ISSCR Statement on U.S. Court Decision to Dismiss Challenges to Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  • 27 July, 2011

The ISSCR applauds the decision announced today by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Sherley v. Sebelius, dismissing challenges to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) funding of human embryonic stem cell research. After a long period of uncertainty, the court’s finding concludes current legal proceedings. The NIH may continue to fund research using human embryonic stem cells under the policies described in their Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research (July 7, 2009).

The ISSCR reiterates support for research on all forms of stem cells, including human embryonic stem cell research, and strongly advocates that research funding should be decided based on scientific merit to ensure that the best ideas are vigorously supported. Adult and embryonic stem cell research are not in competition with one another, rather both avenues are complementary and vital to advancing technologies that could lead to new therapies for human disease.

"This decision is important for both scientists and patients alike, as both groups have been waiting for this decision in order to remove the uncertainty surrounding NIH funding for this critical arm of stem cell research," says ISSCR President Fred H. Gage.

Further Information:
Memorandum Opinion, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, July 27, 2011.