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August 26, 2010
NIH Director’s Response to Stem Cell Injunction
"Human embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for the development of treatments for people threatened by potentially curable diseases. The recent court ruling that halted the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research could cause irreparable damage and delay potential breakthroughs to improve care for people living with serious diseases and conditions such as spinal cord injury, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. The injunction threatens to stop progress in one of the most encouraging areas of biomedical research, just as scientists are gaining momentum — and squander the investment we have already made. The possibility of using these cells to replace those that have been damaged by disease or injury is one of the most breathtaking advances we can envision. Human embryonic stem cells also represent a powerful new approach to the early stages of screening for new drugs, and may hold the secrets to creating entirely new, targeted clinical therapies. We must move forward — without delay — to sustain this field of research that provides so much hope for thousands of patients and their families."
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.,
Director, National Institutes of Health