Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans, today, for a $1 billion investment in biotechnology and stem cell research, directly attempting to challenge California as the place to be for stem cell research. Like California, Patrickâ€™s plan is a 10-year plan that will fund, among other things, a stem cell bank and the nationâ€™s first centralized repository of new public and private stem cell lines, which will be overseen by the University of Massachusetts. It will be the worldâ€™s largest of its kind (according to Patrickâ€™s office, anyhow), with Harvard, MIT, Massachusetts General and other hospitals contributing their lines.
Massachusetts might actually be able to give California a run for its money (or talent) here; in addition to being able to learn from CIRMâ€™s mistakes, Massachusetts has over 500 life science companies, several major universities, two dozen teaching hospitals, and four medical schools. This is just one of a list of things Patrick has done to undo Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romneyâ€™s time in office; Patrickâ€™s proposal requires legislative approval that he is very likely to get. In 2005, both the Senate and House supported a bill to encourage stem cell research that Romney promptly killed.
And continuing to deviate from party line, California Governor Schwarzenegger says he welcomes the competition; the more research being done, the better.
Originally posted at the American Journal of Bioethics Editors Blog.