Survey of Medical Research Associations and Foundations

NOTE:  Before making a decision to support (or not support) an organization on this list, individuals are urged to contact organizations directly to confirm the information provided herein

 

Organizations that support and/or fund embryonic stem-cell research

 

ALS Association (www.alsa.org )  “As part of The ALS Association's commitment to funding research into the possible use of stem cell therapy for ALS, we are very pleased to announce a collaboration with Hope For ALS Foundation to fund a two year study on the "Generation of Human Motor Neurons From Stem Cells". In this proposed study, Dr. Zhang's group will develop methods to generate motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells.” http://www.alsa.org/research/grant.cfm?id=166.  (Access date: 5/25/10)  The ALS Association also lobbied in favor of expanding federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research (see: http://www.alsa.org/policy/article.cfm?id=673&CFID=3706506&CFTOKEN=94139094)  

 

American Association for Cancer Research (www.aacr.org)  “The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recognizes the potential for stem cell research to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer… AACR further recognizes that stem cell research encompasses stem cells of many types, and stresses that each facet of stem cell research is in fact complementary - not duplicative… Embryonic stem cells (unspecialized stem cells found within very early stage embryos called blastocysts) have the ability to transform into the cells of every major organ system…AACR supports the ethical use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (also called SCNT or “therapeutic cloning”)…Research involving human embryonic stem cells must serve important research aims that cannot be reached by other means…AACR believes that stem cell research can be conducted in a manner consistent with established ethical principles, and so strongly supports responsible explorations of the full spectrum of stem cell biology, including the use of human embryonic stem cells, for meritorious scientific research and therapy development.” (italics in original) http://www.aacr.org/home/public--media/science-policy--government-affairs/aacr-policy-documents,-letters,--position-statements/responsible-exploration-of-the-full-spectrum-of-stem-cell-biology-is-essential-to-the-advancement-of-cancer-research.aspx   (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org)   “We strongly support the protection and expansion of all forms of stem cell research, which offer great hope for a cure and better treatments for diabetes. We support legislation and proposals that enhance funding for stem cell research at the federal and state levels…The Association supports all forms of stem cell research within a strong ethical framework.”   http://www.diabetes.org/how-to-give/action/our-priorities/funding/stem-cell-research.html?print=t  (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

American Lung Association  (www.lungusa.org) “The American Lung Association recognizes that research with human stem cells offer significant potential to further our understanding of fundamental lung biology and to develop cell-based therapies to treat lung disease. The American Lung Association supports the responsible pursuit of research involving the use of human stem cells.”  http://www.lungusa.org/get-involved/advocate/REVISED08-09-RESEARCH.pdf  (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

Glaucoma Research Foundation (www.glaucoma.org)  “…we support the development of appropriate safeguards to allow this research to move forward…stem cell research has the potential to save millions from the horrors of not only glaucoma but such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and even cancer…Stem cells are the undeveloped ordinary cells of very early-stage embryos.  Many of these embryos have been grown in a laboratory from fertilized eggs; they were produced for in-vitro-fertilization but were later unused or donated…” (Letter on file)

 

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www.jdrf.org)   “JDRF strongly believes that research should be pursued using both [adult and embryonic] stem cell types.  JDRF currently funds research on both adult and embryonic stem cells.  Last year, the organization funded some $2 million in human adult stem cell research, along with $4.9 million in human embryonic stem cell research.” http://www.jdrf.org/files/General_Files/Advocacy/2007/AESC_Position_Statement.pdf  (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org)  “LLS supports the use of human ES cells for research and the development of therapies whenever the proposed research is judged meritorious by appropriately constituted scientific review committees and the Board of Directors of LLS.” “One researcher currently funded by LLS is using two human ES cell lines in his studies aimed at discovering fundamental differences between normal and malignant stem cells.” (Letter on file)

 

