COLUMBIA, Md. (May 21, 2014) – The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission) has completed its review of the 151 applications received in response to its FY 2014 Requests for Applications (RFAs). The board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) approved the Commission’s recommendation to fund 31 new proposals with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s (MSCRF) $10.4 million FY2014 budget. These projects show promise of contributing to cures for some of today’s most debilitating diseases and conditions such as diabetes, vascular disease, schizophrenia, sickle cell anemia, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, osteoarthritis, depression, autism, and epilepsy.
Since its establishment in 2006, the Commission has had the goal of promoting State-funded stem cell research and cures through grants to public and private entities in the State. The Commission was able to recently announce the stories of two Johns Hopkins Hospital patients who were cured of sickle cell disease, lupus and bone marrow failure from research funded by the MSCRF. To read the MSCRF success stories of patients Yetude Olagbaju and Lilly Boyer, click here and here.
“Each year, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund produces and supports results and research that is leading to advancements in modern medicine right here in Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I congratulate this year’s grant recipients and look forward to the contributions they make to the improved health and wellbeing of our citizens.”
This year’s MSCRF awards include:
1 Pre-Clinical Research Award – This funding mechanism provides up to $500,000 over up to three years and is designed for companies conducting pre-clinical research in Maryland that seek to advance medical therapies in the State. The award in this category will focus on diabetes.
7 Investigator-Initiated Research Awards – These grants provide up to $200,000 of direct costs per year, for up to three years, and are designed for Maryland investigators who have preliminary data to support their hypotheses. The awardees in this category will focus on vascular disease, peripheral nerve trauma, schizophrenia, major depression, sickle cell anemia, traumatic optic nerve injuries, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, chronic pain and bone defects.
15 Exploratory Research Awards – These grants provide up to $100,000 of direct costs per year, for up to two years, and are designed for Maryland researchers who are new to the stem cell field (young investigators and scientists from other fields), or for exploratory projects that have little or no preliminary data. FY 2014 awards in this category will address such topics as cord blood transplant in blood diseases, leukemias and cancers, Alzheimer’s, anemias, hematopoietic stem cell transportation, inflammatory bowel diseases, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, diabetic retinopathy, Hutchinson’s-Gilford progeria syndrome, leukodystrophy, Autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, bone defects and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
8 Post Doctoral Fellowship Awards – These grants provide up to $55,000 per year, for up to two years, including direct and indirect costs and fringe benefits, and are designed for post-doctoral fellows who wish to conduct human stem cell research in Maryland. FY 2014 awards in this category will address such topics as double cortex syndrome, schizophrenia, dry eye syndrome, stroke, osteporisis, organ transplantation, and Parkinson’s.
“We are very proud of the research we have supported. The cures we have contributed to are a testament to the importance of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund,” said Rabbi Avram Reisner, Chair of the Commission. “This round of awardees holds the promise to one day change the lives of those suffering from complex and debilitating diseases and conditions. The future of modern medicine is taking place today in Maryland thanks in-part to this critical program.”
For a complete list of the names of the Principal Investigators (PIs), their project titles and institutions, please visit http://www.mscrf.org/content/awardees/2014Awardees.cfm.
All MSCRF-funded research must be conducted in Maryland and must involve human stem cells.
About the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) was established by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 to promote State-funded stem cell research and cures through grants and loans to public and private entities in the State. Administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the MSCRF is overseen by an independent commission that sets policy and develops criteria, standards and requirements for applications to the Fund. The current MSCRF budget for FY2015 is $10.4 million. For more information about the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund and a list of Commission members, please visit www.mscrf.org.