Today three universities in Nebraska have announced that they are to receive state grants in order to conduct stem cell research that strictly and exclusively involves adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. The recipients include Creighton University School of Medicine, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, each of whom have been awarded a $150,000 research grant.
The three grants have been awarded in accordance with the Nebraska Stem Cell Research Act of 2008, which stipulates that neither state money nor state facilities may be used for research purposes in which the destruction of a human embryo is involved. Nonembryonic, adult stem cell research is strongly encouraged under the Act, and funding for the grants comes from the state’s tobacco lawsuit settlement funds.
The grants were recommended by Nebraska’s Stem Cell Advisory Committee, which consists of deans of the medical schools at Creighton and UNMC as well as four scientists from outside of Nebraska.
According to Tom Murray, dean of research at Creighton University School of Medicine, the grant is also in accordance with Creighton’s policy against the destruction of human embryos. Researchers at Creighton plan to use the grant money to conduct research on stem cells in mice for the development of therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hearing loss. Researchers at UNMC intend to use the grant money to study human adult stem cells in the treatment of vision loss.