Starr Foundation Awards $50 Million for Stem Cell Research

Starr Foundation Awards $50 Million for Stem Cell Research

Weill Cornell Medicine has announced a $50 million gift from the Starr Foundation in New York City in support of the Tri-Institutional Stem Cell Initiative (Tri-SCI), a research collaboration between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell.

The Starr Foundation helped launch Tri-SCI in 2005 with a $50 million gift and renewed its support for the initiative in 2012. To date, it has committed $150 million to the effort.

The latest gift from the foundation will support competitive grants for stem cell research. Tri-SCI laboratories investigate the properties of three kinds of stem cells: embryonic, which have the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body; adult, which are found in various tissues and can give rise to specific cell types; and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), adult cells reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell–like state. The studies are opening new avenues for understanding a range of health conditions, including developmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Knowledge gained through the research also is laying the groundwork for the design of regenerative therapies that could replenish tissue lost to illness or injury.

"We have seen remarkable progress in our understanding of stem cell biology in the fourteen years since we launched this initiative," said Maurice R. Greenberg, chair of the Starr Foundation's board of directors. "I am pleased that the Starr Foundation can continue its support of this important field of research and help translate the many exciting developments that have emerged from this collaborative effort into potential treatments for patients."

(Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medicine)

"The Starr Foundation Reaffirms Support for Stem Cell Research." Weill Cornell Medicine Press Release 04/04/2019.