Monday, March 07, 2016

Champion of Stem Cell Research: Nancy Reagan Hailed by California Stem Cell Leader

The chairman of California’s $3 billion stem cell research effort yesterday weighed in with a tribute to Nancy Reagan and her support for human embryonic stem cell research.

Jonathan Thomas said,

“With the passing of former first lady Nancy Reagan the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has lost a good friend and a champion of stem cell research. Mrs. Reagan was an advocate for stem cell research for many years and her voice was an important one in helping ensure the passage of Proposition 71. Her call to protect the ability of scientists to ‘pursue medical miracle possibilities’ echoed the feelings of millions of Americans looking to stem cell research for help in battling deadly diseases. We, and patients everywhere, were fortunate to have such a great champion for the work that we do.”

Nancy Reagan’s backing of hESC research began in the spring of 2004 with an unsuccessful effort to convince former President Bush to rescind his restrictions on federal funding of hESC research.

An Associated Press story said at the time,

"'It's hard to overstate or overestimate the power of her impassioned plea for the Bush administration to reform its stem cell policy,' said Daniel Perry, president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. "She's given permission for very conservative, anti-abortion Republicans to disagree with Bush. It's a courageous stance against a president of her own party."

Newsweek magazine also carried a piece about her efforts.

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