The Embryonic Stem Cell Review Committee (ESCRO) committee reviews research proposals involving the use of human embryonic stem cells (hES). The ESCRO committee is responsible for the oversight of all hES research conducted at or supported by the University of Arizona to ensure that it meets the National Academy of Science (NAS) guidelines. This includes the derivation and research use of embryos, human embryonic stem cells, and certain activities involving non-embryonic stem cells, human neural stem cells, and human gametes. Additionally, the ESCRO committee has the responsibility for maintaining a registry of all hES cell lines that are imported into or maintained at the University of Arizona, including the NIH-approved hES lines.
In accordance with the NAS guidelines, the ESCRO committee includes "representatives of the public and persons with expertise in developmental biology, stem cell research, molecular biology, assisted reproduction, and ethical and legal issues in hES cell research."
Requests for Approval
At this time there is no formal application to seek ESCRO approval. Please submit a cover letter to the contact noted above describing:
- A listing of the hES lines that are proposed for use, including where they came from, and any other supplemental information on the lines.
- A summary of the proposed activities to be conducted with the hES.
- Grants or awards associated with the proposed activity.
- Copies of ESCRO materials or approvals if coming from another institution where approval was obtained.
ESCRO approval covers only the research and hES cell lines described in the materials submitted for review. Approval is required prior to any change is implemented. Changes include:
- Change in research scope
- Use of animals
- Addition of hES cell lines or experimental procedures
- Change in team members
- Change in research site
- Change in research funding
If there are changes to the approved activity, please submit a new letter outlining the changes and include the relevant supplemental information.
Should a researcher leave the University, they must notify the ESCRO contact so the program can update their records.
At this time all approvals are issued without an expiration date so long as the work remains the same as was previously approved. All requests, even those using NIH approved lines, are sent to the ESCRO committee for review. The committee meets ad-hoc andmaterials are submitted and reviewed as they are received. All reviews are conducted via email and require require a unanimous vote. Should the committee disagree, an in-person meeting is scheduled to discuss. The Investigator may be asked to appear before the ESCRO committee to answer questions regarding the research proposal.