Stem Cell Therapy: Hype or Hope?

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union

The promise of stem cells to treat a host of human degenerative diseases has been touted by scientists and patients alike. This field is moving so rapidly that to establish ethical guidelines for the conduct of research is extraordinarily challenging. If embryonic stem cells tailored to individual patients are truly the elixir of life, then the use of unneeded human oocytes and embryos might be acceptable to some. But research is a slow process, with progress often measured in tiny increments. How far should society go to pursue the promise of stem cells?

Following this lecture, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes.
  • Describe the barriers to establishing ethical guidelines for the conduct of stem cell research.


Prof. Susan M. Wolf, JD
Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, University of Minnesota

Prof. Carol Tauer, PhD
Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota

Prof. Steve Calvin, MD
Program in Human Rights and Medicine, University of Minnesota 




Janet D. Rowley, MD is the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Medicine; Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology; and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. She received her medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1948. She joined the research faculty at the University of Chicago in 1962 and became a Professor in 1977. Her research has contributed significantly to advances in understanding of genetic changes in cancer. Her laboratory is currently analyzing the gene expression pattern of recurring translocations to identify unique markers of acute pioyelocytic and chronic myelojenons leukemias for diagnosis and potentially as therapeutic targets. Along with her friend, Felix Mitelman, she cofounded and is coeditor of Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer, the premier cancer cytogenetic journal worldwide. She is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. 

February 2, 2005