As the 21st century approached, Michigan made a push that centered on the state’s major research institutions to position the state as a leader in biomedical research. Despite $8 billion from Michigan’s tobacco settlement used to fund the plan, the state’s restrictive stem cell laws limited scientists working in the state and made it difficult to recruit new faculty. An amendment to the state constitution in 2008 made embryonic stem cell research legal. Michigan has seen steady growth in life sciences since 2008, and in 2013, the University of Michigan was ranked among the top 25 universities in the world in medicine and the biological sciences.

A Radical Change in Law

Before November 2008, Michigan’s law regarding stem cell research was among the most restrictive in the ...

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