UNC genetics professor named to NIH stem cell research review panel

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 — The National Institutes of Health has named UNC Sarah Graham Kenan genetics professor and chair Terry R. Magnuson, Ph.D., to a panel that will review the acceptability for federal research funds of human embryonic stem cell lines.

UNC genetics professor named to NIH stem cell research review panel click to enlarge Terry R. Magnuson, Ph.D.

The National Institutes of Health has named UNC Sarah Graham Kenan genetics professor and chair Terry R. Magnuson, Ph.D., to a panel that will review the acceptability for federal research funds of human embryonic stem cell lines.

As part of the advisory group to the agency’s director, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Magnuson, director of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, will be joined by eight others also named to the Working Group for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Eligibility Review.

Also effective Monday, Sept. 21, the NIH opened an interactive Web site, http://stemcells.nih.gov/, via which online requests for stem cell review can be made and information submitted.

On March 9, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The executive order states that the secretary of health and human services, “through the director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.”

The NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research were published on July 7, 2009, and are available at http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/2009guidelines.htm.

The working group will determine that applications from researchers who want to add specific lines of human embryonic stem cells to the agency’s official stem cell registry meet all documentation required in the guidelines.

An NIH advisory committee will then make recommendations to Collins. Collins will make the final decision about whether a cell line is acceptable for federal funds.

 “I appreciate the willingness of these individuals to assist NIH in supporting responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, as encouraged by the President’s Executive Order,” Collins said. “Their expertise and sound judgment will help NIH move forward in this important effort.”

In a scientific career rounded by numerous awards, honors and publications, from 2004-2007, Magnuson served on the Genetics Society of America Board of Directors and several NIH Mammalian Genome Advisory Panels. He also served on the 2004 National Research Council Panel that established voluntary guidelines for use of human embryonic stem cells by university-based researchers.

Media contact: Les Lang (919) 966-9366, llang@med.unc.edu

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