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Governor Signs Bill Establishing KU Med Stem Cell Center

Gov. 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.

Brownback signed the bill during a ceremony Monday at the Statehouse. He 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. It will combine patient treatment, training doctors, public education and research. I’m honored to sign this bill,” Brownback said.

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.