The New York City-based Starr Foundation has announced a $50 million gift in support of the Tri-Institutional Stem Cell Initiative (Tri-SCI), which was established through a grant from the foundation in 2005.
Created by Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medical College, the initiative will use the new funding to continue and enhance its pioneering stem cell research. With support from Starr, Tri-SCI labs already are investigating the properties of embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body, and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues and can give rise to specific cell types. Those studies, in turn, are opening new avenues for understanding a range of health conditions, including developmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
Tri-SCI investigators work across institutional and disciplinary boundaries to advance scientific understanding in a rapidly expanding field of biomedicine. The initiative also funds technology development, seminars, and symposia to foster intellectual exchange, as well as fellowships for future leaders in the field.
"Stem cell research has undergone a remarkable expansion and transformation in the seven years since this initiative was launched," said Maurice R. Greenberg, chair of the Starr Foundation. "There are many exciting developments on the horizon, and I am delighted that the Starr Foundation can renew its support of this collaborative effort at such a promising time."