May 7, 2002
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
PHONE: 410-955-5384

Ethics and Stem Cell Science: Our Capabilities, Our Conscience  
Hopkins Bioethics Institute to Host Symposium on May 15, Featuring John Gearhart, Ph.D.

Few scientific discoveries have ignited an ethical, medical and legal furor as has the isolation and culture of human pluripotential stem cells and their potential application for treating humans. Researchers, government officials, ethicists, and religious and other groups are debating hotly the use of stem cells and their potential to treat such diseases as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, coronary heart, stroke, and diabetes, as well as traumatic injuries to nerves. Last fall, President Bush authorized federal funding of research using only the existing stem cell lines, a decision that has satisfied few. Just weeks ago, he reiterated his opposition to therapeutic cloning.

John Gearhart, Ph.D., the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and one of the first scientists to isolate and culture human pluripotential stem cells, will discuss the ethical and scientific issues surrounding stem cell research and therapeutic cloning as part of the Robert H. Levi Lecture series in bioethics and public policy by the Johns Hopkins Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute.

The symposium will be held on Wednesday, May 15, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the East Wing Auditorium of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Reporter's Note:
To interview Gearhart or Ruth Faden, Ph.D., executive director of the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, call Gary Stephenson at 410-955-5384 or e-mail him at


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