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Statement of NIH Director on Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 12:20pm
National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced today that 13 additional human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for federal funding and added to the NIH Stem Cell Registry. This includes four lines from the WiCell Research Institute of Madison, Wis., which had been approved under the George W. Bush administration. Two of those four lines (H7 and H9) have been used widely by researchers over the years. The other stem cell derivers are Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard University. For more information, go to: http://grants.nih.gov/stem_cells/registry/current.htm.

The Registry’s total number of lines available for federal funding climbed to 64 with today's additions. Another 100 lines are pending approval.

Referring to the Bush-era lines, Dr. Collins said, "Yesterday's action should provide welcome reassurance to the many researchers who have been working on lines developed in the early days of stem cell research. Scientists can continue their studies without interruption, and we can all be assured that valuable work will not be lost."

BACKGROUND:

On March 9, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The executive order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.

The NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research were published on July 7, 2009, and are available at http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/2009guidelines.htm. The guidelines implement the executive order, as it pertains to extramural NIH-funded stem cell research; establish policy and procedures under which the NIH will fund such research; and help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law.

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