Stem cell research

Stem cell research has the potential to provide treatments for a host of debilitating diseases, but at the same time raises ethical and social issues and legal concerns of interest to Canadians.


CIHR developed the Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research in order to provide clear guidelines in response to rapidly evolving science and shifting public opinion, and to ensure ethical and scientific oversight.

The Panel on Research Ethics is proposing to integrate CIHR's Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research into the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). The consultation process closed January 15, 2014. Feedback obtained during the consultation will be made available on the Panel’s website at a later date.

Implementation of the Guidelines

The Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) has produced a series of reference documents to help researchers determine whether their proposals need to be reviewed, and if so, how to submit them. SCOC also maintains a list of human embryonic stem cell lines derived under the auspices of an Institution that receives any Agency funds.

Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC)

SCOC was created to review research applications that involve human pluripotent stem cells and other ethically sensitive human stem cell research. The committee ensures that the applications conform to the stem cell guidelines.