Stem Cell Ethics & Policy

Research area:  Stem cell biology

The Stem Cell Ethics & Policy Group studies the ethical, legal and social implications of stem cell research and related technologies.

While stem cell medicine offers enormous promise to change how we treat childhood illnesses and chronic health conditions in the future, scientific advances using stem cells also raise significant societal issues. Failure to adequately address these considerations may impede progress towards safe and effective therapies, as well as jeopardise public trust in medical research and stem cell science.

Our research seeks to capture the views and experiences of families and individuals contemplating experimental stem cell and gene therapies. We are particularly interested to learn about what people know, or would like to know, about stem cell research, and to explore what policies and regulations would enhance community understanding, and ultimately increase access to new evidence-based treatments. We are also interested in the views of the doctors and scientists driving scientific progress, and what professional and public health policies are required to enable responsible translation of stem cell research into new medicines.

Our group’s interests also span ethical and regulatory questions raised by laboratory research using stem cells to understand how organs, eggs, sperm and embryos are formed and what can go awry during development or in response to injury or disease.

Findings from our research are crucial to shaping the future of stem cell research and developing a framework to help Australian families make informed decisions about their future healthcare.

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