USC pushes for stem cell research

first_imgUSC’s director of stem cell research Martin Pera released a statement contesting the federal ruling prohibiting the use of federal funds for stem cell research, stating that the discoveries made in the field are critical to many patients.Pera, foundation director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, issued a statement Aug. 24 defending the need of the National Institute of Health to continue funding such research.“This ruling will disrupt or halt important stem cell research programs, and it represents a major setback to the hopes of hundreds of thousands of patients who stand to benefit from the outcomes of this work,” the statement said.In August, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling prohibiting the use of federal funds for stem cell research.“This decision will not only impact ongoing studies, but will also send a very negative message to scientists, particularly young researchers, who have dedicated their careers to pursuing this promising new area of science,” the statement said.USC’s application of stem cell research has pioneered new methods of curing a host of major diseases. In recent months, USC, along with a number of research groups and universities in the United States, has made breakthroughs.Research at the university has led to key discoveries in how heart tissue is formed and how limb growth can be regenerated, among other developments.Still, even among USC students, the issue remains divisive.“On the one hand, I’m disappointed by the ruling because other nations are going ahead with stem cell research at a faster pace and it’s very possible we as a country could be left behind,” said Mark Ojo, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. “But on the other hand I’m a Catholic and from a personal standpoint I identify with the court’s decision to show a respect for life.”Currently research remains uninterrupted, as the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit placed a stay on the decision pending appeal. The Appeals Court will decide Sept. 20 whether or not to extend the stay or to let it expire.last_img

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