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University of Michigan loses stem cell researcher to Texas

One of the state’s leading stem cell researchers is leaving for a new job in Texas.

Sean Morrison was head of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Michigan.

He was also a vocal proponent of Proposal 2, which loosened restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan in 2008.

Morrison says the University is in a good position to continue important stem cell research without him.

" The field has been moving at a remarkable pace, scientifically," says Morrison.   "And there’s new clinical trials being launched all the time, both in the areas of adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research."

Morrison says it's too soon to know which kind of stem cells will lead to which kind of disease treatments - so both adult and embryonic stem cell research is needed.

He will head a pediatric research initiative at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.  Texas voters approved $3 billion for cancer research over the next ten years. 

Part of that money was used to lure Morrison to the school.

He says the politics surrounding stem cell research in this state had nothing to do with his decision to leave. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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