Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morrison to address Senate subcommittee on need for stem cell research funding

Sean Morrison, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Henry Sewall Professor in Medicine, is scheduled to testify Thursday at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing titled “The Promise of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.”

Morrison will discuss the need to continue federal funding for all types of stem cell research, including work on human embryonic stem cells.

“We simply do not yet know what kinds of stem cells will yield the scientific breakthroughs of the future or what kinds of stem cells will yield new treatments for disease. Therefore, we must pursue all forms of stem cell research in order to have the greatest chance of developing new therapies sooner rather than later,” Morrison said.

Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research had been blocked for about two weeks after a U.S. district judge issued a temporary injunction Aug. 23. A federal Court of Appeals panel lifted the ban last Thursday, allowing funding to continue while the issue undergoes further judicial review.

Morrison will address the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The hearing will be webcast at appropriations.senate.gov/.

Others scheduled to speak include Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. George Daley, director of Stem Cell Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Boston. Collins is a former U-M Medical School professor who led the Human Genome Project.