20 Sep Doyle seeks $2.5M for biomedical alliance
Madison, Wis. – Gov. Jim Doyle is urging the Wisconsin Legislature to accept a $2.5 million earmark for biomedical research in southeastern Wisconsin.
If re-elected in November, Doyle will attach the funds to his proposed 2007-09 executive budget to support the Biomedical Technology Alliance, a group of investors and researchers from southeastern Wisconsin universities.
The group would match the funds, creating a $5 million sum to foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration for high-tech and biomedical research in the Milwaukee area.
Founding institutions of the alliance include Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and TechStar.
This year, these organizations funded 11 research projects with $1 million to develop new technologies for spinal regeneration, therapeutic drugs for age-related cognitive deficits, and an improved understanding of the effects of radiation therapy in lung cancer patients.
Stem cell politics
A similar proposal to award the money received a line-item veto from Doyle last year, eliminating $2 million and retaining $500,000. Subsequently, State Senator Ted Kanavas, R-Brookfield, introduced a bill to restore the $2 million, but that bill stalled in the Joint Committee on Finance.
During this period, the partisan debate over stem cells loomed over the BTA, and Doyle’s latest move has reintroduced the issue.
“I’m posing a direct challenge to the Legislature to stop playing stem cell politics and invest in the tremendous opportunities we have here in Southeastern Wisconsin,” Doyle said in a statement.
Kanavas, who views the BTA as a “glue factory” for ideas in the “IQ corridor” between Madison and Milwaukee, said the BTA was never set up to do stem cell research, since that duty is currently being handled in Madison.
In step with Republican candidate for governor, U.S. Rep. Mark Green, Kanavas announced his willingness to spend $25 million for stem cell research, as long as human embryos are not harmed or destroyed.
“Our direct challenge to the governor is this: don’t be afraid of research that doesn’t destroy embryos,” Kanavas said. “What’s the governor’s fascination with destroying human embryos?”
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