In the decades-long controversy over stem cell research, misinformation abounds. From a medical perspective, the debate is settled: research that destroys human embryos has not produced a single validated treatment for any disease, much less delivered on sweeping promises of miraculous cures. Adult stem cells, harvested ethically from sources like bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, as well as induced pluripotent stem cells created by the reengineering of body cells, are already saving lives and revolutionizing medicine. CLI has extensively documented the validated, peer-reviewed science on adult stem cells, making the case that policy leaders have a responsibility to put the patient first and fund therapies with a proven record of success.

Fact Sheet: Responses Regarding Poor Prenatal Diagnosis

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This fact sheet outlines the various responses to a “poor prenatal diagnosis” for a fetal abnormality, noting especially recent medical advances well as the life-affirming option for perinatal hospice.

Seeking Pro-life Leadership at the National Institutes of Health

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

In a recent op-ed, Dr. David Prentice and Congressman Jim Banks argue that it’s time for a change in leadership at the National Institutes of Health: Dr. Francis Collins has not shown any pro-life leadership at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In fact, in an interview, Dr. Collins‘ response to a congressional letter outlining pro-life members’ […]

Fact Sheet: Adult Stem Cell Research and Transplants

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Adult stem cell transplants are already widely used to the benefit of over a million people. Well over 1 million patients worldwide have been treated with adult stem cells and experienced improved health, based on data gathered by December 2012.

Near Absence of Embryonic Stem Cells in California Clinical Trial Program

Eugene C. Tarne  

In 2013, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) – the nation’s largest funder of stem cell research outside of the federal government – authorized a new program, the Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network.

The Network’s goal, according to CIRM, “is to accelerate the development and delivery of stem cell treatments to patients.”  To achieve this, CIRM approved $70 million “to create a new statewide network of sites that will act as a hub for stem cell clinical trials.”  CIRM envisioned a network of “up to five clinic sites at established academic institutions.”  To date, three Alpha Stem Cell Clinics have been created, housed at City of Hope, University of California San Diego, and UCLA/UC Irvine.

Backgrounder: We Need a New NIH Director

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On April 25, 2017, Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D., was published in USA Today on the need for a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director. The backgrounder below provides summary main points and sources on the position of current NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins in support of human embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and the creation of ethically-questionable human-animal chimeras.

Q&A with the Scholars: Science, Ethics, and Fetal Tissue

Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D.  

Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., is a Molecular and Cell Biologist with over 15 years of experience in academic research and healthcare. In this interview, she discusses genetic testing for diagnosis and treatment of children and the ethical and scientific issues surrounding the use of fetal tissue procured from abortion for research.

Written Testimony of Sheila Page, D.O., in Support of Texas Bill to Prohibit Dismemberment Abortions

Sheila Page, D.O.  

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Texas Committee of Health and Human Services held a hearing regarding Texas Senate Bill 415 (SB 415). SB 415 prohibits dismemberment abortions, in which a person, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, dismembers the unborn child and extracts the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus. Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar Sheila Page, D.O., submitted the following written testimony in support of SB 415.

Written Testimony of Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., in Support of Texas Bill to Prohibit Human Fetal Tissue Research

Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D.  

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Texas Committee of Health and Human Services held a hearing regarding Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB 8). SB 8 prohibits partial-birth abortions, prohibits donation of human fetal tissue except by certain authorized facilities to accredited universities, and prohibits the purchase or sale of human fetal tissue. Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., submitted the following written testimony in support of SB 8.

Video: Dr. Joel McGuirk and the Adult Stem Cell Revolution

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Today the Charlotte Lozier Institute releases its sixth in its series of Stem Cell Research Facts videos. This story features the work of Dr. Joseph McGuirk, an adult stem cell expert at the University of Kansas Hospital, and tells the story of Chance Runnion’s recovery from leukemia after an adult stem cell transplant.

Q&A with the Scholars: Science and the Beginning of Human Life

Maureen Condic, Ph.D.  

Maureen Condic, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah. She has been a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a distinguished group of physicians, scientists, and theologians from the international community whose mission it is to study questions and issues regarding the promotion and defense of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective, since 2014. In this interview, she discusses the beginning of human life and the moral status of the human being.

