintains a stem cell research website with more information and further links on the progress of stem cell research in Connecticut. The University of Connecticut (UConn) maintains a stem cell research website, and Yale University has a Stem Cell Center.

CURE's background kit (PDF) on stem cell research is available here. CURE's press release detailing state grants awarded through March 2009 is available here.