The report 2007 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research includes a number of questions that may be helpful for ESCRO committees to consider when reviewing proposals for human embryonic stem cell research.
Those sample questions are reproduced here, and readers are encouraged to read pp. 12-13 of the 2007 Amendmentsfor additional information:
- What is the scientific question being asked by the proposed research involving hES cells? Does the underlying hypothesis address an important scientific question? Could the question reasonably be addressed in any other way?
- Does the research team have the appropriate expertise and training in deriving or culturing either human or nonhuman stem cells? If training is the primary purpose of the proposal, is the training being conducted under the supervision of appropriate experts?
- Has the investigator articulated a compelling rationale for using human stem cells instead of nonhuman stem cells?
- Has the investigator articulated a compelling rationale for using hES cells instead of other types of stem cells?
- Has the investigator justified the selection of the stem cell line(s) to be used?
- Has the investigator articulated a rationale for creating a new stem cell line or could the proposed research be conducted with existing cell lines? If more than one cell line is to be derived, has the investigator justified the number he/she proposes to make?
Members of ESCRO committees may also wish to join or consult members of the ESCRO committee listserv for additional guidance.