NIH Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to the NIH Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Proposed Scope of an NIH Steering Committee’s Consideration of Certain Human-Animal Chimera Research

Today, in the Federal Register and the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, the NIH published a notice requesting public comment on a proposal to amend Section IV and V of the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research.  Additionally, the notice asks for comments on the proposed scope of certain human-animal chimera research that would be considered internally by an NIH steering committee established to provide programmatic input to the director of the relevant NIH Institute(s) or Center(s) or equivalent NIH officials responsible for funding decisions.    

Due to the growing knowledge and advancement of stem cell biology, some scientists are exploring strategies for growing human tissue and organs in animals through the introduction of human pluripotent cells into early stage embryos of non-human vertebrate animals.  Though NIH does not currently fund this type of research, NIH issued a funding moratorium on this type of research so that the current state of the science could be assessed.  NIH subsequently held a workshop with experts on November 6, 2015, to review the state of the science and discuss animal welfare issues.

Interested stakeholders and members of the public are encourage to submit comments on the proposed draft policy via the following public comment form.

For a more in-depth discussion of this issue, we encourage you to read the latest “Under the Poliscope” blog by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy.

The materials associated with this proposal are also available now on the NIH Office of Science Policy website.

If you have any questions or require further information about the proposed policy, please contact us at SciencePolicy@mail.nih.gov