I’m quoted briefly in the March issue of Boston Magazine in an article(“Hard Cell”) about the difficulties Massachusetts is having in establishing prominence in stem cells. There’s no way Massachusetts can compete with the stem cell funding levels that are promised in California, and people here are nervous.
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is looking to raise about $100 million, but even that is small change compared to the $3 billion initiative in California. In addition, tussles between the state legislature and Governor Mitt Romney on this issue don’t increase the draw.
There are some small signs of movement on the Federal level. The New York Times reports today that the leadership of the NIH is beginning to agitate for a loosening of restrictions on Federally funded embryonic stem cell work. The article mentions that Federally funded researchers are at a disadvantage to those funded in California. It doesn’t mention that they are also at a disadvantage compared to overseas researchers in countries like South Korea, Israel, and Australia.April 7, 2005