Stem Cell Research Funding Cut from NY State Budget

On April 16, 2021, Science reported on the New York State budget for 2022 terminates funding the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM). NYSTEM was created in 2007 under then Governor David Paterson and at the time was one of the only state-level programs focusing on stem cell research in the United States. Since its establishment, NYSTEM has provided $400 million in grants, supporting over 2000 scientists and lab staff.

Supporters of NYSTEM argue its termination will set back stem cell research in New York State and worldwide, as well as incentivize stem cell researchers to move out of the state due to lack of funding. Hina Chaudhry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai spoke of the difficulty in securing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on projects related to stem cell research, telling Science that “losing NYSTEM is losing our opportunity to innovate in research.” In justifying the termination of the program, a spokesperson from the state Division of Budget said stem cell research should “advance within academic and private research communities rather than the Department of Health.”