Stem Cell History

By biorh
  • Till & McCulloch establish the foundation for stem cell science.

    Till & McCulloch establish the foundation for stem cell science.
    ■Toronto scientists Drs. James Till, a biophysicist, and Ernest McCulloch, a haematologist, published accidental findings in “Radiation Research” that proved the existence of stem cells – cells that can self-renew repeatedly for various uses. Both worked for the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) at the time.
  • Congress Bans All Federally Funded Fetal Tissue Research

    Congress Bans All Federally Funded Fetal Tissue Research
    ■The 93rd Congress implements a ban on nearly all federally funded fetal tissue research until the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research devises guidelines for it.
  • National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research

    National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research
    ■The National Research Act established the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to define policy for protection of human subjects during medical and/or scientific experiments.
  • Ethics Advisory Board Established

    Ethics Advisory Board Established
    Guidelines establish an Ethics Advisory Board for fetal and fetal tissue research that originate from abortions.
  • President Reagan Kills Ethics Advisory Board

    President Reagan Kills Ethics Advisory Board
    President Ronald Reagan decides not to renew the Ethics Advisory Board’s charter. The EAB had recommended federally funded investigations into the safety of in vitro fertilization using human embryos developed in vitro for no more than 14 days, but a de facto moratorium halts federal funding of human embryo research due to the EAB’s disbanding.
  • Federal Panel Approves Funding of Embryo Research

    Federal Panel Approves Funding of Embryo Research
    Human Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research Panel reopens the question and votes 18-3 to approve the federal funding of embryo research. Despite this level of support for the research, the Department of Health and Human Services accepts the testimony of three conservative dissenters who argue that embryonic research would lead to an increase in abortions, and in response, extends the moratorium on this research.
  • President George H.W. Bush Vetos Bill Lifting Moratorium

    President George H.W. Bush Vetos Bill Lifting Moratorium
    Congress attempts to override the moratorium through legislation but President George H.W. Bush vetoes the measure.
  • President Clinton Executive Order Lifts Moratorium

    President Clinton Executive Order Lifts Moratorium
    HHS Secretary Donna Shalala lifts the moratorium on federal funding of human embryonic research in accordance with President Bill Clinton’s executive order.
  • President Clintion Reverses Order

    President Clintion Reverses Order
    A National Institutes of Health human embryonic researcher panel supports the research but thousands of letters urge President Clinton to reverse his earlier decision. He agrees and federal funding of embryonic research is halted.
  • Dickey-Wicker Amendment

    Dickey-Wicker Amendment
    Congress bans the federal funding for research on embryos through the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, named after its sponsors Jay Dickey (R-AR) and Roger Wicker (R-MI). The amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for “the creation of human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.
  • James Thomson Isolates Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    James Thomson Isolates Human Embryonic Stem Cells
    University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson isolates human embryonic stem cells and shows their potential to rejuvenate and to specialize into tissues. This discovery also initiates the ethical debate on human embryonic stem cell research because his team derives the stem cells through a process that destroys human embryos.
  • HHS Legal Opinion OKs Research on hESC Lines

    HHS Legal Opinion OKs Research on hESC Lines
    NIH Director Harold Varmus receives a legal opinion from DHHS general council Harriet Rabb. Rabb finds that the Dickey-Wicker amendment does not apply to federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells because the cells do not meet the statutory definition of an embryo. The cells, however, would have to be derived with private funding.
  • Harold Varmus Appoints Oversight Committee

    Harold Varmus Appoints Oversight Committee
    Harold Varmus appoints an oversight committee to draft guidelines for federally funding embryonic stem cells. The committee includes scientists, clinicians, ethicists, lawyers, patients, and patent advocates.
  • Period: to

    NIH Guidelines and Bush Disapproval

    The NIH develops guidelines for funding human embryonic stem cell research, but presidential candidate George W. Bush declares his opposition to the research in a campaign speech, so the NIH remains cautious about entertaining funding proposals until after the presidential election.
  • NIH Guidelines for Research Go Into Effect

