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NYSTEM : Ethics Committee of ESSCB

Friday, November 30, 2007 - The Ethics Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board (ESSCB) meets for a Regular Business Meeting from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the New York State Department of Health's office at 90 Church Street, New York, New York.
A webcast of the meeting will be archived and viewable (along with many other webcasts currently archived on the NYS DOH website).
The agenda for this meeting of the Ethics Committee includes discussions on strategic initiatives, potential interim guidelines for hESC research, IP issues: Committee Priorities among other topics.

NYSTEM works collaboratively with ESSCB in support of stem cell research in New York State. The NYSTEM website links to the NYS Stem Cell Statute, Funding and Ethics Committees Membership and references important related links. (1)

Sign up on the NYSTEM website for NYSTEM eAlerts. Visit the NYSTEM website and find out about events, NYSTEM publications, news, program updates among other great resources for information about NYSTEM. See the Research Support page (2) which links to the NYSDOH to find schedules of dates/forms for:
--NYSTEM Application for funds (3)
--NYSTEM Merit Peer Review RFP (4).

A Report (5) has been prepared and published. Through the use of surveys and structured personal interviews, investigators active in the field of stem cell research were queried for their opinions regarding the mechanisms of funding that might have the greatest impact and about the nature and scope of the research to be supported by NYSTEM. (6)

The agenda for the first Full Board ESSCB Meeting held October 22, 2007 included several presentations. (7) A presentation by Tia Powell MD. focused on the development of the ethics agenda topics. See her slides-for example, outlines of goals for ethics standards included support of NY’s value regarding research, reflecting best practices in research, specific to stem cell , time sensitive and sensible practical advice. Or also the regulatory context comprising the existing federal and state laws and regulations, HHS/OHRP human subject protection, tissue banking, regulations of IVF, HIPAA and NIH -approved stem cell research.
See below for links and brief excerpts of the Report on observations about "Funding Preferences".

From the NYSTEM Publications Report, here are some abbreviated excerpts of observations/recommendations from the NY stem cell research community on “Funding Preference”:

1.The researchers were unanimous in urging that the stem cell program be science-driven, and that funding should be determined by a peer-review process to assure that the best scientific as well as innovative proposals are supported. Although specific areas of focus varied among the scientists surveyed, there was uniform agreement that there is a critical need for research that will advance the basic understanding of stem cells, novel technologies, and ultimately the translation of fundamental knowledge to the clinic.
2.There was strong, but not universal agreement for the use of an investigator-initiated NIH R01-like grant mechanism that would provide substantial funding (in the range of $200,000 to 400,000 per year) to individual laboratories for multiple years (3-5).
3.Many favored an additional mechanism of investigator-initiated funding analogous to the NIH R21 vehicle which encourages higher risk with the promise of greater reward. Such grants support exploration of novel, innovative ideas with little or no preliminary data, essential for RO1 grants.
4.Many interviewees supported institution-based multi-investigator grants in which several researchers at one institution, or investigators at several institutions, collaborate on complementary aspects of a particular research problem, usually enabled by specific advanced technical expertise or resources at a particular institution(s). Such 'program project'grants aim to create synergies via the shared focus and mingling of expertise. …the idea to establish 'NYSTEM centers' as consortia organized around particular diseases or biological challenges, with external advisory boards assessing progress and helping to set directions, was a research funding theme that many of the institutions we visited had already considered.
5.There was considerable support for individual postdoctoral fellowships or young investigator grants as a mechanism for bringing new talent into the stem cell field.
6.A smaller percentage of interviewees suggested that NYSTEM might be used to support programs for targeted recruitment of established investigators to the state…. This approach is consistent with the manner in which major universities and medical centers recruit "stars" who will play major roles in new initiatives.

(1) http://stemcell.ny.gov/about_nystem.html
(2) http://stemcell.ny.gov/research_support.html
(3) http://www.nyhealth.gov/funding/rfa/0710241239/

(4) http://www.nyhealth.gov/funding/rfp/0709120950/
(5) http://stemcell.ny.gov/docs/StemCellScienceinNYSASnapshot_102207.pdf
(6) http://stemcell.ny.gov/publications_stem_cell_research_in_nys.html
(7) http://stemcell.ny.gov/meetings_archive.html

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