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June 08, 2009 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-06-08

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Monday, June 8, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

VW STEM CELLS
From Page 1
cell researchers and industries
from across the state.
"The goal is to bring together
as many people as we could from
different parts of the state, focus-
ing on primarily - in this meet-
ing - universities from across the
state and then also some industry
representatives from across the
state," Smith said.
Carol Brenner, an associate pro-
fessor of physiology at Wayne State
University, said the conference
also enabled stem cell researchers
to discuss how to educate the pub-
lic about stem cell research, which
must take place in order for it to
progress in the state.
"I think that's what also is very
important - to educate our gradu-
ate students, our undergraduate
students (and) students who want
to stay in Michigan," Brenner
said.
She added that the education
needs to occur at all Michigan uni-
versities.
"It needs to take place at all of
the universities though, not just in
one place," she said, "because we
then, essentially, accelerate our
knowledge base through the stu-
dents so they then teach the next
person."
Researchers from each of the
four universities discussed their
areas of interest within stem cell
research, which ranged from tis-
sue-engineeringresearchtogener-
ating skeletal and facial structures
to the effects of alcohol, nicotine
and caffeine on the brain.
Edward Goldman. an adiunct

assistant professor in the Uni-
versity's department of internal
medicine, discussed the ethical,
regulatory and legal issues regard-
ing stem cell research in Michigan
since the passage of Proposal 2
and Obama's removal of the ban on
embryonic stem cell research.
Goldman said that researchers
in Michigan are now able to com-
pete with stem cell research being
done in other states.
"We are now on a level playing
field with other states,"-he said. "It
allows us to do the research that
we want to do."
Goldman told the researchers
that because Proposal 2 passed
by a narrow margin of 52 to 48
percent last November, plenty of
opposition to embryonic stem cell
research still exists in the state.
He added that it is important
for scientists and universities to
educate the public about their
research and to inform them about
the strong regulatory research
oversight committee.
Smith echoed Goldman's words
and said that having the Human
Pluripotent Stem Cell Research
Oversight Committee, a unified
oversight committee for all the
research institutions in Michigan,
enables scientists to be "on the
same page."
Brenner said the conference
proved that stem cell researchers
from across the state were collabo-
rating and not competing.
"I don't feel that we're compet-
ing," she said. "I think that we're
actually happy that we have each
other in many ways."
The researchers will reconvene
in a few months at MSU to hold the
second conference.

Fifth-grade students from Chapelle Elementary school perform "Whatever You Like" by T.I. at the 14th annual African
American Festival held in downtown Ann Arbor. Teacher Jason Malloy said the students would practice every day before

class and have already performed at several other events.
sion will be to develop and deliver
GM world class education with a stra-
From Page 1 tegic focus on energy diversity and
sustainability to reinvent the auto-
same (amount of money)," Pot- mobile."
tow said. "But in complex business Munson said that based on pre-
transactions, courts will designate vious meetings with GM, the cor-
certain classes of vendors to be poration has no plans to pull out of
'critical' and critical vendors are the collaboration.
generally allowed tobe paid in full "We met with a lot of leadership
on their claims:' from GM earlier (last) week and, at
Sreedhar Bharath, a Ross School least at that meeting, they were op-
of Business assistant professor timistic with the new partnership
of finance, said that though GM's moving forward without a prob-
bankruptcy was more compli- lem," Munson said. "At this point,
cated than Chrysler's, he thought everyone's still optimistic."
the 60- to 90-day range estimated Munson added that he believes
by the Obama administration was that vehicle sustainability - spe-
an accurate timeframe for GM to cifically the electrification of ve-
emerge from bankruptcy. hicles - is the direction in which
"Given the fact that everyone the automotive market is heading
has been anticipating a GM bank- and will create job opportunities in
ruptcy for the last couple months the future.
or even more, and the fact that "On the other hand, there are
Chrysler filed (for bankruptcy), the other jobs available in electrifica-
60- to 90-day timeframe may be tion of the vehicle, plug-in hybrids
possible," Bharath said. and all electric cars because that's
Gm's bankruptcy also raised the way the market is heading, and
concerns among University offi- that type of automotive work needs
cials about a recently announced expertise," Munson said.
project with the University. Don Grimes, senior research
On May 7, GM and the Univer- economist at the Institute for Re-
sity announced the creation of a search on Labor, Employment and
joint Institute of Automotive Re- the Economy, said that the automo-
search and Education, designed to tive market is expanding for new
improve vehicle sustainability. engineering graduates.
In a May 8 Michigan Daily ar- "I think (the government) will be
ticle, GM Vice Chairman Tomi increasing pressure to obtain new
Stevens said, "The institute's vi- thinking in terms of the engineering

side of these companies," Grimes
said. "The irony is that right now,
things may be really hard for people
looking for jobs in the auto indus-
try, but when things turn around I
think there will be more intensive
pressure to hire new blood in (the
automotive industry)."
Grimes added that he expects
the automotive industry to experi-
ence a turnaround within one year
from now.
Munson said the College of En-
gineering is changing its curricu-
lum to accommodate the changing
automotive market and the govern-
ment's push for renewable energy
sources.
"I think we're going to see more
courses developed (that are) re-
lated to electric power and vehicle
electrification and more courses
related to batteries and energy stor-
age," Munson said. "We're actively
hiring new faculty in those areas."
Munson said that the College of
Engineering is looking to hire ap-
proximately 10 new faculty mem-
bers in the areas of electric power,
batteries and energy storage.
He added that students studying
these fields, in addition to the field
of Energy Systems Engineering,
will have no difficulty finding a job
in the near future, Munson said.
"(For) students in electric power
or ESE, their job prospects in the
auto industry are goingto be excel-
lent," Munson said.

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