National Apex Committee for monitoring stem cell research to be set up soon

The Union health ministry will constitute the much awaited National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy (NAC-SCRT) for effectively reviewing and monitoring the stem cell research in the country. "All formalities for the constitution of the NAC are complete and it will be announced in a day or two", a senior ICMR official said. 

ICMR sources said that the NAC will have around 15 members headed by a chairman and will have members from different fields. The chairman will be assisted by deputy chairman, member secretary and nominees from DBT, DST, CSIR, ICMR, DCGI, DAE, and biomedical experts drawn from various disciplines like pharmacology, immunology, cell biology, haematology, genetics, developmental biology, clinical medicine and nursing. There will be a legal expert, social scientist, and a women's representative in the NAC. In addition consultants/experts could be consulted for specific topics and advice.

It will be a multidisciplinary body with a secretariat which will have two main functions: general oversight and policy monitoring function; and to review specific controversial or ethically more sensitive research proposals. The Committee will have the responsibility to examine the scientific, technical, ethical, legal and social issues in the area of stem cell based research and therapy. 

All institutions involved in any type of stem cell research and therapy shall be registered with the NAC. Once the Apex Committee is in place, all institutions and investigators, both public and private, carrying out research on human stem cells should be registered with the NAC through Institutional Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy (IC-SCRT). 


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