Wisconsin Stem Cell Now: Statement on stem cell research executive order

Contact: Sachin Chheda, 414-412-6099

Ed Fallone, 414-412-5772

MILWAUKEE – On Friday, President Barack Obama announced he would issue an Executive Order removing limitations on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that were imposed by President George W. Bush. The Executive Order is expected on Monday. Ed Fallone, President of Wisconsin Stem Cell Now, made the following statement in response to the news:

”This is a day that my family, along with other families of those stricken with chronic disease or disability, has been praying for over the last several years. We applaud President Obama and his commitment towards renewing American leadership in medical research and the search for cures.”

Since 2001, President Bush’s Executive Order prohibited the use of federal funds to support embryonic stem cell research, one of the most promising areas of medical research in generations. Scientists using state funding and private dollars have made incredible advances in cellular biology over the last eight years, using stem cell lines derived from embryos that would otherwise be discarded by in vitro fertilization clinics. Still, without the possibility of federal funding for this research, developments in the field have been slowed and some researchers have been deterred from entering the field.

“While stem cell lines can now be derived from multiple sources, including adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, President Obama’s Executive Order will open up federal funding for what is still considered to be “the gold standard” of stem cell research by leading scientists. No longer will the federal government impose ideological litmus tests that handicap promising areas of research into the origins and cures of diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

“It’s also important to note that much of the existing research in this field has its roots in Wisconsin. Our state’s patients, research entities, and biotechnology companies all stand to gain with the President’s action. However, all Americans will ultimately benefit from President Obama’s support of scientific knowledge. ”