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Obama to End Stem Cell Ban Monday
Date:3/7/2009

Researchers applaud his action, which is expected to kick-start efforts to unlock therapeutic potential

SATURDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama will lift the eight-year ban on embryonic stem cell research on Monday, the White House has announced.

A White House ceremony is scheduled for late morning, when Obama will issue an executive order formally removing the federal funding limits imposed by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, in 2001.

And while The New York Times reports that it may take many months for the National Institutes of Health to develop new guidelines for research, researchers were already applauding the president's actions.

"The availability of federal funding for research on cell lines that had been off-limits during the Bush administration, coupled with billions of newly available dollars in federal stimulus money, could set the stage for a tidal wave of support that could propel stem cell research well into the next decade -- if things move quickly," said a prepared statement from Stanford University researchers in California.

"This action is both welcome and overdue," added Dr. Philip Pizzo, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine and a governing board member of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, in the statement. "This vote of confidence from President Obama in the promise of embryonic stem cell research validates and extends CIRM's mission to help millions of people suffering from currently incurable medical conditions. It is also a powerful signal that advances in medical research must be pursued even in times of economic difficulty."

Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher And Dana Reeve Foundation in Short Hills, N.J., said in a prepared statement, "With a stroke of his pen, President Obama acknowledged the will of the majority of Americans and harnessed the power of the federal government to move r
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