The U.S. Federal Court of Appeals has overturned an August 2010 ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, paving the way for broader exploration of how stem cells function and how they can be harnessed to treat a wide range of currently incurable diseases.
The ruling has been welcomed by the Obama Administration, which attempted to lift the ban in 2009, and by the nation's top researchers in the field, including Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF.
"This is a victory not only for the scientists, but for the patients who are waiting for treatments and cures for terrible diseases," Kriegstein said. "This ruling allows critical research to move forward, enabling scientists to compare human embryonic stem cells to other forms of stem cells, such as the cell lines which are derived from skin cells, and to pursue potentially life-saving therapies based on that research."
Kriegstein said the ruling will make a significant difference for stem cell research in general, including at UCSF, where the majority of stem cell investigators receive some funding from the National Institutes of Health for their research, as well as from private sources and from the state. The ruling enables those scientists to integrate research from various funding sources, thereby more quickly addressing the causes and therapies for diseases.
Kriegstein was one of two University of California scientists to file a Declaration in September 2010 in support of the UC Board of Regents' motion to intervene in the August lawsuit, Sherley v. Sebelius.
Sherly v. Sebelius had argued that when the Obama Administration lifted a ban on federal funding for the research in March 2009, it had violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment which barred using taxpayer funds in research that destroyed embryos.
In response, a U.S. District Court judge temporaril
|Contact: Kristen Bole|
University of California - San Francisco