hESC Research: Getting Started

In order to ensure compliance with ethical and legal principles of hESC research, Yale University has established an Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committee as recommended by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Guidelines for hESC Research. Yale also established a Stem Cell Research Resource Allocation Protocol (SCRRAP) Committee to ensure adherence to the resource allocation protocols for the use of non-registered hESC lines. Investigators who are interested in conducting research on hESC should follow the following process:

  1. Read the Provost's policy on hESC research.
  2. Complete an application for an ESCRO protocol.
  3. Read the Procedures for conducting hESC research.
  4. Complete a Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Tracking (HESCRT) form.
  5. Complete the training requirements for ESCRO and SCRRAP that can be found at the Training and Certification website. To locate these courses, enter "embryonic" as the keyword and click on "search."

The Yale ESCRO committee:

  1. Monitors all hESC research undertaken by Yale investigators and others using Yale facilities. For all hESC research that is approved by the ESCRO committee, the following information is tracked:
    • sources of the hES cells, including the original sources of derived cell lines and documentation that they were derived with appropriate written informed consent;
    • sources of funding for the research work; and
    • locations, on or off campus, at which the work is performed
  2. Ensures that all investigators are properly trained in the ethical and legal guidelines for working with hES cells. Policies are in place to make certain that all personnel, including Yale faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, students, visiting scholars and other researchers who plan to engage in hESC research, have received training on applicable institutional, state, and federal policies and regulations before their protocol is approved to start work on any hESC project. The researchers are required to take a course and pass a written test with 100% correct answers before beginning work with hESCs.

The Yale SCRRAP committee:

  1. Ensures that federal funds are not used, directly or indirectly, to support research on non-registered hESC lines.
  2. Identifies and documents facilities and equipment that were purchased with federal funds and determines whether they may be used for research on non-registered hESC lines.
  3. Reviews and approves requests and cost allocation methodologies of the effort of personnel and the use of materials and supplies for non-registered hESC research.