March of Dimes (www.marchofdimes.com)  “The March of Dimes [MOD] supports the use of fetal tissue as one technique to broaden understanding of human biology and to use that understanding to improve pregnancy outcome…The MOD has provided funding for projects that involved research on fetal tissue throughout its history.” “The MOD supports research using both animal and human ES [embryonic stem] and adult stem cells that is scientifically and ethically sound and that conforms to the most recent federal policy.” “Recently, the March of Dimes has supported limited research using human embryonic and fetal cell lines that were established prior to August 9, 2001.” (Source: 2008 MOD Policies-on file)

 

Muscular Dystrophy Association (www.mda.org) “MDA-funded researchers have addressed these problems by experimenting with both embryonic and adult-derived stem cells, each of which has distinct potential advantages. (In accord with federal policy set by President Bush, MDA's support of human embryonic stem cell research is limited to some 75 stem cell "lines" created before August 2001.) In principle, adult-derived stem cells could be harvested from the person in need of treatment, corrected for any genetic defects, and transplanted where they're needed, circumventing the problem of immune rejection. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are believed capable of generating more cell progeny and a greater variety of cell types. http://www.mda.org/publications/quest/q101steroids.html (Access date: 5/25/10)

"Embryonic stem cell treatments have been widely praised for their potential application in the repair and restoration of disease or injury damaged tissues and organs," said Chris Airriess, chief operating officer at California Stem Cell (CSC) in Irvine, Calif., where he has MDA support to develop stem cell-based therapies for ALS. "This huge milestone reached by Geron is a watershed in the development of the field of regenerative medicine." http://quest.mda.org/news/stem-cell-research-major-step (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

National Hemophilia Foundation (www.hemophilia.org)  “[NHF] unanimously supports embryonic and stem cell research as a legitimate and important area of scientific investigation and as a vital avenue of research toward curing hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.” http://www.hemophilia.org/NHFWeb/MainPgs/MainNHF.aspx?menuid=57&contentid=177   (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

National Multiple Sclerosis Society  (www.nationalmssociety.org)  In 2005, the National MS Society convened a Task Force on Stem Cell Research, which confirmed the Society’s long-standing policy suggesting that research using

all types of stem cells holds great promise, potential, and hope for people affected by MS…On March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order lifting the restrictions that had been placed on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). President Obama took a major step in removing the barriers to a promising path of responsible scientific research and the Society commends him for the new hope and optimism he brings to the millions of people…” National MS Society’s Position Regarding Stem Cell Research (.pdf) (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

National Spinal Cord Injury Association  (www.spinalcord.org)  An NSCIA article published 1 May 2007 announces: “The U.S. Senate has passed S5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would lift the ban on federally funded stem cell research. The bill had been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. “We are pleased to see that the Senate has passed this important legislation, but remain frustrated that President Bush has publicly stated that he will again veto the bill,” said Marcie Roth, chief executive officer of NSCIA.” http://www.spinalcord.org/legal/news.php?dep=1&page=0&list=1108   (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

Parkinson’s Action Network  (www.parkinsonsaction.org)  The Parkinson’s community has been at the forefront of the struggle to achieve research freedom for scientists working in the field of embryonic stem cell research. The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) is a founding member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR)…Together, PAN and CAMR will continue to educate the nation about the importance of medical and scientific research, including embryonic stem cell research.  http://www.parkinsonsaction.org/federal-initiatives/nih/stem-cell-research   (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation  (www.pdf.org)  In the Spring 2005 edition of its official newsletter, “News and Review”, PDF says “opposition to such research involving both kinds of ES cells — those from blastocysts created by in vitro fertilization clinics and those derived through SCNT — is largely based on the belief that blastocysts should be treated as human beings because they have the potential to develop into a person.  Those who disagree argue that personhood is not conferred until much later in the process — for example, after the blastocyst has become implanted in the uterine wall, or after pregnancy has developed to the stage at which the fetus has viability independent of the womb.  The point is that there are multiple views on when exactly the beginning of human life is and no easy way of reconciling them.  In such context, most people accept the notion of isolating small numbers of cells from blastocysts destined to be discarded from IVF clinics.  Many also believe that it should be possible to use a patient’s cells from his or her own body, through SCNT [i.e. cloning], to treat one’s own diseases.” (Newsletter on file)

