The role of the UConn/UConn Health Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee is to ensure that human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research is well-justified and that inappropriate and/or unethical research is not conducted. Its mandate is to provide oversight of ethical issues related to the derivation and research use of human pluripotent stem cell lines at all schools, colleges, campuses, and research arms of the University of Connecticut/UConn Health per University policy, regardless of the source of funding. From a legal perspective, the review and approval of human embryonic stem cell research by a SCRO committee or its equivalent is required by the State of Connecticut. At a deeper level, SCRO committees exist to protect both the public interest and the progress of biomedical stem cell research. The ethical mandate of the SCRO Committee is to ensure that appropriate respect is given to the value of human life.
SCRO approval is required prior to any of the following:
- All research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) (SCRO approval is required by the State of Connecticut and University policy.)
- In vitro human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) research involving the generation of gametes, embryos, or other totipotent cells (SCRO approval is required by University policy.)
- In vivo research involving introduction of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) directly into prenatal animals or into the central nervous system of post-natal animals or elsewhere in the animal where cells could potentially enter the central nervous system (SCRO approval is required by University policy.)
- Stem cell research project funded by the State of Connecticut through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund, including those that do not use human embryonic stem cells (SCRO approval is required by the State of Connecticut.docx.)
- All research with the development of brain or neural organoids using hESCs or iPSCs (SCRO approval is required by University policy.)
- All research involving Very Small Embryonic-like (VSEL) stem cells (SCRO approval is required by University policy.)