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Grants for Stem Cell Research Favor Ethical Approaches

Eugene C. Tarne  

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) has awarded two rounds of grants since the Charlotte Lozier Institute last analyzed the Fund’s pattern of grant making for stem cell research, in the fall of 2013. That study found that since MSCRF first began awarding grants in 2007, its pattern of giving shifted over the years from strongly favoring projects focusing on ethically contentious human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR) to projects focusing on ethically non-contentious adult stem cells and other non-embryonic stem cell research.

Protecting Conscience, Respecting our Heritage

Tim Bradley  

The Brocher Foundation, spread throughout eight buildings laying on three acres of land in Geneva, Switzerland, is dedicated to providing a meeting venue for “scientists and experts in the ethical, legal and social implications of the development of medical research and biotechnologies” to gather and collaborate on bioethical issues.

iPSCs: A New Gold Standard in Regenerative Medicine?

Eugene C. Tarne  

A recent press release from the National Institutes of Health calls attention to a study, published in Stem Cell Reports, that researchers have “developed a clinical-grade stem cell line, which has the potential to accelerate the advance of new medical applications and cell-based therapies for millions of people suffering from such ailments as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, and muscular dystrophy.” The development of these clinical grade stem cells, the release notes, “removes a significant barrier in the development of cell-based therapies.” But is NIH’s promotion of “stem cells” anything new?

Next Station Stop: The Embryo Farm?

Eugene C. Tarne  

One of the earliest attempts to square this circle of trying to conduct morally problematic research within ethical guidelines is the “14-day rule” for embryo research. The rule has allowed embryo research outside the womb for up to 14 days post-fertilization, after which time the embryo would be destroyed. Although the origins of the rule go back over 40 years, it has been much in the news lately as scientists have developed methods to considerably extend the life of embryos outside the womb.

Fox Foundation Funding Patterns Favor Ethical Approaches

Eugene C. Tarne  

Beginning in the 1990’s, and throughout the first years of the 21st century, perhaps no other political or social cause célèbre attracted as many celebrities as human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR).

Christopher Reeve, Kevin Kline, Michael J. Fox and Mary Tyler Moore, among others, all made their way to Capitol Hill to testify in support of increased federal funding of hESCR (during her congressional testimony on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Ms. Moore famously said human embryos have “no more resemblance to a human being than a goldfish”)…

Testimony of Dr. David Prentice in Support of Arizona Bill to Prohibit Fetal Tissue Trafficking

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, the Arizona House Judiciary Committee panel held a hearing to consider SB 1474, introduced by Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) to prohibit fetal tissue trafficking. After the hearing, the panel voted to pass the bill, which will now head to the full House.

Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. David Prentice, Ph.D. submitted the following written testimony in support of the legislation.

California Stem Cell Clinical Trials Show Ethical Alternatives Are Most Promising

Eugene C. Tarne  

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) ended 2015 by adopting a new Strategic Plan, calling it a “bold new vision for the future” designed to streamline, over the next five years, the process of bringing stem cell research to clinical trial.

Dubbed “CIRM 2.0” the plan is characterized as “a radical overhaul” of business as usual in order to achieve CIRM’s mission to “accelerate the development of stem cell therapies to patients with unmet medical needs.”

According to Jonathon Thomas, CIRM’s chair of the board, the first step in developing the new plan was “us throwing out all our preconceived notions.”

Written Testimony of David A. Prentice, Ph.D.: Update on Progress of Kansas’ Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center Research

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

In this testimony before multiple Kansas state Senate and House committees, Dr. David Prentice briefs legislators on the progress of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. The Kansas stem cell center is focused on patients, with an emphasis on therapy, dissemination of information, and comprehensive view to fulfilling its mission. The MSCTC only works with non-controversial stem cell sources—adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells; embryonic and fetal sources are not used, in keeping the focus on the patient and deliverable therapies.

New Video: Child with High Risk Leukemia Recovers after Adult Stem Cell Transplant

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Today the Charlotte Lozier Institute released its newest Stem Cell Research Facts video telling the story of 10-year-old Devon Weaver of Arizona. For many years, Devon’s parents and doctors were mystified as to why he struggled with everyday activities such as sitting up by himself and feeding himself, and why at four years old his bone density was that of a two-year-old. Finally, when Devon was eight, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) – a high-risk leukemia with a slim survival rate of 5 to 10 percent in children.

