Stem Cells

OverviewBack to Top

Following guidelines established by the National Academies and the National Institutes of Health, UW Madison has adopted policies and procedures governing research involving human pluripotent stem cells that ensure adherence to ethical and legal principles, as well as state and federal regulations.

Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO)

The Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee provides oversight for all research on campus or involving campus faculty or staff that involves either:

  1. the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or their derivatives; or
  2. the introduction of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs, or their derivatives, obtained from a non-embryonic source, into non-human animals at any embryonic, fetal, or postnatal stage, if an expected effect is that human cells will be integrated into the central nervous system, testes, or ovaries of the animal.

This oversight is in addition to the oversight provided by campus committees, such as the Institutional Review Boards, the Biosafety Review Board, and the Animal Care and Use Committees.

SCRO Committee oversight applies regardless of the source of funding and the applicability of federal regulations.

GuidelinesBack to Top

UW-Madison Policy for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research

The UW-Madison Policy for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research establishes requirements for research involving hPSCs. Among other requirements, this policy mandates that:

  • hESCs may only be used after documentation of the their provenance has been approved by the SCRO committee.
  • Approved hESC lines are added to the UW-Madison hESC Registry. Researchers do not need to provide further documentation regarding the provenance of those lines.
  • Research falling within the purview of the SCRO can only be initiated after a protocol application has been approved.
  • Certain ethical requirements involving donation of pre-implantation embryos must be met
  • Any facility engaed in banking hESC lines must be certified by the SCRO committee

Investigator Requirements

Submitting Protocols Back to Top

Stem Cell Protocols are submitted electronically via ARROW.



For assistance in submitting a Stem Cell Protocol contact the program manager, Heather McFadden.

TrainingBack to Top

All personnel listed on a protocol submitted to the Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee must complete online Stem Cell Ethics and Policy Training.

Training must be completed before the application will be reviewed.

Go here for more information on the Stem Cell Ethics and Policy Training.


ResourcesBack to Top

UW-Madison Campus Resources
Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee website
UW-Madison Policy for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research
UW-Madison hESC Registry UW-Madison hESC lines currently approved by the SCRO committee
Stem Cell Ethics and Policy Training
Log-in page for the Graduates School’s CITI online training website (requires valid NetID)
Stem Cell Protocol Login Log-in page for online protocol submission
UW–Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center (SCRMC) SCRMC provides a central point of contact, information and facilitation for all stem cell research activities on campus
WiCell WiCell distributes UW’s hPSC lines and negotiates agreements for obtaining hPSC lines from WiCell and the National Stem Cell Bank
External Resources
National Academies Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ethical standards guide for stem cell research (with 2010 amendements)
Stem Cells at the National Academies Information and reports about activities related to stem cell research at the National Academies.
NIH Stem Cell Information NIH resource for stem cell research information and policy.
NIH Stem Cell Registry List of stem cell lines eligible for use in NIH-funded research.

ContactsBack to Top

General Compliance Questions

Cheryl Deering
CALS Research Compliance Specialist
(608) 262-2536

Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee

Heather Mc Fadden
SCRO Manager, Office of Research Policy
(608) 890-2468

The SCRO Manager is available weekdays to answer questions concerning stem cell training, consult on SCRO application preparation, and help researchers respond to SCRO requests and questions.

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