Stem cells are inherently self-renewing and have the ability to differentiate into other cell types. Given this unique ability, scientists are actively pursuing new methods to use stem cells to repair and replace cells damaged by disease. Stem cells have the potential to treat, and potentially cure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancers, spinal cord injuries, diabetes and other conditions. Stem cells are powerful research tools that enable scientists to study diseases in ways never possible before, leading to better prevention strategies, treatments and cures.
The New York State Stem Cell Science program (NYSTEM) was launched in 2007 to support stem cell research across New York State through financial awards to research institutions. Since 2007, NYSTEM has made 323 awards totaling $354 million to 35 New York research institutions, which has led to more than $152 million in additional support from other sources and supported over 750 jobs across the state.
Featured NYSTEM Discoveries
Over the past 10 years, the NYSTEM program has led to important developments in stem cell science, including:
- Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are using stem cells to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease.
- Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have discovered a novel method to make an unlimited supply of healthy blood cells from the readily available cells that line blood vessels.
- Scientists at University of Rochester Medical Center have identified a potential new method for treating some of the most severe genetic childhood diseases.