Whether they're seeking information on human-subjects
protections, e-prescribing, the promotions process, or translational
research, School of Medicine faculty members have been able to find
resources through a special tab on the university's online portal,
In January 2007, leaders from across the Johns Hopkins University
established the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Embryonic
Stem Cell Research Oversight (JHU SOM ESCRO) Committee, consistent
with guidelines issued by the National Research Council and the
Institute of Medicine. To date, fifty-seven applications have been
reviewed by the ESCRO Committee, third-year review of the first
ESCRO-approved application has been completed, and annual review
notices are being sent to principal investigators in a timely manner.
Given the rapidly changing nature of stem cell research, policies,
and regulations across jurisdictions, new ethical challenges and
scientific dilemmas call for reflection and decision. The ESCRO
leadership, committed to ongoing review of the current trends, has
recently updated the Policies & Procedures to include oversight
of additional types of human pluripotent stem cell research. As
such, the name of the Committee has been changed from "ESCRO"
to "ISCRO" (Institutional Stem Cell Research Oversight),
consistent with the International Society for Stem Cell Research
(ISSCR) term of "SCRO". The revision in committee name
and purview is based upon evolving science, policy trends, and the
desire for consistency. It does not mean however, that oversight
will extend to all stem cell research.
In addition to all research using human embryonic stem (hES) cells
and/or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) involving human cells
being conducted by JHU faculty, staff or students or involving the
use of JHU facilities, the following is also subject to oversight
by the ISCRO Committee:
Other hPSCs (e.g., human induced pluripotent stem cells [iPSCs], human embryonic germ cells [hEGCs]) where the research involves:
As stem cell research continues to be in the forefront of medical
research, the ethical controversies over pluripotent stem cells
are prominent. The ISCRO Committee collaborates with other entities
charged with other aspects of research oversight and will continue
to serve as a consultative body for related research that does not
fall under its purview.
This is a reminder that awards funded by the Maryland Stem Cell
Research Commission require researchers to obtain approval from
the IRB, and possibly the ISCRO Committee prior to commencing work
using these funds.
Please refer to the recently revised JHU ISCRO Website at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.