Time to End Embryo-Destroying Stem Cell Research

Eugene C. Tarne  

Will induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) finally replace human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in the field of regenerative medical research?

Results of a recent study published in Nature Biotechnology argue that they should.

First, some background.

In 2007, Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka discovered a method to create fully pluripotent, embryonic-like stem cells from ordinary somatic (body) cells. The ability to do this had been characterized as the “holy grail” of stem cell research and, indeed, Yamanaka’s achievement changed the field of regenerative medicine. So groundbreaking was his discovery that he was awarded the Nobel Prize just five years after announcing it.

Stem Cell Awareness Day: Major Research Center’s Quest for Cures Uses Ethical Sources Only

Eugene C. Tarne  

Recently, numerous research facilities, both public and private, marked “Stem Cell Awareness Day,” holding lectures, issuing statements and highlighting ongoing progress in the field of regenerative medicine.

Among those participating was the University of California, Davis, one of the country’s leading institutions for stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Writing in her local newspaper, the Davis Enterprise, Jan Nolta, the director of the Stem Cell Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine, highlighted the program’s “numerous novel clinical trials ongoing and in the pipeline” and its 16 disease teams testing stem cells to treat the following…

New Video Celebrates Patient’s Recovery from Blood Cancer after Adult Stem Cell Transplant

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

On Monday, the Charlotte Lozier Institute released a new video which tells the story of 67-year-old Bill Bourland, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood cancer called Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). Thanks to his wife’s determination, a fortuitous meeting with a neighbor, a doctor experienced with adult stem cell treatment, and the generosity of his brother, Bill has received a second chance at life with a clean bill of health.

Clarifying a White House Letter on Stem Cell Research

Eugene C. Tarne  

The White House recently launched a site on Tumblr to feature letters sent to the president by the American people.

The handful of letters posted so far cover a variety of subjects, including the usual suspects such as jobs, wages, healthcare and the economy.

But one letter in particular stands out and has garnered attention in the media — including media overseas e.g., here and here.

The letter is from 15-year-old Gavin Nore of Iowa. Early in 2013, Gavin was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Gavin courageously fought back against his diagnosis. Doctors utilized stem cells to treat Gavin and this treatment, combined with Gavin’s bravery, led to victory in his battle against this cancer.

CLI Director of Research David Prentice, Ph.D., Becomes Featured Author for Bioethics Quarterly

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly is an invaluable resource not only for insights on ethical issues but news about key developments in medicine and technology. This summer NCBQ added a new author to its array of resources, a regular update on Science written by Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Director of Research, David Prentice, Ph.D.

Written Testimony of David A. Prentice, Ph.D. in Support of Wisconsin Bill to Prohibit Sales and Use of Fetal Body Parts from Abortion

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the Wisconsin Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 305, which would prohibit certain sales and uses of fetal body parts “from an unborn child aborted from an induced abortion.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D submitted the following written testimony in support of AB 305.

Planned Parenthood’s Fetal Tissue and Organ Harvesting Forces a Reconsideration of Medical Ethics

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Over the past few weeks you have most likely seen – unless you work at the White House – the undercover videos released by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which show various Planned Parenthood employees discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal organs and body parts. The negotiations caught on camera suggest that these transactions are not at all unusual for the organization nor are they limited to these few incidences but are, in fact, systemic throughout the organization. This suggests that Planned Parenthood, which performs about 330,000 abortions a year in the United States, has found a way to make abortion even more profitable.

Stem Cell Research: Predictions, Predilections and Progress

Eugene C. Tarne  

A recent blog posted on the science/technology website Gizmodo conducts an interesting thought experiment. The author goes back 10 years to the December, 2005, issue of Scientific American. In that issue was the “Scientific American 50” – a list of the 50 leading scientific trends for that year.

