FOX47 NEWS - Doyle, Thomson Speak at Stem Cell Summit

Jeff Angileri
Sep 22, 2008, 11:11 PM

Governor Jim Doyle touted Wisconsin's leadership in stem cell research Monday, as the capitol city played host to the World Stem Cell Summit.

Doyle used his keynote speech as a medical call to arms, urging state and federal leaders to continue funding stem cell research.

He asked for cooperation and support across the political spectrum.

Stem cell research combined with gene therapies may help patients confront some of the diseases which we have long thought to be incurable, Doyle said.

He spoke of a future Wisconsin economy built on preventing Parkinson's Disease, cancer, leukemia, and fixing spinal cord injuries. He said research done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will eventually translate into treatment.

Doyle also pledged to help other states battle what he calls ethical misconceptions about stem cell research.

Your work has as its goal to cure illness, and alleviate human suffering, he said. It is done openly, it is done with shared scrutiny over not just its results, but also its methods.

Dr. James Thomson, known as the father of stem cells, hopes newly discovered IPS cells will stem the controversy. IPS cells do not involve the destruction of human embryos. They're already helping.

Because of these new cells, you can get human heart cells in unlimited quantities, and drug companies are starting to screen on them.

Research has come a long way in ten years, says Thomson. Though, he couldn't say, exactly, when knowledge learned in the laboratory will translate to preventing disease in the future.

I think this is going to be a long hard fight. Even if we don't have that early clinical success. We're not going away, we're going to keep working on it.

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