While many schools pour hundreds of millions of dollars into athletics, more signs today that among the elite universities, stem cell research is at the center of competition. As I wrote last week, it's going to be difficult for Red State schools across the country to keep up in the national rankings as they are left behind in funding and support for research in regenerative biology by private institutions like Harvard, and public universities such as the UC schools, and after this fall, the SUNY system. From today's Boston Globe:
The Harvard University corporation will devote $50 million to begin an ambitious effort to encourage interdisciplinary science research, signaling the governing board's determination to make fundamental changes in the university's approach to science, even as it searches for a new president....The committee will use the money to create new interdisciplinary departments, hire faculty, fund research, and pay for new equipment and laboratory space for research that crosses traditional boundaries. Possible areas of focus that have been under discussion include stem cell research, engineering new devices modeled on living organisms, and innovative uses of computing....The corporation yesterday expressed general support for a new department focused on stem cell biology. Research in this Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology would range from basic science to medical applications.