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Governor Signs Bill Establishing KU Med Stem Cell Center

Kansas governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that will establish a stem cell research center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The new facility would work with adult stem cells and cells taken from umbilical cord blood. Abortion opponents supported the bill, since they are also opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells for research. Brownback signed the bill during a ceremony today at the Statehouse and was joined by people who have successfully undergone medical treatments using stem cells.

“This will be the first, certainly the first, comprehensive adult and cord blood stem cell center in America,” Brownback said. “It will combine patient treatment, training doctors, public education and research. I’m honored to sign this bill.”

The bill does not include funding for the new center, which could cost more than $1 million to establish and around $750,000 per year to operate. One of the main supporters of the bill, Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Republican from Shawnee, says lawmakers will consider funding options when they return to Topeka in May. She says private donations will also help fund the facility. Some critics have questioned if the new center will pull resources from other KU Med programs.

As the Kansas News Service news editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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