    NIH Guidelines for Research Go Into Effect
    NIH Guidelines for Research Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells are published in the Federal Register over the summer and go into effect. They stipulate: human embryonic stem cells must be derived with private funds from frozen embryos from fertility clinics; they must have been created for fertility treatment purposes; be in excess of the donor’s clinical need; and obtained with the consent of the donor. These guidelines also outlawed the federal funding of stem cells derived from embryos creat
  • Grant Application Review Postponed for Bush Administration

    Grant Application Review Postponed for Bush Administration
    NIH postpones reviewing grant applications for human embryonic stem cell research in order to give the Bush administration time to review HHS policies.
  • President Bush Prohibits Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    President Bush Prohibits Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    ■President Bush prohibits the federal funding of any research using stem cell lines derived after August 9, 2001, but his policy does not affect research in the private sector or research conducted with state funding. The president claims that more than 60 stem cell lines are available for funding.
  • President’s Council on Bioethic: “Monitoring Stem Cell Research”

    President’s Council on Bioethic: “Monitoring Stem Cell Research”
    The President’s Council on Bioethics, chaired by Leon Kass, publishes Monitoring Stem Cell Research, a report that contains “no proposed guidelines and regulations, nor indeed any specific recommendations for public policy.” But according to Kass, the overarching goal of the report is “to convey the moral and social importance of the issue at hand and to demonstrate how people of different backgrounds, ethical beliefs, and policy preferences can reason together about it.”
  • National Academies Releases “Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research”

    National Academies Releases “Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research”
    The National Academies releases its “Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.” In the news release, committee co-chair Richard O. Hynes explains, “A standard set of requirements for deriving, storing, distributing, and using embryonic stem cell lines – one to which the entire U.S. scientific community adheres- is the best way for this research to move forward.”
  • President Bush Calls for Work on Alternate Sources

    President Bush Calls for Work on Alternate Sources
    ■President Bush issues an executive order calling upon the HHS secretary to support and encourage research on alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells. He also requests that the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry be renamed the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry.
  • Yamanaka and Thomson Independently Derive iPS Cells

    Yamanaka and Thomson Independently Derive iPS Cells
    Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison both publish papers on their separate discoveries of induced pluripotent stem cells. These pluripotent cells were created from skin cells that had four genes inserted into them with viruses. This procedure resulted in the skin cells acquiring properties similar to embryonic stem cells. Researchers were able to coax these so-called iPS cells into becoming beating heart cells and nerve cells.
  • Report: Only 16 of 21 Lines Eligible for Federally Funding Were Ethically Derived

    Report: Only 16 of 21 Lines Eligible for Federally Funding Were Ethically Derived
    Robert Streiffer, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, publishes a paper detailing his investigation into the consent forms for the federally approved human embryonic stem cell lines. Although 21 lines were viable at the time, he discovers that no more than 16 are both viable and ethically derived.
  • New Administration Begins

    New Administration Begins
    Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, having promised to change the current restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research.
  • President Obama Reverses George W. Bush’s 2001 Executive Order

    President Obama Reverses George W. Bush’s 2001 Executive Order
    ■President Obama Issues Executive Order: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells
  • Stem cell pioneer Ernest McCulloch dies

    Stem cell pioneer Ernest McCulloch dies
    Ernest McCulloch, who was part of the team that first proved the existence of stem cells, died at the age of 84 just days before a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery. The cause of death is unknown. McCulloch was born in Toronto and worked as a lead researcher at the Ontario Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto.
  • Advanced Cell Technology Wins FDA Approval To Test Stem Cell Therapy For Degenerative Eye Disease

    Advanced Cell Technology Wins FDA Approval To Test Stem Cell Therapy For Degenerative Eye Disease
    Regenerative medicine company Advanced Cell Technology received federal approval from the US FDA to begin a multi-centre clinical trial that tests human embryonic stem cell treatment on patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, a disease that causes blindness.