A Different Kind of Stem Cell Meeting and 2 for 1

A Note from Christopher Fasano, Ph.D. :
I have organized a different kind of stem cell meeting in May, the Next Gen Stem Cell Conference, at the beautiful Saratoga National Golf Club in historic Saratoga NY. More than 10 young investigators from institutions including, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Johns Hopkins, Cornell Medical College and more are scheduled to talk. The conference will include some very informative sessions, not only on stem cell research but also research tools and the use of social media in our industry. Sessions will cover:

• Embryonic stem cell maintenance and differentiation
• iPSC generation
• Neural stem cells
• Online marketing including the use of social media (from an online marketing expert)
• Information on a reagent that can enhance your stem cell research

Most importantly, we plan to have a lot of fun! Saratoga in May is beautiful, and this golf club is fantastic. Included in the affordable registration fee are two lunches, one breakfast, and a great dinner with an open bar. That open bar will be outside on a beautiful patio overlooking the 18th hole with live music.

Right now until registration closes this Friday, if you register, you will be entitled to bring along a friend and/or labmate for no additional charge.

Simply visit the conference website, register, and then send me an email atchrisfasano@stemcultures.com with the name of the second person that will be attending with you. Here is the website: http://www.NextGenStemCell.com

To Successful Research,

Christopher Fasano, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer

Consistent, high-quality reagents created by stem cell scientists.

Help US Save the NYS Spinal Cord Injury Research Program!

Please send the following information to your friends and colleagues, with your email explaining why it’s important. Ask them to send it on. Let’s reach as many and as far as we can:

Letter writing campaign:

Save the NYS Spinal Cord Injury Research Program!  Attached here Reinstate SCIRP funding Letter is a letter to use as a guide, addresses to send the letters to here addresses for SCIRP letter , a fact sheet about the spinal cord injury research program   Fact Sheet SCIRP 2013  and two of the press articles NYPost Feb 13 2013 and TU Feb 14 End sweep of spinal cord funds. Snail mail is most effective, headed paper is great if you can. Please send letters right away, this week through Feb 22nd is critical!


Take these steps:

1) Open the attached letter and read it. If you want, edit it. Perhaps add your personal reasons why SCIRP should be reinstated.

2) Print, sign the letter and address the envelope to those on the attached list, and especially:

Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo

Executive Chamber

State Capitol

Albany, NY 12224


Hon. Nirav Shah, M.D., MPH

Office of the Commissioner

NYS Department of Health

Corning Tower

Empire State Plaza

Albany NY 12237


3) Stamp and Send the letter.


Three easy steps and you will have given us a wonderful gift.


Phone-in campaign:

To call Governor Andrew Cuomo, call the CITIZEN SERVICES UNIT at 518-474-1041  and say  “My name is xxxxxx, I am calling to urge the governor to amend his 2013-2014 budget to include funding for the NYS spinal cord injury research program.” You can add more, but that is sufficient.

And to reach the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nivav Shah, at the Department of Health, the phone number is 518-474-2011 and the email address is dohweb@health.state.ny.us

We will have a Facebook page up and running soon.

Thank you again for your continued support! It means the world to us!




NY Spinal Cord Research Needs Your Help!

NY Spinal Cord Research Needs Your Help!

 In 1998 New York made history by being the first state to pass legislation designating a surcharge on motor vehicle violations to fund spinal cord injury research.  Now that funding is in jeopardy as the proposed budget diverts this money elsewhere.  Significant research progress has occurred because of these research grants – New Yorkers need our help to make sure they aren’t taken away.

 There are two ways you can help:

1.    Write to Governor Cuomo and explain how essential this funding is to people with spinal cord injuries and their families.  Tell your personal story.  Letter should be one-page.

       Send to :

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York

State Capitol Building

Albany, New York 12224

2.    Attend the special program scheduled February 13th at the state capitol in Albany.

       Hear the latest in research and add your voice to the cause.

For details, send your name and email to Keith Gurgui:  kgurgui@hotmail.com.

Meeting Of Research and Clinical Leaders, Advocates, and Patients To Highlight The Need To Reinstate Spinal Cord Injury Research Funding In New York State


NYS has a unique and extremely productive Spinal Cord Injury Program (SCIRP) funded through a surcharge on traffic-ticket moving violations. From 1998 through 2009, SCIRP provided 70 million dollars for research in treatments for spinal cord injury. This investment produced important scientific advances and brought significant additional funding into NYS. However, since 2010, this money raised for paralysis research has been diverted to other unrelated purposes. We come together to urge NYS to reinstate this essential funding stream.
Location: Empire State Convention Center
Meeting Rooms 2 & 3, S. Mall Arterial, Albany NY 12242
Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:15 p.m. with PRESS CONFERENCE at 1:00p.m.
Registration Required:
Email Event Coordinator Cindy Butler at cindybutler@nynsci.org
or call 518-694-8188 by February 11th
Register Early, space limited. Wheelchair accessible.
Lunch provided; $40 donation for meeting suggested
Directions and Parking: Visit http://ogs.ny.gov/ESP/CCE


NYS Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Visits NSCI

Last Thursday, we were privileged enough to be visited by NYS Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. During her visit, she announced a bill which would aim at stimulating private investment in local research facilities.
The America Innovates Act of 2012 (S. 2369) “creates a bank which is aimed to help universities and institutions turn scientific ideas into commercialized products that will attract private investment and the critical capital which is needed to commercialize,” said Gillibrand. “Many of our universities and research institutions lack the resources they need to take a scientific breakthrough into a high-tech job or a high-tech product.”

Specifically, the bill would create an independent agency, the American Innovation Bank, with the ability to direct loans and grants to non-profit research organizations, individual researchers, and private companies.

During a small press conference held in the building our Director of Research and Development, Dr. Chris Fasano, was asked to speak. Here are his opening remarks.

The ultimate goal of biomedical research is translating basic

discoveries into therapeutics for sick patients. For years, state

and federal grants have done a tremendous job establishing a

rich pipeline of discovery in all fields of biomedical science.

However, programs for the translation of these discoveries have

not been so abundant and this gap, better known as”The Valley of Death”, is a critical roadblock for the successful transition from bench to bedside.

In 2007, Dr. Sally temple and Dr. Jeffery Stern

founded this institute — the first independent stem cell institute in

the country — to be an oasis in “The Valley of Death” for the

successful translation of neural stem cell discoveries.

The east campus of the University of New York at Albany was an easy choice for a location due to its integration of academic labs, core facilities, and small companies.

Administratively lean, but rooted in academic research, NSCI can

be nimble and autonomous in its decisions on how best to take

the discovery out of the lab and into clinical trials. Just like most

academic institutions, NSCI is dependent on federal and state

grants, and has been quite successful securing funds through the


With this, we have made key discoveries including a

potential drug to combat macular degeneration, as well as a small

time-released system to implant into injured spinal cords to

promote regeneration. While our results show tremendous

promise, big pharmaceutical companies do not take risks at such an early stage, and will not invest until the product is much further developed, typically costing 10s to100s of millions. — a cost too much for us to bear.


NSCI Director of Research and Development, Dr. Christopher Fasano, gives his opening remarks as NYS Senator Kirsten Gillibrand looks on.

We sincerely thank Senator Gillibrand for taking the time to visit our institute and speak with us.

This post comes to you from Rachel Wurster. Research technician by day, social media guru by midday and on some rare occasions evenings.