Support Regenerative Medicine Research
The Associated Medical Schools (AMS) of New York State urges Congress to support
responsible research of regenerative medicine, while banning reproductive cloning. We
support H.R. 810, which provides strict, responsible guidelines for certain forms of stem
All New York’s medical schools strongly support a ban on reproductive cloning. All also
agree on the use of adult stem cells. However, some have raised ethical concerns about
the use of embryonic stem cells and somatic cell nuclear transfer, and recently some have
suggested that there may be new ways of deriving stem cells. Nonetheless, all agree on
the great potential value of research in regenerative medicine.
Over the past six years, interest in regenerative medicine has grown tremendously. Over
100 million Americans are currently affected by debilitating diseases and regenerative
medicine research has the potential to help develop new therapies for conditions such as
Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and ALS.
Strong Congressional backing for stem cell research would help New York remain
competitive in this highly promising field and, more importantly, could improve our
chances of finding cures for disease and alleviating human suffering.
By providing funds to encourage scientists to invest in research and development, New
York State will be positioned as a thriving center for biotechnology and biomedical
initiatives. As new treatment options evolve, the economic impact on the state will be
New York State is home to one of the strongest biomedical research communities in the
entire world. With fourteen medical schools, and approximately 100 teaching hospitals
and other top quality research institutions, New York scientists are conducting some of
the most cutting-edge, exciting research. This work runs the gamut from basic research,
which helps in the understanding of human biology, to translational research, which
leads to prevention of and treatments for debilitating and costly diseases. Only
California and Massachusetts receive more funding from the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) than New York State. Six New York institutions are among the top 50
recipients of NIH funding and three of the last five winners Nobel Prize winners in
medicine have come from New York.
With strengths in areas like neurological and psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular
disease, oncology, diabetes, and immunology, New York is well positioned to be a major
player in this exciting area of biomedical research. Other states, though, are actively
working to become leaders in stem cell research. The most notable example is California,
which in November passed Proposition 71, an initiative to provide $3 billion in funding
over ten years for stem cell research.
In response to California’s Proposition 71, several other states have already announced
plans for efforts to promote stem cell research. New Jersey, which had previously passed
policy legislation supporting stem cell research, is now considering a plan to invest $1
billion in stem research and is looking to form a partnership with neighboring
Pennsylvania and Delaware (This may result in a brain drain of some of New York’s top
researchers). Wisconsin plans to spend $750 million on stem cell research and Illinois
may put a referendum to spend $2 billion before its voters. Massachusetts, Maryland,
and even Texas may also take on similar efforts.
The tremendous resources that California and other states will bring to the table could
hurt regenerative medicine research in New York. Top-notch researchers will be drawn
to those states by the promise of funding opportunities and a research and economic
environment that will not be available elsewhere. Venture capital money for
biotechnology projects could also follow suit.