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Stem cell ruling throws Stanford researcher's project into limbo

The work of researchers across the country has been thrown into limbo because of a recent injunction that suspended federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. In a release today, my colleague discusses how the ruling affects one Stanford investigator:

For [Joanna Wysocka, PhD,] an assistant professor of chemical and systems biology and of developmental biology, the injunction puts in doubt the NIH funding that seemed sure to come this year. Wysocka had applied for a large RO1 grant from the NIH to continue [her work on CHARGE syndrome], and was delighted when the NIH rated her proposed project as more worthy than 99 percent of the proposals received.

“With my new-investigator status and the grant proposal score, I was confident that the application would be funded,” Wysocka said.

Then she heard about the Lamberth ruling, and the trajectory of her skyrocketing research took a steep dive. Her initial work was funded by a seed grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, but that grant has ended. “I am currently funding this project largely from leftovers of my start-up funds and relatively unrestricted junior investigator awards, but we need more money to continue,” Wysocka said.

What will happen with Wysocka and others? Stay tuned. “I’m sure the Department of Justice and the NIH are trying to figure this all out,” Stanford law professor Hank Greely, JD, commented.

Previously: NIH intramural human embryonic stem cell research halted, Stanford stem cell expert weighs in on district court ruling and More concern over US judge’s stem cell ruling

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