SYDNEY, July 26, 2005 ( - Following on a highly successful program to offer financial assistance to mother’s in crisis pregnancies who opt to carry their babies to term, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney announced yesterday a grant of $100,000 to support and foster research on the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells. This is the second grant made available by the Archdiocese of Sydney to further research into adult stem cells.

On 9 April 2002 Cardinal Pell announced that a $50,000 grant was to be made available to a research team at Griffith University led by Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, whose team was conducting research into the development of therapies to utilize stem cells extracted from patients’ nasal lining to replace those lost to disease.

Applications for the new research grant were invited from Australian-based researchers. Both new projects and existing projects are eligible.

Cardinal Pell commented on the grants saying “The breakthroughs in adult stem cell research are exciting and impressive. The achievements to date in this area far surpass anything that has been attained in the area of embryonic stem cell research. The Catholic Church always supports good science working from a good ethical foundation, and the Archdiocese of Sydney is delighted to be able to collaborate with researchers making inroads in this vitally important area.”

The grant will be awarded on the recommendation of an independent assessment panel, whose members include experts on science and ethics, according to the following criteria:
  – The research meets the highest standards of scientific excellence.
  – Therapeutic applications are likely to arise from the research.
  – The research will be innovative, displaying novelty in its experimental approach.
  – Receipt of this grant will be significant for the undertaking of the research.Â
  – The researcher(s) have a track record of success in undertaking similar or related research.
  – The research complies with the standards set out in Chapter 6 of the Code of Ethical Standards for Catholic Health and Aged Care Services in Australia.

It is a condition for receipt that applicant(s) secure matching funds from other sources. Funds will be available for expenditure from 1st January 2006 and will normally be expended by 31st December 2007.



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