CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology
Shanghai, 9–12 October 2007
In the last decade, stem cell research has become emblematic of both the hopes and fears that are associated with advanced bioscience. On the one hand, it is hoped that some of the most debilitating diseases and disorders – e.g. neurodegenerative disorders, spinal cord damage, diabetes, eye diseases, multiple sclerosis, immune disorders and blood diseases – can finally be treated if not cured. These are diseases where suffering can be long and drawn out. On the other hand, the development of effective regenerative treatment relies on stem cell research which requires the ethically controversial sourcing and manipulation of human cells to generate stem cell lines which can then be transplanted into sufferers of degenerative diseases. In both Europe and China, ‘experimental’ stem cell therapies are on offer to patients which has raised concerns about ethical oversight and peer review of these treatments.
Around 50 participants from China and Europe gathered in Shanghai from 9-11 October 2007 to discuss and exchange experiences around the ethical governance of stem cell research and stem cell banks. The workshop was held at the CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology and is being organised in cooperation with the Shanghai Medical Ethics Association.
Conference report on ethical governance of stem cell research (April 2008) and
BIONET information paper on stem cell research (June 2008).