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Please refer to the documents below for guidelines for hESC research

National Academy of Sciences - hESC Guidelines 2005

National Academy of Sciences - 2007 Guideline Amendments

ISSCR Guidelines


Why do we need guidelines?

Ethical concerns in the field of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research have necessitated the need for guidelines and regulations to ensure that the scientific community abides by a standard policy when using this valuable resource. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Guidelines for Research with Human Embryonic Stem Cells (2005 and 2007 guidelines) and the New Jersey Regulations require the formation of an institutional Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committee. 

To meet this request, Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) established a joint ESCRO Committee.

While the website is not fully completed, the NAS Guidelines can be found at the above links.


What are we doing to help you?

The Rutgers/RWJMS Joint ESCRO Committee is charged with reviewing and approving proposed hESC research to ensure that investigators follow the National Academy of Sciences Guidelines for work with human embryonic stem cells and to ensure all grants or projects meet the requirements.  Although federally mandated , the ESCRO Committee views itself as a valuable  resource to the research community by helping scientists comply with the various requirements and maintain the highest ethical standards of research that have come to be expected and demonstrated by  Rutgers and RWJMS  investigators.  During the review process, projects may be found to be accepted as is, or the Committee will work with the investigators to modify the projects to ensure that the current hESC standards are met. 

In this manner, the ESCRO Committee goal is to

help researchers gain the proper type of emerging approvals

in the field for grants and academic publishing.

How will we do our job?

The ESCRO Committee will work in concert with;

  1. Institutional Review Boards for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB);
  2. Institutional Animal Care and Facilities Committees (IACUC);
  3. the Biosafety Committees and;
  4. Offices of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP);

and ensure that all federal and institutional compliance requirements are met. Regardless of funding or research site, approvals are needed from the appropriate compliance committees prior to the start of work.  Grant funds will not be released until all appropriate approvals are issued.  


Who is on the ESCRO Committee?

While some Committee members may also be scientists engaged in human ESC research, there are additional members not involved in this line of work, who will also ensure the reports and decisions are non-biased, and without conflict of interest.   Furthermore, interaction with the IRB and the administration of Rutgers will ensure that the ESCRO office carries its mission of compliance.  Specific names of committee members will be published shortly. 


Who can answer my questions?

Dr. Rick Cohen, the Director of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Training Course, and an ESCRO Committee member, can answer any questions you may have about the guidelines, and help you complete the form.


Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this important matter.

The ESCRO Committee.