Canadian stem cell researchers are about to benefit from a $12 million infusion of government funding. Stem cells have the potential to treat patients with a number of chronic diseases, such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
“For years, Canadian researchers have been leaders in regenerative medicine,” said The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science for the Government of Canada. “The funding announced today will support projects that encourage important partnerships between universities, hospitals and businesses so they may collaborate on bold, new stem cell technologies and health innovations that will improve the lives of Canadians. I am confident that, through the Stem Cell Network, Canadians are gaining a better understanding of this promising research, the results of which contribute to a strong and healthy population.”
Duncan announced that $9 million would be used to fund research projects and clinical trials through the Stem Cell Network (SCN). This is part of the $12 million in funding for stem cell research allocated in the Government of Canada’s 2016 budget.
Stem cell therapies have the potential to treat – and potentially prevent – numerous diseases. Regenerative medicine is already in use the field of oncology, where stem cells are used to treat blood cancers such as leukemia.
“We are a nation of leaders and innovators; it is in our DNA,” said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director and CEO, Stem Cell Network. “The regenerative medicine research sector is fueled by stem cells and today it is at a tipping point, with the potential to see breakthroughs in our generation. I am thrilled that SCN is able to power the foundation of scientific excellence that exists within Canada’s universities, research hospitals and institutes.”
This funding will be used to support 31 projects and clinical trials being conducted across Canada. The $12 million will benefit 106 stem cell researchers and around 200 trainees that are involved in regenerative medicine studies.