b'6UPDATEConnecticut Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine Research Update2021 The State of Connecticut continues to be an acknowledged leader in the field of stem cell/regenerative medicine research. The prestigious journal Cell Stem Cell in 2015 cited CT together with California as having developed one of the two leading state-supported stem cell programs in the nation. This is an enormous achievement and it reflects the unique collaborative relationship that has been established among Yale, University of Connecticut, Wesleyan and Jackson Laboratory (JAX).The genesis of our state supported program dates back to 2005 when only one other such state program existed. This was made possible, when CT lawmakers passed legislation that included a commitment of 100 million dollars in state funding for stem cell research over a 10 year period. This support has been leveraged to attract more than 750 million dollars of federal (NIH) and philanthropic funding. As a result, we now have more than 650 scientists across the state engaged in this important stem cell work. Currently, there are more than 250 projects in process, ranging from basic to translational research as well as clinical application withthe prospects for commercialization of new therapies and continuedsignificant job growth. We have therefore become a leading hub in this field and it is why continued state support is so opportune and important.In addition, we have seen the formation of a number of companies in CT related to stem cell/ regenerative medicine research. We have also seen the establishment at Yale of a GMP clinical cell processing facility which allows stem cells to be used for clinical trials in stem cell therapy. At UCONN, a single cell analysis facility has been launched jointly with JAX. We are now seeing the development of cell-based treatments for Parkinsons disease, diabetes, blood related disorders, macular degeneration, Alzheimers disease, epilepsy, Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes, hypoparathyroidism, stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, arthritis, ALS, cartilage and bone repair, and skin related problems,as well as vascular and cardiac diseases.Over the past year, many CT scientists pivoted their expertise to address the critical challenges of COVID-19. Yale Stem Cell Center (YSCC) researchers have developed approaches to hopefully prevent COVID-19, assays to detect the disease, and drugs to treat the disease. At the YSCC, 12 laboratories and more than 20 of its scientists are currently engaged in COVID-19 related research. At Wesleyan, JAX and UCONN as well, multiple investigators are applying their expertise to treating COVID19. Amongst these CT institutions, areas of investigation include the development of novel therapeutic candidates such as neutralizing antibodies, pilot development of novel coronavirus vaccine candidates, analysis of the differences in immune responses in children vs. adults with COVID-19, research to demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of platelet aggregation may improve survival in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, efforts to treat moderate and severe COVID-19 patients with a new drug that blocks the assembly and proliferation of the coronavirus, exploration of herbal medicines for treating COVID patients, and work to establish a portfolio of options to mitigate new variants of coronavirusnow and in the future.Aside from this important COVID-19 work, CTs stem cell scientists have continued to make steady progress in stem cell and regenerative medicine research. This includes, among other projects, gene editing utilizing CRISPR technology, further utilization of induced pluripotent stem cells and greater utilization of stem cells for drug testing. Together, JAX, Wesleyan, UCONN and Yale are continuing their efforts to advance Personalized-Precision Medicine. All of these efforts contribute to further establishing CT as a hub for biomedical research and for the further development of medical breakthroughs and the creation of many more new jobs in Connecticut.Dr. Milton WallackFounder, Connecticut Stem Cell Coalition'