Canada is investing $6.9 million in stem cell research
Research associate Crystal Pacutin pulls a frozen vial of human embryonic stem cells at the University of Michigan Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Oct. 22, 2008. (AP / Paul Sancya)
MONTREAL -- The Canadian government is investing almost $7 million in stem cell research and regenerative medicine.
William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of innovation, Science and Industry, was at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Monday to announce that $6.9 million would go to the Stem Cell Network's competitive research funding program.
"Stem cell and regenerative medicine are a made-in-Canada success story, and the kind of modern, high-risk, high-reward research that drives innovation and benefits all of us," said Amos. "The Government of Canada is proud to invest in our world-class researchers and scientists that are saving the lives of Canadians and countless others around the world."
The money will support nine transnational projects and four clinical trials across Canada to continue to grow the country's regenerative medicine sector.
The sector includes 200 researchers and trainees at 27 research institutions in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
Stem cells serve as a sort of internal repair system in many tissues in the body. They are used in regenerative medicine, and researchers say they have the potential to treat heart disease, diabetes and other major illnesses.
"These projects reflect the strength of Canada's stem cell research sector and its collaborative community," said Stem Cell Network CEO Michael Rudnicki. "Through the efforts of this community, the Stem Cell Network is closer to realizing its goal of translating stem cell-based therapies from bench to bedside for the benefit of Canadians."
Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital is home of two stem cell research projects, a clinical trial testing a protocol to make blood stem cell transplants more available to patients with leukemia and a biotechnology partnership related to vision loss.
"When we invest in science, we invest in better, healthier lives for everyone," said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.