With pro-life ethics and a patient-driven paradigm, the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute hopes to save lives and shape the future of medicine, reports the Catholic News agency.
“Medical research is becoming too expensive and taking too long. It's not transformative enough, or impacting patients at a fast enough rate,” institute founder and director Dr Alan Moy said, explaining the motivation behind his ambitious “Collection For Cures” project.
“It's more than just doing ethical research. We had to come up with a new paradigm,” Moy said of his institute's focus on patients and their immediate needs.
Both the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic bishops of Iowa are backing the “Collection For Cures,” which aims to raise $10 million for research into rare diseases, regenerative medicine, and personalized cancer treatments.
After he founded the adult stem cell provider Cellular Engineering Technologies in 2005, Moy became aware of key research areas neglected by both the government and the marketplace. He saw the need for a nonprofit enterprise that could fill these scientific and technological gaps.
In 2006, Moy established the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute in Iowa City, as a grassroots effort of Catholic laity and others concerned with the future of ethical biotechnology.
“The goal of the institute is to identify and solve some of the major deficiencies in this country – one of which is the ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells,” he noted.
In addition to its pro-life ethical basis, Moy's work stands out in the field for other reasons. Another distinguishing mark is his interest in treating and curing “orphan diseases.” The term denotes thousands of serious but rare ailments that fail to attract research dollars, because of the relatively small number of sufferers.
FULL STORY Adult stem cell institute undertakes ambitious campaign for cures (CNA)