Gov. Sam Brownback half-jokingly told a Wichita audience Monday that adult stem cells could hold the key to extending the coaching career of Kansas State University football legend Bill Snyder.
Brownback cited the 74-year-old head coach while extolling the potential benefits of adult-stem-cell medical research.
“We’re going to be able to keep Bill Snyder for another 20 years,” the governor told an audience of oil producers at the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association convention. “We got it figured out.”
Brownback told the group he recently helped cut the ribbon for a stem-cell center in Manhattan.
“Coach Snyder was there at the opening, and I thought: ‘Let’s just fill that guy full of stem cells.’ ”
That touched off a round of laughter from the crowd.
“All right, you’re dubious, oh well, OK,” Brownback said.
But behind Brownback’s light take on Snyder lies a potential treatment for ailments of aging that Brownback said has shown promise with high-value horses and dogs.
He said researchers now are attempting to transfer the technique to treating humans.
“You can go up there now and you can get your knees and hips treated with your own stem cells,” Brownback said.
Treatment with adult stem cells is a variant that doesn’t require the destruction of laboratory-created human embryos, which Brownback opposes as part of his opposition to abortion.
“They take your stem cells off your hips out of the fat; they take that out and they put it right into the joint areas to support the regrowth of cartilage and ligaments. This is kind of the first line of treatment,” he said.