More MS news articles for March 2001

New Coalition Will Lobby for Continuation of Federally Funded Stem Cell Research

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Mar 19 - A review of stem cell research policy by the Bush administration has prompted the founding of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR), whose goal is to ensure that the US government continues to fund stem cell research.

"I think it is a realistic possibility that the Bush administration will curtail funding for embryonic stem cell research," Lawrence Soler, Director of Government Relations for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, told Reuters Health.

"At this point the Bush administration is reviewing the policy, and we don't know how that review is going to come out," he said. The CAMR wants to make sure that the scientific community, the patient community and the healthcare community provide the administration and congressional policy makers with the best available information on stem cell research, he added.

Founding members of CAMR are: the American Society for Cell Biology; the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International; the Parkinson's Action Network; Harvard University; the University of Wisconsin; Washington University in St. Louis; the Association of American Medical Colleges; and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. The CAMR hopes to expand its membership to include "dozens of universities and organizations."

"We need to be certain that federal policy makers are clear about the scientific benefits behind embryonic stem cell research, and why we believe that it is ethically appropriate federal policy for stem cell research to move forward," Mr. Soler said. "In addition, the CAMR wants to ensure that current federal funding and National Institutes of Health guidelines for stem cell research are retained, so that this critically important research continues to move forward."

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