Strike while the iron is HOT!
The NIH is hurrying to pass out research grants for hESC work following the DC circuit court's ruling yesterday. The appeals court granted a temporary stay until September 20th. After that, all bets are off as to the status of stem cell work until the next ruling.
In the meantime, Sally Rockey, extramural research chief, alerted NIH Insitutes that "hESC awards should be given priority including non-competing continuations, and new and renewing competing awards." The NIH hopes to renew 24 ongoing grants and could fund 20 additional new awards that had passed peer review. The NIH also reactivated in-house research - although cautioned staff to use appropriate stewardship given the temporary stay window.
On September 20th, the stay may be lifted and embryonic stem cell research could be suspended again pending the outcome of the case.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 10th 2010.