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Stem Cell Information

September 8, 2008, Summary

NIH Stem Cell Task Force

Members Present:

Story Landis, NINDS (Chair); James Battey, NIDCD (Vice Chair); Barbara Alving, NCRR; L. Tony Beck, NCRR; Ron McKay, NINDS; Richard Tasca, NICHD; John Thomas, NHLBI

Other Participants:

Jill Carrington, NIDDK; Laura Cole, NIDCD (teleconference); Don Fink, FDA; Jack Harding, NCRR; Susan Haynes, NIGMS; Tom Johnson, OD/OSP; Lisa Kennedy, NIDCD (teleconference); Susan Marino, NINDS; Alan Michelson, NHLBI; Baldwin Wong, NIDCD (Executive Secretary)

I. Welcome

Dr. Landis welcomed the members of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force. The group approved the summary of the June 17, 2008 meeting.

II. NIH Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry—Mr. Wong

Mr. Wong showed the Task Force the test website for the new NIH Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry. As a result of Executive Order #13435, "Expanding Approved Stem Cell Lines in Ethically Responsible Ways," the current NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be renamed as the NIH Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry. In addition to listing hESC derivations that are eligible for federal funding, the new registry will list human pluripotent stem cell lines that were derived from non-embryonic sources. Mr. Wong showed how the new registry website will have two separate pages; one page for the hESCs and the other page for non-embryonic pluripotent stem cells. Also, the website will have a list of Frequently Asked Questions that will provide information on the NIH’s criteria for including new cells on the registry.

The Task Force suggested that when a scientist wishes to add a cell line to the registry, he/she should also describe whether the cell derivation has been published in a journal and whether the cell line is available for distribution.

III. Stem Cell FOIA Request—Mr. Wong

Mr. Wong announced that NIH received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request for information about the informed consent forms for the derivation of the hESCs listed on the NIH Stem Cell Registry. Several members of the Task Force are working with Mr. Wong to develop a response to the FOIA request.

IV. Stem Cell Transitions—Drs. Landis and Battey

With the presidential election a few months away, Drs. Landis and Battey discussed the likelihood that NIH will experience a change in the federal government's stem cell research policy. Drs. Landis and Battey recently had a meeting with staff from the Office of Management and Budget and DHHS to discuss stem cell research and to prepare information for a new Administration. Based on the knowledge gained these past years, the NIH Stem Cell Task Force will be prepared to work with the transition teams if the federal government’s stem cell research policy needs to be revised.

V. Identification of Issues for Task Force Consideration—All Participants

The Task Force discussed ideas for a state-of-the-science workshop on human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. With the recent announcement of the derivation of iPS cells from individuals with diseases, the development of cell lines as human models of disease is possible. A workshop to bring together scientific experts to discuss the usability of these new lines would provide new information on the potential of iPS cells. Dr. Landis will convene a subcommittee to plan for the workshop.

Dr. Haynes announced that NIGMS plans to take the lead in re-issuing a Notice for administrative supplements for iPS cell research. The initiative will be going to the NIGMS advisory council for clearance.

VI. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:00pm.

If you have questions about the Task Force, please contact:

Science Policy and Planning Branch
National Institute on Deafness
and Other Communication Disorders, NIH
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301) 402-2313
Fax: (301) 402-2265