Willie Nelson and his wife Annie's names have popped up in an unexpected forum - stem cell research.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is planning to announce the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research - and the country legend is delighted.

He says, "That's a nice thing. I think everybody should do what they can to call more attention to that."

Nelson and his wife received the honour for helping to raise approximately $250,000 (GBP131,578) for the stem cell program at a March (05) concert in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The first Nelson professor will be DR ERIC OLSON, who chairs the medical centre's molecular biology department.

The year-old program isn't now involved in the controversial practice of researching embryonic stem cells, focusing more on mouse stem cells.

17/06/2005 09:48