Agency now accepting submissions for stem cell lines to be added to NIH registry
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the formation of a new working group charged with evaluating applications for new human embryonic stem cell lines to be used in federally funded research. The agency has already begun accepting submissions through an interactive form on its website.
The creation of the working group comes just a few months after President Obama signed an executive order to overturn the eight-year-old policy restricting federal funds for embryonic stem cell research and promised that his administration would "vigorously support scientists who pursue this research." The NIH subsequently published new Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research on July 7, 2009.
The nine-member Working Group for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Eligibility Review will evaluate applications submitted by researchers for stem cell lines to ensure that they meet the new guidelines and are eligible to be listed in the NIH registry. The group's analysis will be reviewed by an advisory committee, which will make recommendations to NIH Director Francis Collins, who will make the final decision.
The 2009 guidelines allow federal funds to support research conducted on stem cell lines derived from excess fertility clinic embryos, but they expressly prohibit funding for research projects using lines derived for the purpose of research through processes such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or parthenogenesis. Also described in detail are the conditions, informed consent procedures, and other criteria that must be met during the derivation of embryonic stem cells for the cells to be eligible for research projects that are federally funded.
Read more from the October 2009 Edition of the AACR Cancer Policy Monitor: