Trust board gives $5.5M to adult stem cell study

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A total of $5.5 million from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust will be given for adult stem cell research.

The trust board voted yesterday to make the contributions after hearing presentations about such research that is ongoing in Oklahoma.

Under the plan, the board will give $500,000 for a yearlong planning phase to determine how the money should be distributed, then award $1 million in grants each year for five years.

Dr. Stephen Prescott, the president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, says adult stem cells have the potential to treat ailments including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

He says OMRF scientists are researching how to "back up" progression of adult cells, so that the cells can be reprogrammed for specific uses.

Adult stem cells are not taken from embryos.

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