Human embryonic stem cells evolve into many different cell types,and the hope is to one day use them for organ and tissue repair. These are a few examples of the types of differentiated cells that could differentiate from the undifferentiated stem cells.
Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) research involves many ethical, legal, scientific, and policy issues that are of concern to the public. As such, it is essential to promote responsible practices in the conduct of hESC research. Various groups have developed guidelines for hESC research to advance the science in a responsible manner, including the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), and the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). These organizations recommended that research institutions should create special review bodies to oversee this emerging field of research, with the intention of providing a critical level of review and scrutiny warranted by the complex issues raised by hESC research.
In order to ensure adherence to ethical and legal principles of hESC research, Yale University has established an Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committee as recommended by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies' 2005 Guidelines for hESC Research. ESCRO members are appointed by and serve as advisors to the Office of the Provost. The membership of the ESCRO reflects the scientific, medical, and ethical expertise necessary to perform the aforementioned responsibilities, and includes members of the Yale community (faculty, staff and/or students), as well as outside members, at the election of the Provost.
In addition, the University is committed to ensuring that the Federal government's current prohibitions against direct or indirect use of Federal funds for research on Non-Registry hESC Lines are fully observed. Link to Special Procedures for hESC Research Financial Tracking (in development).