Community Health & Performance Management 
Stem Cell Research Project
Background
The Stem Cell Research Act (Neb.Rev.Stat. § 71-8801 et seq) was passed during the 2008 legislative session. It established the Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee which is responsible for developing a grant process and making subawards to Nebraska institutions or researchers to conduct stem cell research that does not use human embryonic stem cells.
 
In no case shall state facilities, state funds, fees, or charges, or investment income on state funds be used to create a human embryo by somatic cell nuclear transfer for any purpose. For purposes of the Act, human embryo means the developing human organism from the time of fertilization until the end of the eighth week of gestation and includes an embryo or developing human organism created by somatic cell nuclear transfer; somatic cell nuclear transfer means a technique in which the nucleus of an oocyte is replaced with the nucleus of a somatic cell.
 
Nebraska research institutions submit proposals that have an on-going, large-scale research program that is conducive to the completion of a complex project in stem cell research that does not use human embryonic stem cells. Each proposal is vetted and approved by a local committee appointed by the research institution before it is accepted by the Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee for full review.
 
The stem cell subawards are funded with state tobacco settlement dollars.

Nebraska Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee
Members of the Nebraska Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee include the dean of each medical school in Nebraska accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (Creighton University School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center), or their designee. In addition, four scientists from outside Nebraska, with experience in non-embryonic stem cell research funded by the National Institutes of Health, also serve on the Committee, once they are appointed by the Nebraska Legislature. Current members of the Committee include:
·    Joyce Bischoff, Ph.D., Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
·    Bradley Britigan, M.D., Dean, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Medicine
·    Robert Dunlay, M.D., Dean, Creighton University School of Medicine
·    Rebecca Morris, Ph.D., The Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota
·    Dennis Roop, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Denver
·    Gerald Spangrude, Ph.D., University of Utah
 
Stem Cell Subawards
Since the first stem cell subawards were approved in 2009, research has included, but is not limited to: 
·    Parkinson’s Disease
·    Auditory hair cell regeneration
·    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
·    Reparative therapies for individuals who suffer from neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases
·    Breast cancer
·    Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) [well-established curative treatment for various malignant and non-malignant diseases]
·    Improved strategies for repairing damaged articular cartilage
·    Retina repair
·    Clinical alternatives to creating replacements for restoring normal bone tissues
·    Regeneration of the intestine, eye, skin, kidney, and liver by expanding in vitro
·    Natural history of asthma improved by restoring normal function to airway fibroblasts by epigenetic reprogram
 
Annual Reports
The Stem Cell Research Act requires the submission of an annual report; the first report was completed in March 2011. The information in the report is provided by the individual grantees.

PDF 2011
PDF 2012
PDF 2013
PDF 2014
PDF 2015

Contact Information:
Community Health & Performance Management
301 Centennial Mall South
P. O. Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
(402) 471-2353
(402) 471-8259 (fax)

 

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