By Executive Order in July 2005, Governor Blagojevich directed the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) to create a program that awarded $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the development of stem cell treatments and cures early in 2006. The Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI) was located in the State Health Department and run by existing agency staff. In 2006, the Governor provided an additional $5 million of funding to the IRMI for disbursal to researchers.

The legislature did not appropriate additional funds for stem cell research for 2008, and rejected the Governor’s request for an additional $20 million dollars. Legislation was passed in summer 2007 that establishes a regulatory framework for providing funding and for oversight of stem cell research.

Contact for IASCR: Tiefu Shen, Illinois Department of Public Health