Human Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee Information
The Human Stem Cell Research (HSCR) Advisory Committee was established by Senate Bill 322 (Ortiz, 2003) (Chapter 506, Statutes of 2003) Health and Safety Code Section 125118.5 to serve as an independent resource and consultant to the State on human stem cell research. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) was statutorily required through Health and Safety Code Section 125118.5(b)(1-4) to enlist a diverse group of specialists to serve on the Advisory Committee including:
- Seven scientists with experience in biomedical research in the field of cell differentiation, nuclear reprogramming, tissue formation and regeneration, stem cell biology, developmental biology, regenerative medicine or related fields,
- Two medical ethicists,
- Two persons with backgrounds in legal issues related to human embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, or family law, as it applies to the donation of embryos,
- And, two persons who are members or leaders of religious organizations.
The HSCR Advisory Committee’s role was to provide advice and recommendations to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on the minimum standards to be followed by any person, institution, or entity conducting non-California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) fully funded human stem cell research within the State. The HSCR Advisory Committee has assisted CDPH in developing statewide guidelines for human stem cell research that is consistent with existing federal legislation, national guidelines, and CIRM regulations for human stem cell research, but also addresses specific issues, such as clinical trials, in human stem cell research that other regulations and guidelines do not address.
SB 1260 (Ortiz, 2006) (Chapter 483, Statutes of 2006) enacted Health and Safety Code Sections 125118, 125119, 125119.3, 125119.5, and 125300 that carried on many of the mandates of SB 322 after the provisions of the bill sunset on January 1, 2007, including developing guidelines for human stem cell research. Additionally, SB 1260 enacted statutes commencing with Health and Safety Code Section 125330 for the protection of women’s reproductive health through the monitoring of oocytes (eggs) donated for research. Although the provision in Health and Safety Code Section 125118.5 that established the HSCR Advisory Committee through the passage of SB 322 in 2003 was not continued in SB 1260, the HSCR Program felt there was a need for the continued advisement of the expert Committee on the technical, legal and ethical issues surrounding human stem cell research, particularly as stem cell science evolves and new issues arise. The HSCR Advisory Committee members were re-nominated in January 2007 and will continue to be actively engaged in the HSCR Program assisting with any revisions that need to be made to the CDPH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research.