LT. GOV ROBERTS APPLAUDS NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH APPROVAL OF EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS FOR FEDERALLY-FUNDED RESEARCH
PROVIDENCE— Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts issued the following statement today regarding the approval by the National Institutes of Health of the first embryonic stem cells for federally funded research.
“Today we have made a first significant step toward finding cures for some of the most destructive diseases of out time. In March, President Obama cleared the path by signing the executive order allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Today the National Institutes of Health have taken the first step by approving thirteen stem cell lines for research.
“These new stem cell lines have the potential to be used in research for heart disease and nervous system disorders. As more stem cell lines are approved, work can move forward quickly to find solutions to the ravages of diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer, and offer hope to people who have suffered spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Stem cell research promises to make remarkable advances in treating and eventually even curing these diseases and injuries. Scientists and researchers are now able to access millions of dollars of research funding to pursue treatments and cures using new stem cell lines under the National Institutes of Health’s strict ethical guidelines. “I look forward to the results of the research that can now take place and applaud the National Institutes of Health for approving these first embryonic stem cell lines. I also commend the leadership shown by our own congressman, Jim Langevin, who is a national voice on the benefits of stem cell therapies and the need for more funding of research.” In 2007, Roberts released “Discovering Rhode Island's Stem Cell Future: Charting the Course Toward Health and Prosperity,” a report detailing the stem cell research opportunities for Rhode Island. The report is available electronically at www.ltgov.ri.gov. In 2008, the general assembly passed legislation written by Roberts to create a public cord blood bank to support research on the benefits and potential therapies of stem cells found in umbilical cord blood.