U-M launches major embryonic stem cell research program

The University of Michigan isn't wasting much time pursuing embryonic stem cell research now that state voters and President Barack Obama have given the green light to such endeavors.

The university launched Michigan's first embryonic stem cell research program this week, the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies. The consortium will focus on medical research that could lead to breakthrough treatments and cures for diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. State voters approved such research in November and Pres. Obama removed the remaining restrictions earlier this week.

The stem cell consortium has landed $2 million in funding to start work in U-M's Medical School this spring. University officials hope it will lead to more federal research dollars and attract young talent in science industries.

U-M researchers and doctors will utilize the stem cell lines developed at the consortium. The university is also looking at forming partnerships with the state's other major universities, such as Michigan State, Wayne State and Oakland.

Stem cells are considered the body's master cells because they replicate endlessly and form the more than 200 cell types of the human body. Embryonic stem cells are derived from fetuses and have been controversial among Pro-Life groups who oppose their use.

Source: University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke
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