NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Donates $100 Million for Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Donates $100 Million for Stem Cell Research

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 3, 2006

New York, NY ( — New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a maverick pro-abortion Republican, has made a $100 million donation to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to support stem cell research. However, two researchers there have said that they don’t hold out much hope for embryonic stem cell research treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Bloomberg made an anonymous donation to his old school, where he was a former board chairman, but information has surfaced about it in various news reports.

Not all of the money will go towards stem cell research, a source familiar with the gift told Reuters.

Some of the money will be used for public health projects and to renovate a campus building but the rest will go to the School of Medicine and its Institute for Cell Engineering.

The school does some research with embryonic stem cells but one scientist says they’re not useful for treating some diseases.

Marilyn Albert told the Associated Press in June, "I just think everybody feels there are higher priorities for seeking effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and for identifying preventive strategies."
Albert, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who chairs the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, says there are more promising efforts to treat the disease than waiting on the decades it could take to see results from embryonic stem cells.

Researchers at JHU are also using adult stem cells including new clinical trial that is believed to be the first to use adult mesenchymal stem cells to repair muscle damaged by heart attack.

Scientists at JHU are also concerned about mutations in association with embryonic stem cell research.

University President Dr. William R. Brod told the Associated Press he appreciated the contribution.

"I had something between a heart attack and a stroke when I heard the amount," Brody said. "It is something every college president would die for."