Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 82–88

The Stem Cell Research Environment: A Patchwork of Patchworks


    • Health Law Institute, Faculty of LawUniversity of Alberta
  • Amy Zarzeczny
    • Health Law Institute, Faculty of LawUniversity of Alberta
  • Jennifer McCormick
    • Department of Medicine, Program in Professionalism and BioethicsMayo Clinic and College of Medicine
  • Tania Bubela
    • Health Law Institute, School of Public HealthUniversity of Alberta
  • Christine Critchley
    • Swinburne University
  • Edna Einsiedel
    • Faculty of Communication and CultureUniversity of Calgary
  • Jacques Galipeau
    • Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish HospitalMcGill University
  • Shawn Harmon
    • ESRC InnoGen and AHRC SCRIPTUniversity of Edinburgh
  • Michael Huynh
    • McGill University
  • Insoo Hyun
    • Case Western Reserve University
  • Judy Illes
    • National Core for Neuroethics, Department of Medicine, Division of NeurologyUniversity of British Columbia
  • Rosario Isasi
    • Centre de recherche en droit publicUniversité de Montréal
  • Yann Joly
    • Centre de recherche en droit publicUniversité de Montréal
  • Graeme Laurie
    • School of LawUniversity of Edinburgh
  • Geoff Lomax
    • California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Holly Longstaff
    • The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied EthicsUniversity of British Columbia
  • Michael McDonald
    • The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied EthicsUniversity of British Columbia
  • Charles Murdoch
    • Health Law InstituteUniversity of Alberta
  • Ubaka Ogbogu
    • Faculty of LawUniversity of Toronto
    • Health Law InstituteUniversity of Alberta
  • Jason Owen-Smith
    • University of Michigan
  • Shaun Pattinson
    • Department of LawDurham University
  • Shainur Premji
    • Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of Calgary
  • Barbara von Tigerstrom
    • College of Law and School of Public HealthUniversity of Saskatchewan
  • David E. Winickoff
    • University of California

DOI: 10.1007/s12015-009-9071-3

Cite this article as:
Caulfield, T., Zarzeczny, A., McCormick, J. et al. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2009) 5: 82. doi:10.1007/s12015-009-9071-3


Few areas of recent research have received as much focus or generated as much excitement and debate as stem cell research. Hope for the therapeutic promise of this field has been matched by social concern associated largely with the sources of stem cells and their uses. This interplay between promise and controversy has contributed to the enormous variation that exists among the environments in which stem cell research is conducted throughout the world. This variation is layered upon intra-jurisdictional policies that are also often complex and in flux, resulting in what we term a ‘patchwork of patchworks’. This patchwork of patchworks and its implications will become increasingly important as we enter this new era of stem cell research. The current progression towards translational and clinical research among international collaborators serves as a catalyst for identifying potential policy conflict and makes it imperative to address jurisdictional variability in stem cell research environments. The existing patchworks seen in contemporary stem cell research environments provide a valuable opportunity to consider how variations in regulations and policies across and within jurisdictions influence research efficiencies and directions. In one sense, the stem cell research context can be viewed as a living experiment occurring across the globe. The lessons to be gleaned from examining this field have great potential for broad-ranging general science policy application.


Stem cell researchPolicyRegulationInternationalCollaborationHarmonization

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media 2009