The Human Stem Cell Research (HSCR) Advisory Committee was enacted in 2003 through SB 1260 (Ortiz, 2003) (Chapter 506, Statutes of 2003) Health and Safety Code Section 125118.5 and was established in 2005 when 13 specialists were nominated to advise the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on the technical, ethical and legal issues surrounding human stem cell research. The first meeting of the HSCR Advisory Committee was held in February 2006 to discuss the development of s tatewide guidelines for human stem cell research. A draft of the statewide guidelines was posted on the CDPH website in November 2006 for a public comment period of five weeks. The HSCR Advisory Committee thoroughly addressed the complex issues brought forth through public comments at the December 2006 meeting and revised the proposed guidelines accordingly. CDPH finalized the statewide guidelines for human stem cell research in June 2007.
Although the provision in Health and Safety Code Section 125118.5 that required the establishment of the HSCR Advisory Committee sunset on January 1, 2007, the HSCR Program extended the tenure of the HSCR Advisory Committee members. The HSCR Advisory Committee continues to meet to provide advisement to the Department on many of the evolving issues in stem cell research, and in the continual update of the human stem cell research guidelines in response to developments in stem cell science.