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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gov. Doyle commits Wisconsin to lead stem cell research industry

Gov. Jim Doyle signed an executive order making a commitment to market Wisconsin as the leader in the stem cell industry Tuesday. Doyle signed the order after touring the Cell Biology lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Wis. 


Matt Canter, spokesperson for Doyle, said the order will direct the department of commerce to spend $5 million to recruit stem cell companies and set new goals to capture 10 percent of the stem cell market by 2015.  


These breakthroughs in medical science can transform our economy and open our doors to the high-paying jobs of the future,\ Doyle said.  


""The stem cell field is a very important field,"" said Gary Lyons, UW-Madison professor of anatomy. ""It has great potential to ultimately cure many human diseases in which cells need to be replaced."" 


Lyons said there are a large number of stem cell researchers on the UW-Madison campus, and because of the order, there will be an increase of researchers on campuses around the state.  


""Because the federal government is changing and not providing as many funds that support stem cell research, it is essential that we involve businesses,"" he said. ""They can provide what is needed to move forward on a lot of the issues that are still pending in terms of stem cells and how they can be used ultimately to look at clinical problems."" 


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According to Lyons, small high-tech businesses will come to Wisconsin creating more jobs and bringing money into the state in terms of investment.  


Terry Devitt, director of stem cell research communications at UW-Madison, said the order will serve an important roll for the research done on campus and bring it to industries outside of UW grounds. Devitt said this will further advance the discoveries and advancements being made at the university.  


""The work that goes on at the University is very basic in nature and the only way we know how to translate that research into meaningful products and therapies is through the process of commercializing it,"" Devitt said.  


While stem cell research is a controversial issue, Devitt said it is important for a variety reasons. 


""First of all, this is our first opportunity to study the earliest stages of human development. Secondly, it has important potential implications for human medicine,"" he said. ""Thirdly, it could help us get a better understanding of what goes wrong when disease occurs."" 





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