International Society for Stem Cell Research

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
HeadquartersSkokie, Illinois, United States
Christine Mummery
Nancy Witty[1]
Employees (2020)

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Skokie, Illinois, United States. The organization's mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health.


The International Society for Stem Cell Research was formed in 2002 (incorporated on March 30, 2001) to foster the exchange of information on stem cell research.[2] Leonard Zon, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, served as the organization's first president.[3]

In June 2003, the International Society for Stem Cell Research held its first convention.[4] More than 600 scientists attended, many of whom expressed frustration over restrictions that President George W. Bush's administration had placed on the field of stem-cell research, slowing the pace of research. Scientists who were leaders in their fields were prohibited from using funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct certain experiments that could provide significant medical achievements.[5]

As a service to the field, in 2006, the ISSCR developed guidelines that address the international diversity of cultural, political, legal, and ethical perspectives related to stem cell research and its translation to medicine.[6] The guidelines were designed to underscore widely shared principles in science that call for rigor, oversight, and transparency in all areas of practice. Adherence to the ISSCR guidelines would provide assurance that stem cell research is conducted with scientific and ethical integrity and that new therapies are evidence-based. In response to advances in science, the guidelines were updated in 2008, and again in 2016, to encompass a broader and more expansive scope of research and clinical endeavor than before, imposing rigor on all stages of research, addressing the cost of regenerative medicine products, and highlighting the need for accurate and effective public communication. The 2016 Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation have been adopted by researchers, clinicians, organizations, and institutions around the world.

In 2013, the Society's official journal, Stem Cell Reports, was established; it is published monthly by Cell Press on the Society's behalf.[7]

In March 2015, scientists, including an inventor of CRISPR, urged a worldwide hold on germline gene therapy, writing that "scientists should avoid even attempting, in lax jurisdictions, germline genome modification for clinical application in humans" until the full implications "are discussed among scientific and governmental organizations".[8][9][10][11]

After the publication that a Chinese group had used CRISPR to modify a gene in human embryos, the group repeated their call for a suspension of "attempts at human clinical germ-line genome editing while extensive scientific analysis of the potential risks is conducted, along with broad public discussion of the societal and ethical implications."[12]

The ISSCR’s Annual Meetings are the largest stem cell research conferences in the world, drawing nearly 3,900 attendees in 2020 for the organization's first global, virtual event, ISSCR 2020 Digital. The ISSCR’s membership includes international leaders of stem cell research and regenerative medicine representing more than 67 countries worldwide.[13]


  1. ^ "Headquarters Staff". International Society for Stem Cell Research. Accessed on May 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "About Us". International Society for Stem Cell Research.
  3. ^ "Officers & Board of Directors". Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  4. ^ The ISSCR (2008-08-07). "The ISSCR Annual Meeting Series". Cell Stem Cell. 3 (2): 156–158. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2008.07.014. ISSN 1934-5909.
  5. ^ Fischbach, Gerald D.; Fischbach, Ruth L. (2004-11-15). "Stem cells: science, policy, and ethics". Journal of Clinical Investigation. 114 (10): 1364–1370. doi:10.1172/JCI23549. ISSN 0021-9738. PMC 525749. PMID 15545983.
  6. ^ "Guidelines for Stem Cell Research". Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  7. ^ Mummery, Christine; Fischer, Yvonne; Gathier, Atie (2013-06-04). "Welcome to Stem Cell Reports". Stem Cell Reports. 1 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.05.003. ISSN 2213-6711. PMC 3757740. PMID 24052935.
  8. ^ Wade, Nicholas (19 March 2015). "Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome". New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  9. ^ Pollack, Andrew (3 March 2015). "A Powerful New Way to Edit DNA". New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  10. ^ Baltimore, David; Berg, Paul; Botchan, Dana; Charo, R. Alta; Church, George; Corn, Jacob E.; Daley, George Q.; Doudna, Jennifer A.; Fenner, Marsha; Greely, Henry T.; Jinek, Martin; Martin, G. Steven; Penhoet, Edward; Puck, Jennifer; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Weissman, Jonathan S.; Yamamoto, Keith R. (19 March 2015). "A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification". Science. 348 (6230): 36–8. Bibcode:2015Sci...348...36B. doi:10.1126/science.aab1028. PMC 4394183. PMID 25791083.
  11. ^ Lanphier, Edward; Urnov, Fyodor; Haecker, Sarah Ehlen; Werner, Michael; Smolenski, Joanna (26 March 2015). "Don't edit the human germ line". Nature. 519 (7544): 410–411. Bibcode:2015Natur.519..410L. doi:10.1038/519410a. PMID 25810189.
  12. ^ "Chinese Manipulation of Human Embryo Genes Draws Rebuke". Wall Street Journal. 23 April 2015.
  13. ^ "About ISSCR". Retrieved 2019-01-25.

External links[edit]