Heart Health Articles

Maryland Stem Cell Commission Selects Chair; Commission Does Not Discuss Value Of Embryonic Or Adult Stem Cell Research

August 16, 2017

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission on Thursday during its first meeting voted unanimously to select Linda Powers, managing director of Bethesda, Md.-based Toucan Capital, as its chair, the Baltimore Sun reports (Bishop [1], Baltimore Sun, 7/28). Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) in April signed into law a bill (SB 144) that will offer as much as $15 million in grants in 2007 to university-based and private researchers working with stem cells. The law establishes procedures for reviewing stem cell research projects, which could involve either embryonic or adult stem cells. The commission and a panel of scientists from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, also known as TEDCO, will review the research proposals and determine how to distribute the funding. The 15 members of the commission were appointed by Ehrlich, the state Senate president and the state House speaker, the state attorney general, Johns Hopkins University, and the University System of Maryland, (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/10). Powers was appointed by the Senate president and House speaker (AP/Washington Examiner, 7/27). She teaches life science technology commercialization for NIH and was the only person to volunteer for the position of chair, according to the Sun. The committee on Thursday did not discuss the value of funding embryonic or adult stem cell research but decided to allow grant proposals to last for up to three years, to create a committee to draft regulations for proposals and to have another meeting in September (Baltimore Sun [1], 7/28). In related news, the Sun on Friday examined the work of TEDCO, which to date has distributed nearly $78 million to 128 technology development projects, and its preparations for oversight of Maryland's stem cell research funding (Bishop [2], Baltimore Sun, 7/28).

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