Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."I've been thinking recently about Governor-elect Walker's agenda and what he should prioritize -- and I'll have more to say about the issue this week. But here's a thought that struck me: this could have happened at UW-Madison. And there's really no reason it shouldn't have.
Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells.
As governor, one of Walker's biggest priorities should be fighting brain drain in Wisconsin -- far too much talent flees the state far too early. And one of the best ways to make Wisconsin a more entrepreneurial and business friendly state is to keep those grads around.
Now, Walker won't be able to directly influence the ongoing debate on stem cell research funding. But as a part of the groundswell of Tea Party candidates this year, he would do the state a great service by adding his voice to those calling for all efforts to be made to bolster funding for this crucial technology. Keeping cutting-edge technology -- and the biotech sector, where Madison has a strong presence -- would do much to attract dollars and, more crucially, young talent to our state, and keep it here.
Walker was elected by an electorate that prioritizes business above abortion, concrete solutions above culture wars. He can demonstrate this by pushing for Wisconsin to maintain a place at the top of the field for hi-tech, scientific research and development. And a commitment to supporting the legality of stem cell research would be a strong first step.