LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law a measure that will allow
Sponsored by Rep. Jon Woods of
“This will save lives in
Michele Fox, M.D., a UAMS professor of pathology and director of Cell Therapy and Transfusion Medicine, assisted Woods’ effort to establish the umbilical cord blood bank and will serve as a consultant to the 11-member commission established under Act 659.
The expertise for banking stem cells in
“Passage of this law is great news for Arkansans because the healing and life-saving potential is enormous,” Fox said. “Stem cells harvested from the umbilical cord have shown tremendous promise for regenerating diseased or injured organs, including dead heart muscle, bone and spinal cord tissue.”
The stem cells could be stored for private use, such as by families with a history of cancer, Fox said. With a mother’s permission, stem cells also could be donated for research.
“Umbilical cord stem cells would be a tremendous resource for researchers in the field of regenerative medicine at UAMS,” Fox said.
The new law calls for the commission to establish a network of stem cell banks by June 30, 2008, and create a voluntary program to make the stem cells available for medical treatment and research. No funding was provided to support the collection and storage program, which will be accomplished in partnership with the state’s public or private colleges, public or private hospitals, nonprofit organizations or private firms.
Members of the commission will be appointed by the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate president pro tempore.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.