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Helmsley Charitable Trust awards more than $15 million to Salk Institute-CUMC
Date:11/3/2010

ls of disease will allow investigators from both institutions to screen at Columbia tens of thousands of chemical compounds to uncover novel drug therapies for hitherto untreatable diseases. The grant will therefore create a pipeline of new models and molecules that will start from individual patients and create new avenues back to the clinic.

Christopher E. Henderson, Ph.D., Director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, and Co-Director of the Columbia Motor Neuron Center, said, "Although much public interest has been focused on the use of stem cells for tissue replacement, we and our collaborators at the Salk believe that in many clinical areas their major benefit will be to allow us to model diseases in the culture dish. Such cell-based models can generate new knowledge about the disease process itself, while also opening the way to high-throughput screening for test drug candidates."

Henderson added, "The Helmsley Trust support at Columbia will be focused on freeing up two key bottlenecks in this process. It will fund new protocols to allow scientists to transform stem cells into specific classes of differentiated cells, and will help support a facility that will allow researchers with a disease model to perform drug screening on a scale inaccessible in their own laboratories."

"The Helmsley Trust is showing great vision by investing in two scientific groups operating at the leading edge of stem cell research," said Salk Institute President William R. Brody. "We are deeply grateful to the trustees and look forward to a very fruitful collaboration with our Columbia University colleagues."

"The generosity of The Helmsley Trust enables research that ultimately may lead to prevention or treatment of diseases that currently have no cure," said Lee Goldman, M.D., Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine and Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center. "We look forwa
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Contact: Kat Kearney
kearney@salk.edu
858-453-410-01226
Salk Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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