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Stem Cells Research Brings Colorado to Forefront of Bioscience


DENVER--Apr. 30, 2009--As the cost of health care and the number of deaths resulting from disease continue to rise, stem cell research has become the symbol of medicine in the future.

Studio 12 host Tamara Banks spoke with experts involved in Colorado’s stem cell research and bioscience community about the recent triumphs that stem cell application has garnered for the scientific community.

The program is available for free online viewing at the KBDI-Channel 12 website, www.KBDI.org

Dr. Kurt R. Freed of the University of Colorado School of Medicine believes there is promise in stem cell research, yet he reminds all that it takes time to not only conduct research but to obtain funding. He asserts that scientists must “design a strategy” to their research in order to be successful. “It’s truly amazing what is going on in medicine,” he observed.

Dr. Freed acknowledged that stem cells application doesn’t necessarily cure these diseases because “disease affects human cells in complex ways.” He has been treating patients of Parkinson’s disease for 20 years and has been able to replace brain cells in lab mice with human stem cells which essentially reverse the cycle of Parkinson’s disease by allowing the brain to properly manufacture dopamine.

Michael Klymkowsky, professor at University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in cellular and developmental biology, also noted how funding is imperative to stem cell research. Klymkowsky believes there is hope for bioscience as researchers are no longer restricted to existing stem cell lines.

Denver Post staff writer Michael Booth noted that the conducting of stem cell research takes longer than a congressional cycle. Booth believes that having the proper legislation and adequate funding are key to the successful application of stem cell research. He believes that University of Colorado’s (umbilical) Cord Bank is an example of the how science can easily benefit from stem cell research and application.

Klymkowsky remains cautiously optimistic about the promise of stem cell application. “The world of science is littered with promises,” he observed. He believes that in order for stem cell research to be more successful researchers need to be able to “generate stem cells and control their development. The problem with existing stem cell lines is that many have diverged from what you need. Stem cells evolve over time,” said Klymkowsky.

While the three panelists were in concordance about the promise of stem cells and with President Obama’s Executive Order 13505 which “Removes Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells,” each noted a specific set of hurdles that science and society must overcome in order to tap into the benefits of stem cell application. 

Javier Toussaint, Metro State Intern

KBDI-Channel 12 (PBS)

303-991-5020           c-303-489-4012

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