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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007
Houston $3b, Boston $1b
Last week Houston won Harvard's Stephen Wong and his bioinformatics team of 20 when they said they were wooed to Methodist Hospital. Yesterday Texas Gov. Rick Perry (at left with cancer survivor and lobbyist Andrea McWilliams) signed a bill that will put on the November ballot a $3 billion bond issue to fund research in the fight against cancer, today's Houston Chronicle reports.
The initiative, modeled after a 2004 California measure in which voters approved $3 billion for stem-cell research, seeks to compensate for the federal government's declining funding for scientific research in recent years, the story says.
"There is no piece of legislation that could mean more to the future of this state than this cancer-research bill," Perry said at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was joined by Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner.
Officials at the ceremony, the story said, expect no area to receive a bigger share than Houston's Texas Medical Center, which is home to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine, two of the state's three federally designated cancer centers. The third is at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Last month Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a plan to invest $1 billion in life sciences, including a new stem-cell bank, job training, biomedical research, and tax breaks for companies hiring new workers.