to continue for 11 years, its funding is subject to the annual appropriations process and, because of budget pressures, has lagged slightly behind the $50 million annual appropriation that was anticipated. At one point, financial concerns led to a delay in issuing new requests for applications (RFAs) and to an approximately year-long gap in funding of new awards, illustrating the benefits of the more secure bond funding model used by CIRM. The program has a broad funding portfolio, supporting various types of research grants and education and training efforts, as well as renovation or improvement of shared laboratories. NYSTEM awards grants both in response to broad investigator-initiated RFAs and for more targeted programs. One recent award focuses on the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to create hES cell lines. This research takes advantage of NYSTEM’s decision to allow the compensation of oocyte donors for biomedical research (Roxland, 2012) and would be unlikely to be undertaken by a CIRM-funded scientist given CIRM’s rules against compensating egg donors and the difficulties scientists have experienced in recruiting uncompensated donors (Egli et al., 2011). In late 2011, NYSTEM issued an RFA (Consortia to Accelerate Therapeutic Applications of Stem Cells) intended specifically to move stem cell research toward the clinic.
Connecticut’s Stem Cell Research Program
Connecticut’s stem cell research program was signed into law by then-Governor Jodi Rell on June 5, 2005, making Connecticut the third state (after New Jersey and California) to develop a program focused specifically on funding stem cell research. Through July 2012, the state had awarded approximately $69 million in stem cell grants to Connecticut researchers. The initial act creating the program appropriated $20 million for grants supporting embryonic or adult stem cell research and specified that an additional $10 million should be dispersed from the state’s Tobacco Settlement Fund for the following 8 fiscal years (through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015). Connecticut’s stem cell research program typically offers one grant cycle per year. This annual funding cycle includes investigator-initiated grants for established investigators as well as smaller seed grants. Connecticut also funds larger group projects involving collaborations among multiple laboratories. In the two most recent RFAs, the state explicitly indicated that it would give priority to group projects that bring together academic and industry partners to focus on the development of stem cell therapies for specific diseases. This program shares some similarities with CIRM’s disease teams and represents Connecticut’s most direct effort to move its funding toward translational research. Connecticut also provides funding for core facilities to support stem cell research by multiple investi-