GNYHA participated in an event last week in Albany that highlighted the importance of stem cell research in New York State. New York State Stem Cell Science: A Decade of Discovery Generating a Future of Cures was sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), Assembly member Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), and the Associated Medical Schools of New York. The event convened stem cell researchers from research centers across New York that have benefitted from New York Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM) program funding. NYSTEM, a grant program established in 2007, administers public funds for research in the stem cell biology field.

Not-for-profit medical institutions, research institutions, and medical centers located throughout New York State have relied on NYSTEM funding for cutting-edge research and training programs to foster the careers of future stem cell scientists and research clinicians, including programs that address the field’s disproportionately low female leadership presence. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed State budget includes plans to phase out the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP) in favor of the New York State Life Sciences Initiative. It also redirected ECRIP funds to NYSTEM, subject to annual appropriation in the New York State budget.

At the event, researchers discussed obstacles to obtaining Federal funding for stem cell research and NYSTEM’s reliance on State funding, particularly for more innovative studies that helped make New York State a competitive stem cell research destination for world-class clinical talent. GNYHA recognizes investments in research made by hospitals and their affiliated medical schools, and will apprise members as discussions on the reallocation of research funding continue during budget negotiations.