Bryant & Sarlo Improve Stem-Cell Facilities Funding

TRENTON – The Senate today amended Senate President Richard J. Codey’s stem-cell research bill to add $50 million for the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The measure, which will face a floor vote in the Senate next Monday also would provide $150 million for a stem-cell facility in New Brunswick and $50 million for a biomedical research and education facility in Camden.

Senator Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, Passaic and Essex, moved the amendment to include NJIT and said the funds would foster “commercialization of products based on research on adult stem cells. NJIT will be working on developing commercial products that will be generated from research on adult stem cells. It will not be involved with embryonic stem cells.”

Senator Wayne R. Bryant said the biomedical research and education facility in Camden would become a cornerstone of economic revitalization for the city.

“Very good things will happen by attracting the greatest research minds in the nation, enabling them to focus on making stem cell breakthroughs and putting them together with young people who are determined to learn,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden. “I am extremely proud of this collaboration.”

Under the expanded $250 million proposal, S-1471, the Systems Biology Institute would be built on the Camden campus of Rutgers University in collaboration with the the University, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

“Biotechnology will help drive the South Jersey economy because it will fuel an industry of ideas and research development,” Senator Bryant said. “The cord blood research done at Coriell already leads the world.”

The bonds to fund the stem cell research facilities in Camden, NJIT and in New Brunswick would be secured by future cigarette tax revenues.

The bio-tech industries will spring up once the research facilities are fully in place, Senator Bryant added.

“This is an exciting time for the scientific, research and academic communities to be joining together to reach new heights,” Senator Bryant said.

Senator Bryant, a long-time proponent of higher education, said he has been assured by the academic leaders of Rutgers that the students associated with the research institute will be placed on a track to attain doctoral degrees in biomedical research and other related fields.

“New Jersey will be a lot better off as a result of this collaboration of science, research development and higher education,” Senator Bryant said. “I am just absolutely enthralled that it will happen in South Jersey.”