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[October 2, 2008]

Downstate Receives Second Grant from State Stem Cell Program 

SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been awarded a $120,000 grant to plan and develop a stem cell research group, the first step in a two-tiered process designed to create a multi-institution collaborative center. SUNY Downstate identified SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center as its partners in the venture. This is the second grant Downstate has received from NYSTEM, the New York State government’s multi-year stem cell research program.

The ultimate facility will create educational and research opportunities for both established scientists and clinicians and for students. SUNY Downstate faculty members Olcay Batuman, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, as the principal investigator, and William Brunken, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department of Ophthalmology, as co-principal investigator, originated the grant proposal. They will develop a comprehensive translational research program that investigates vascular stem cell pathology relating to bone marrow cancers and eye diseases.
The new grant to Downstate was among eighteen awarded statewide, totaling $2 million. They are the second set of grants awarded under New York's stem cell initiative. In January, $15 million in grants were awarded to 25 research institutions, including Downstate. The 2007-2008 state budget created the Empire State Stem Cell Trust Fund, providing up to $600 million over 11 years for stem cell research, an allocation second only to California's.

Additional information on the New York stem cell program is available at: http://stemcell.ny.gov/.  

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a Graduate Public Health Program, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.