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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Stem Cell Forum Set for Tonight: Panelists Speak About Stem Cell Research, More

Central New Jersey voters can learn more tonight about stem cell research and the upcoming Nov. 6 referendum to fund stem research in New Jersey at the last of three statewide panel discussions.  Representatives of the state’s major public research universities will be available from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at a question-and- answer session in the Hilton Hotel, 3 Tower Center Blvd, East Brunswick.

“It is important for the voters to have the plain facts on stem cell research before they make up their minds on the referendum question,” said Donald H. Sebastian, PhD, senior vice president for research and development at NJIT, representing the Newark Institute for Regenerative Healthcare.  “The science of stem cell is poorly understood by many, and the real, near-term consequences for the state economy deserve to be heard.  Public meetings offer a chance to hear facts from experts and ask hard questions to make an informed opinion before Election Day.” Tonight, Sebastian will look closer at the economic impact.

Panelists joining him are Barry Komisaruk, PhD, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers University-Newark who will discuss stem cell basics; Monica Roth, MD, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who will look at research; Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) who will focus on legislative issues.

Voters will be asked in the upcoming general election to authorize spending $450 million over 10 years on grants to fund stem cell research. To help voters decide this issue, stem cell forums featuring panelists were held in Newark at NJIT and in Cherry Hill to answer questions and provide information about stem cell science and legislation.

The event is co-sponsored by the Stem Cell Healing Foundation, the Biology Teachers Association of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research. Registration is free and seating is limited. Participants may submit questions and discussion points in advance at www.stemcellhealing.org.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.