Since President Obama signed the executive order that lifted the restrictions on stem cell research, the NIH as been working on guidelines and processes for how to “support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. ”The final guidelines for hESC research, which were published in July, stated that only lines registered with the NIH would be eligible for funding and laid out the criteria for registering lines with the NIH.
On September 21, the NIH posted an online form to allow researchers to show the intent of submitting a formal application. One week later, it was reported on a Natureblog that, of the 88 lines that were listed, all but three were from Harvard and its affiliates. Currently, of the 40 hESC lines with a completed formal submission, which requires substantial documentation, 39 are from Harvard and its affiliates.
As HSCI continues to lead the scientific field of stem cell biology, it also remains at the forefront of the emerging regulatory landscape.