Stem Cells & ESCRO

Policies and Guidance

Stem cell research holds much promise for a greater understanding of basic biology, human development, and disease progression and for the potential creation of therapies that rebuild or replace damaged cells.  Harvard University has a strong commitment to advancing, supporting and overseeing the ethical conduct of this research through the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Harvard University Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight ("ESCRO") Committee.

The ESCRO Committee performs ethical and scientific reviews of all research involving the derivation and research use of embryos, human embryonic stem cells and certain activities involving non-embryonic stem cells, human neural stem cells, and human gametes.  Its scope includes use of anonymous materials that may not require consideration by an Institutional Review Board ("IRB").  For more information about applying for ESCRO Committee review and approval, the Committee meeting schedule or regarding ESCRO policies and procedures please see the ESCRO Committee website.