The author wanted to see what has happened, 10 years on, in realizing “the highly-touted breakthroughs of the era that would supposedly change everything.” The author writes that she chose 2005 “because 10 years seemed recent enough for continuity between scientific questions then and now but also long enough ago for actual progress. More importantly, I chose Scientific American because the magazine publishes sober assessments of science, often by scientists themselves.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute Presents First Video on Life-Saving Adult Stem Cell Success

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Today, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) presents its first-ever video celebrating one account of a life-saving ethical adult stem cell treatment.

The short video recounts the poignant story of Paul Wagle, a young man from Kansas who was diagnosed with cancer at age 10 and endured chemotherapy for two-and-a-half years only to then relapse. He was offered adult stem cell treatment, and the rest is history.

Written Testimony of David A. Prentice, Ph.D.: Progress on Kansas’ Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center Research

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

In this testimony before multiple Kansas state Senate and House committees, Dr. David Prentice briefs legislators on the progress of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. There are currently about 53 centers nationwide conducting ethical adult stem cell research for therapies to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas is unique, comprehensive, and focused on patients first.

Ethical Adult Stem Cell Treatments Result in “Profound Improvement” for MS Patients

Eugene C. Tarne  

British media are reporting a significant development in the use of ethical, non-embryonic stem cells to treat patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and, perhaps, other auto-immune diseases.

Auto-immune diseases are caused by an abnormal immune response which causes the immune system to attack and destroy healthy tissues in a person’s own body. Such diseases include Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and lupus, among many others. While the exact cause is not known, many researchers believe multiple sclerosis occurs when a person’s immune system attacks tissue of the brain and spinal cord, resulting in severe pain, impaired movement and in the most extreme cases, death.

The Continuing Promise of Non-Embryonic Stem Cells

Eugene C. Tarne  

The California based City of Hope, one of the country’s leading cancer research hospitals, recently sent out birthday greetings to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the nation’s leading funder — apart from the federal government – of stem cell research.

“On its 10th birthday, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine celebrated 10 stem cell therapies that have been approved for clinical trials, including an HIV/AIDS trial at City of Hope,” the message read.

The birthday greeting contained an unintended irony, for while CIRM was approved by California voters a decade ago to give priority funding to human embryonic stem cell research, eight of the 10 approved clinical trials referenced by City of Hope were for research projects using adult and other non-embryonic stem cells.

Scientific Advances in Stem Cell Research Continue to Make Use of Embryos Outdated and Unnecessary

Eugene C. Tarne  

Diabetes has long been one of the main diseases for which human embryonic stem cell (embryo-destroying) research, or hESCR, was claimed to hold the greatest promise of curing.

But for well over a decade now, ethically contentious human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR) has notably failed to live up to all its hype, with promises of miracle cures within “five to 10 years” remaining unfulfilled.

That remains true today, despite all the renewed hype that accompanied recent reports that researchers had coaxed hESCs into becoming insulin-producing cells.

Improving Joyful Lives: Society’s Response to Difference and Disability

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This paper looks at the highly complex genetic condition that is Down syndrome and society’s response to individuals with this condition. This important paper points out that while research to improve the lives of those with Down syndrome has progressed, federal funding for it lags considerably behind that for other genetic disorders. Policy recommendations are made for the support of those with this condition and their families.

Cloning is Cloning is Cloning

Eugene C. Tarne  

This primer on cloning examines the nature and purpose of human cloning in light of recent developments in stem cell technology. The paper points out that all cloning is reproductive and reflects on the immediate outcome of human cloning – a human embryo – while examining the terminology used by cloning advocates to obscure the facts.

Ethical Stem Cells: Back to Basics

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This report looks at the continuing pattern of stem cells research funding and finds that grants continue to be given to projects that show the most promise – namely ethical stem cell research.

Maryland Joins the Trend for Ethical Stem Cell Research

Eugene C. Tarne  

This paper continues the investigation of stem cell research funding in the United States by examining the funding patterns at the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission. This investigation reveals that the Maryland Commission is keeping with the trend of investing more money in ethical stem cell research as opposed to embryonic as it is this route which is providing demonstrable results.

Stem Cell Alternative Campaign Progressing in the European Union

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

A European grassroots initiative with the bold objective of protecting human life even in its most vulnerable embryonic state has gained considerable support across the continent- collecting over 850,000 signatures from a wide array of nations. The “One of Us” initiative is a valiant effort that has been taken up by groups and individuals across […]