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1/26/09 ESSCB Ethics Committee meeting , (includes funding report update)

The ESSCB Ethics Committee met for their 11th meeting on Jan. 26, 2009 at which the ESSCB Funding Committee reported on their Nov. 6 and Dec 18 meetings. View the webcast (1). Here are a few notes:
The Funding Committee reported to the Ethics Committee about its recent funding activities, indicating that many outstanding and worthy applications were submitted which were not possible to fund.
At its November 6, 2008 meeting, the ESSCB Funding Committee awarded approximately $32.4 million in contracts to 9 institutions for the purchase of equipment or the development and operation of facilities for stem cell research.
At its Dec 18, 2008 meeting, the Funding Committee voted to award to 20 applicants (of 41 applications filed for iPs cells projects-induced pluripotent stem cells) approximately $14.9 million (Targeted research- iPS cells projects) and voted to award to 78 applicants (of 329 applicants submitted for review) approximately 53.1 million (Investigator initiated institutional stem cell projects). Of the 329 Investigator initiated project applications submitted, approximately 54 applications for research would involve HESC (Human Embryonic Stem Cells) of which 12 of these were recommended for funding-none of these HESC projects proposed the use of SCNT, parthenogenesis, (or the creation of "chimeric' mythical beasts in non scientific terms). The majority of applications submitted for these last rounds involved research using non-human animal models such as mice, rats, not primates.
A detailed process of review will follow on the applications for funding as recommended by the ESSCB Funding Committee, including approval by NYS Director of Budget.
The next ESSCB Funding Committee meeting is scheduled for Feb.12, 2009. They expect that during this next year, and thereafter, further rounds of RFAs will be issued to continue to support a variety of research. See NYSTEM’s website for the next Meeting’s Agenda.
The Informed Consent discussion scheduled for this meeting was led by Robert Swidler, Esq. member of the ESSCB Ethics Committee, -NYSBA HLS Editor, GC for Northeast Health.(3) Certain ISSCR forms were used with a view to providing researchers who conduct research projects which are funded by NYSTEM to more assuredly comply with specific NYSTEM requirements, to provide NYS DOH with a tool for expeditious review of the documents and as well to serve as a vehicle to discuss substantive issues raised for Committee members and the Committee’s Working Group on this subject.
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is an independent, nonprofit organization formed in 2002 to foster the exchange of information on stem cell research.

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