New York University (NYU) has received $1.5 million from New York State to continue its work in stem cell research. NYU’s Dean for Science Office within the university’s Faculty of Arts and Science received $553,000 and NYU’s School of Medicine received $999,715. The funding to NYU’s Dean for Science Office will support research conducted by NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and NYU’s College of Dentistry (NYUCD).

The grants, announced by Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson in early January, are part of a $14.5 million funding package under the governor’s stem cell research initiative intended to quickly boost New York State’s biomedical research capability.

At NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology Center, a core group of investigators affiliated with the center performs research focused on regeneration and embryonic cells. The combined efforts of these researchers have created a newly strengthened stem cell research program that is focused on the use of new techniques in systems biology to understand the complex gene networks of stem cells and their differentiation.

NYUCD is home to an established core group of researchers involved in regenerative medicine. NYUCD’s stem cell initiative uses animal stem cells in "proof of principle" studies in regenerative medicine, with an emphasis on oral and head/neck structures. The program focuses on environmental conditions and molecular mechanisms that will promote skeletal tissue differentiation and organization into tissues. This entails the use of populations of pluripotent cells—cells with more than one potential outcome—committed to the skeletal muscle, bone and cartilage lineages to engineer these tissues for repair or replacement.

NYU’s School of Medicine’s Helen and Martin Kimmel Center of Stem Cell Biology looks at how stem cells renew themselves and how they interact with specific niches in the body. The Kimmel Center has projects that explore the following: the genetic pathways that regulate cancer stem cells of the immune system; the regulation of neural stem cells as vehicles for neural regeneration; and the identification and analysis of stem cells and progenitor cells of the intestine, prostate, heart, and gonad. The New York State grant will also make possible the purchase of a high-speed cell sorter to accurately purify the minute populations of stem cells on which such research is based.