Integration of the Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research into TCPS 2 (2014), Chapter 12, section F: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of the integration of the Guidelines into TCPS 2?

Integration of CIHR’s Stem Cell Guidelines into TCPS 2 (2014) is intended to unify all Agency guidance on the ethics of human research into one document.

2. Does the integration of the Guidelines in TCPS 2 change SCOC’s mandate?

  • The Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) will continue to review research taking place at universities or other institutions that receive Agency funds that involve human pluripotent stem cells that have been derived from an embryonic source and/or will be transferred into humans or non-human animals.
  • SCOC will continue to provide ongoing review of the relevant section of TCPS 2 (2014), chapter 12, section F to ensure continuing relevance, submitting its recommendations to the CIHR Governing Council. Governing Council would then submit its endorsed recommendations to the Panel. The Panel would then submit proposed revisions to the three Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) for review and approval by their Presidents.
  • The SCOC review is not intended to replace the review undertaken by the investigator's own institution's Research Ethics Board (REB). Approval from both the local REB and SCOC is required before funding will flow from the Agencies.
  • CIHR remains responsible for the maintenance of the stem cell registry.

3. Has the division of labour between SCOC and the REB changed?

The division of labour between SCOC and the REB has not changed. Research involving human pluripotent stem cells that have been derived from an embryonic source and/or will be transferred into humans or non-human animals will continue to require review and approval by SCOC and an REB. The researcher shall provide evidence of SCOC approval to the REB.

4. Why was SCOC created?

Because of the complex ethical issues and public concern in this area, SCOC was created in 2003 to review human pluripotent stem cell research proposals conducted under the auspices of institutions receiving Agency funding for conformity to the Guidelines at the time.

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