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Policies & Regulations

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Human stem cell research in California follows the Federal and State guidelines as well as the regulations from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

In California, two different organizations are responsible for guidance on human stem cell research: the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Human Stem Cell Research Program.  Projects funded through CIRM must adhere to their regulations, while all other human research not funded by CIRM is subject to the CDPH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research.

Human stem cell research is permitted by federal policy.  However, On September 28, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia permanently stayed a preliminary injunction made by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on August 23, 2010. Judge Lamberth ruled that federal funds cannot be used for hESC related research because of a violation to the Dicky-Wicker Amendment. The Dicky-Wicker Amendment prohibits the use of federal dollars being used in the destruction of human embryos. The move by the U.S. Court of Appeals allows federal funds to be used once again for research involving hESC while the court case is resolved. More information about the proceedings can be found at NIH Stem Cell Information website.

For more information on allowable human stem cell research in California and other states, please see the National Conference of State Legislatures summary of State Stem Cell Research regulations.

Researchers can use the SCRO Review Categories Flow Chart (pdf) to determine whether their research will need to be reviewed by the IRB/SCRO panel.