The Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM) at the University of Pennsylvania thanks the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) for providing updated ethical guidance that covers emerging areas of the rapidly changing field of stem cell research.

As a community of regenerative biologists, engineers, and clinicians, the IRM values ethically responsible conduct of research. For years, researchers in our field have looked to the ISSCR guidelines for practical information with regard to balancing the progress of science with the moral and ethical concerns of both the scientific community and the diverse stakeholders affected by our work, including patients, policymakers, and members of the general public.

Recent breakthroughs in stem cell-based models of early human development, organoids, chimeras, and other cutting-edge research areas have warranted new attention to ethical implications. By convening international experts and respected leaders in areas of stem cell science, ethics, and law to review the latest science, the ISSCR helps researchers at institutes like ours consider the questions that arise from these new discoveries.

The IRM is committed to advancing stem cell science in an ethically responsible manner. Last November, we hosted a special Symposium on Human Development to allow members of the Penn community to learn about the new technologies and discuss their societal implications. Our scientists rigorously adhere to federal and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania conduct of research laws and the University of Pennsylvania’s ethical review systems for human and animal research. As in the past, the ISSCR guidelines will act as a supplement to these policies and a template for future discussions in our field.

IRM leadership encourages all stem cell and regenerative scientists at Penn and beyond to review the latest ISSCR guidelines and integrate them into their approaches to research.

The IRM will continue to highlight and discuss the scientific and ethical dimensions of our field as we advance regenerative medicine towards a future where patients that currently lack treatment options will have therapeutics and diagnostics based our work.

The ISSCR’s full guidelines can be found online.