Human Stem Cell Research Approval

Title: Human Stem Cell Research Approval
Policy Owner: Office of the Vice President for Research
Applies to: Employees, Faculty, Students, Other
Campus Applicability:  All Campuses
Effective Date: May 25, 2018
For More Information, Contact Office of the Vice President for Research
Contact Information: (860) 486-3001
Official Website:


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that proposals for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research and selected types of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research are approved by the University’s Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) Committee. This policy does not apply to primary cells isolated from human tissues that are not manipulated to become pluripotent.

The role of the SCRO Committee is to ensure that human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and selected types of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research at all University of Connecticut campuses is well-justified and that inappropriate and/or unethical research is not conducted. The SCRO Committee facilitates the collaboration between researchers across University campuses by adopting nationally and internationally accepted standards designed to protect the University’s reputation for ethical and responsible research.

The review and approval of hESC research by the SCRO Committee (or its equivalent) is required by Connecticut law. The SCRO Committee review and approval is also required for all proposals funded by the State of Connecticut Regenerative Medicine Research Fund.


All University faculty, employees, students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and other trainees, and agents who supervise or conduct research involving hESCs and select types of iPSCs.


Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC): Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells that are self-replicating, derived from human embryos, and are capable of developing into cells and tissues of the three primary germ layers. Although human embryonic stem cells may be derived from embryos, such stem cells are not themselves embryos.

Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC): Human induced stem cells are a type of pluripotent stem cell that have been artificially created by reprogramming non-pluripotent human cells through techniques that do not involve oocytes or embryos, e.g., through inserting genes into a somatic cell.


All research projects in the following categories are required to obtain SCRO Committee approval before acquiring cells or cell lines and before commencing research:

  • All research involving hESCs and their derivatives;
  • All stem cell research involving human gametes and human embryos;
  • All stem cell research projects funded by the State of Connecticut, including those that do not use hESCs;
  • All in vitro human iPSC research involving the generation of gametes, embryos, or other types of totipotent cells; and
  • All in vivo research involving implantation of human iPSCs into prenatal animals or into the central nervous system of post-natal animals.

The SCRO Committee supplements but does not replace other University review processes (e.g., reviews by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC), Institutional Review Boards (IRB), Institutional Biological Safety Committees (IBC), etc.) and compliance with applicable legal requirements.


Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, the University of Connecticut Student Code, and other applicable University Policies.


Connecticut General Statutes §§ 4-28e and 32-41jj to 32-41mm, inclusive

NIH Stem Cell Information


Revisions: March 28, 2012; May 25, 2018 (Approved by President’s Cabinet)