The Appeals Court decision put the Dickey-Wicker question to rest, ruling that the amendment was "ambiguous" and that the NIH "seems reasonably to have concluded that although Dickey-Wicker bars funding for the destructive act of deriving an ESC (embryonic stem cell) from an embryo, it does not prohibit funding a research project in which an ESC will be used," according to the 2-1 decision.
"I am very happy with this decision, although I am surprised that it wasn't a unanimous vote," Kriegstein said. "In my opinion, the evidence in favor of pursuing this research is overwhelming compared to the arguments submitted to stop the research."
UCSF is one of two universities, along with the University of Wisconsin, that pioneered human embryonic stem cell research in the United States, beginning in the late 1990s.
UCSF has developed one of the largest programs in the nation, primarily funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a voter-supported initiative that provided $3 billion to fund statewide research in lieu of federal funding for it. Funding from the NIH, private philanthropy and other state sources also have been critical for the program.
UCSF also launched the nation's first stem cell PhD program in 2010, for which the first class already has been chosen and will begin in fall 2011.
|Contact: Kristen Bole|
University of California - San Francisco