Published November 6, 2012
The Western New York Stem Cell Culture and Analysis Center (WNYSTEM), which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, is well into its mission of promoting and facilitating research on stem cells.
The facility is already attracting clients. Pharmaceutical companies have contracted with the facility’s stem cell engraftment core for research projects, and the sequencing core has prepared and analyzed a number of samples.
“Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine are changing the way we study biology and practice medicine, and WNYSTEM was established to promote and strengthen these fields within UB and western New York,” says director Richard Gronostajski, PhD, professor of biochemistry.
The center offers faster and more efficient ways for researchers using stem cells to generate, culture, analyze and test these cells both in vitro and in therapeutic non-human models.
The center’s expert faculty assist investigators who are new to stem cell research
“We are encouraging investigators to start using stem cells in their work, and we especially want to reach those just beginning in the stem cell field,” Gronostajski says.
The center is currently offering small grants to promote use of the facility by basic researchers and clinical investigators.
The center hosted its First Annual WNYSTEM Stem Cell Symposium in June of 2012. It was the first NYSTEM-funded event at UB to promote stem cell biology as a discipline within the university.
The event featured speakers from across North America addressing various stem cell biology topics as well as 25 poster presentations.
Four core facilities led by an interdisciplinary team comprise WNYSTEM:
Three of these cores are located in the Biomedical Research Building for ready access to nearby cell analysis facilities. The sequencing facility, which does not use live cells, is located at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.
Gronostajski and his colleagues received $3.5 million from the Empire State Stem Cell Program (NYSTEM) to establish the center. The money was part of approximately $600 million in funding committed in 2007 by New York State to NYSTEM for an 11-year program.
NYSTEM is the second largest state-financed stem cell program in the country.