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Professor comments on Obama’s stem cell executive action

March 9, 2009

Following is a statement from James Thomson, professor of anatomy, on President Barack Obama’s decision to lift restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.

“The executive action by President Obama lifting restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is a welcome milestone for our field. The decision will help restore America as a leader in this field and is a clear path out of a policy thicket that has slowed the pace of discovery for eight years. It also removes a stigma that has discouraged many bright young people from embarking on careers in stem cell research. Research on embryonic stem cells remains critically important. We have many unanswered questions, and the only way to realize the full potential of embryonic stem cells and other types of stem cells is a level playing field and unfettered inquiry. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells — the transformed adult cells that seem to mimic the qualities of embryonic stem cells — would not have been possible without research on human embryonic stem cells. We are grateful to President Obama for the courage of his decision as well as for the broad bipartisan support our work has received in Washington.”

Tags: stem cells