Tulane University Wins NIH Adult Stem Cell Research Grant

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Tulane University Wins NIH Adult Stem Cell Research Grant

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 26, 2003

New Orleans, LA (LifeNews.com) — Tulane University has received a five-year grant totaling $4.3 million to establish a center for the preparation, quality testing and distribution to researchers of adult stem cells. The funding agency is the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

The new center at Tulane will prepare and distribute to researchers a continuous supply of marrow stromal cells derived from human adult bone marrow and rat bone marrow.

These stem cells will be available to researchers for non-clinical use to explore ways to repair damaged tissues in the body and gene therapy.

“Each stem cell has the remarkable property to divide and produce a perfect copy of itself,” says Darwin Prockop, director of the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy. “Stem cells have the ability to develop into a variety of cells that are present in the body, such as a bone, nerve, heart or other type cell, that may repair damaged tissue.”

President Bush announced in August 2001 that no federal funding would be granted to any new embryonic stem cell research conducted following his announcement. However, he, supported by the pro-life community, favors funding adult stem cell research hailed as more ethical because it does not involve the destruction of human life.

“Gene therapy using adult stem cells holds great potential for treating many different diseases,” Prockop says.

Prockop and his research team have developed techniques to take a small sample of stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and grow nearly limitless numbers of the cells in the laboratory.