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NIH's Role in Federal Policy

Stem Cell Research

On August 9th, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that federal funds may be awarded for research using human embryonic stem cells if the following criteria are met:

  • The derivation process (which begins with the destruction of the embryo) was initiated prior to 9:00 P.M. EDT on August 9, 2001.
  • The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes and was no longer needed.
  • Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo and that donation must not have involved financial inducements.

The NIH, as the Federal government's leading biomedical research organization, is implementing the President's policy. The NIH funds research scientists to conduct research on existing human embryonic stem cells and to explore the enormous promise of these unique cells, including their potential to produce breakthrough therapies and cures.

Investigators from ten laboratories in the United States, Australia, India, Israel, and Sweden have derived stem cells from 71 individual, genetically diverse blastocysts. These derivations meet the President's criteria for use in federally funded human embryonic stem cell research. The NIH has consulted with each of the investigators who have derived these cells. These scientists are working with the NIH and the research community to establish a research infrastructure to ensure the successful handling and the use of these cells in the laboratory.

To review the list of the international research organizations that have derived cell lines that are eligible for funding under the President's policy, see

To review a list of those eligible cell lines that are available for currently available for shipping to researchers, see