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Retinal Stem Cell Consortium up for grant

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Albany/HV: Retinal Stem Cell Consortium up for grant
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RENSSELAER, N.Y. -- A $10.5 million research grant could go to the hub of the Retinal Stem Cell Consortium in Rensselaer.

Supporters of the grant, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, say the investment is critical. She says the funding would be used to help find a cure for macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina.

The institute's co-founder says the competition to receive the recommendation for the grant was tough.

If it's awarded the grant, the institute says $5.8 million would be used for the Regenerative Research Fund and $4.8 million would be used for a clinical trial for macular degeneration.

"To do the essential pre-clinical work to test whether or not our idea had merit, whether or not these cells would be valuable for future translation therapies," said Dr. Sally Temple.

The funding for the grant would come from the Empire State Stem Cell Board and the New York State stem cell program.

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