10/03/2009

A major step forward for stem cell research

According to Martin F. Pera , PhD, Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California, Obama’s decision is a major step forward for stem cell research. 

President Obama's decision is a very important step forward for stem cell research in the United States. Most scientists in the field depend in one way or another on federal funding, and this decision means they can use that funding to carry out research on a wide range of new embryonic stem cell lines with important advantages over the few cell lines available under the Bush policy. The new cell lines have been derived under conditions that make them much more suitable for use in patients. Also, it is important for workers in the field to be able to compare large numbers of embryonic stem cell lines, to select those with the best features for treating specific diseases.

The decision also sends an important strong message of support to researchers, especially young scientists. And it makes clear that science policy is now being shaped by scientific considerations, not political expediency.