 

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation  (www.komen.org) In a August 16, 2006 statement announcing its contributions to “cutting edge research,” the Komen Foundation declared: “Embryonic stem cells…have the potential to give rise to many different types of tissue. Because of this, embryonic stem cells are currently considered to have the most potential for use in the regeneration of diseased or injured tissues. One of those potential roles is providing better understanding of cancer development.” http://ww5.komen.org/KomenNewsArticle.aspx?id=7700&terms= embryonic+stem+cell+research.   (Access date: 5/25/10). Furthermore, in 2010 Susan G. Komen affiliates awarded more than $550,000 in grants to local Planned Parenthood chapters. (Article on file)

 

 

Organizations claiming to not fund or advocate for embryonic stem cell research 

 

Alzheimer’s Association  (www.alz.org)  The Alzheimer's Association officially opposes any restriction or limitation on human stem cell research.  However, it does not fund embryonic stem cell research and has never spent time or resources lobbying for it. (Letter on file)  

 

American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)   “The Society does not approve research grants using embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue…Therefore, no monies raised by the American Cancer Society are used to support embryonic or fetal tissue research…To address your concern over the Society’s grant to the Iowa Planned Parenthood to provide training of their staff on our smoking cessation program, that grant has ended.  There are no plans to provide additional grant funds.”  “The Society is not funding lobby efforts in favor of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.” (Letter on file)

 

American Heart Association  (www.americanheart.org) “The American Heart Association funds meritorious research involving human adult stem cells as part of our scientific research grant program. We do not fund any research involving stem cells derived from human embryos or fetal tissue. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4757 (Access date: 5/25/10)

 

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation  (www.cff.org) “The scope of cystic fibrosis research supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation does not require fetal tissue studies.  Most CF scientific research is based on human cells that are taken from people living with the disease. (Letter on File, 2000).  “The CF Foundation funds biomedical research, which leads to further understanding of the disease and promising developments of new treatments or a cure.  We do not support specific types of research, such as research on fetal tissue or human embryonic stem cells…Much of the scientific research on CF is focused on human cells from people who are living with the disease, in conformance with federal research regulations. (E-mail received May 20, 2010)

 

National Kidney Foundation  (www.kidney.org)   “I am confident (after reviewing our research grants) that we can answer no to each of the four questions you posed regarding human fetal tissue and stem cell research.” (Letter on file)

 

 

 

The following institute only funds adult stem cell research or other alternatives to embryonic stem cells.

 

John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute (www.jp2sri.org)  JP2SRI is a non-profit research institute whose mission is to advance research and education on stem cell research in a manner consistent with pro-life bioethics. The Institute strictly focuses on adult and cord blood stem cell research and education. The Institute’s goal is to focus on reducing the barriers to translate basic research into clinical research. JP2SRI mission is to coordinate research activities between the Institute, academia and industry and to find treatment solutions for patients with chronic disorders that could potentially benefit from adult and umbilical cord stem cells. The Institute represents an opportunity for pro-life Christians to support ethical-derived stem cell research consistent with pro-life values. JP2SRI DOES NOT conduct human embryonic stem cell research and does not perform therapeutic cloning or somatic cell nuclear transfer.  The majority of donations are directed toward research and education. There is low administrative overhead. 

 

 

 

The following foundations are raising money to support research using adult stem cells and adult cell therapies to treat these diseases. They do not fund embryonic stem cell research.

 

Spinal Cord Injury Research  Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson, of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, is researching the use of adult stems cells derived from olfactory tissue for the treatment of spinal cord injury.   Published reports from a trial already conducted with human patients in Portugal have shown promising results from this approach.  With a group of clinicians, Dr. Peduzzi is helping to prepare the FDA application to begin clinical trials here in the United States.  If you wish to contribute to Dr. Peduzzi’s efforts to treat spinal cord injured patients, please make your check out to “Wayne State University” and specify in a cover letter and on the check that you wish the money to go to the “Peduzzi Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund”.  These funds will be only used on research to develop and evaluate treatments for spinal cord injury. You can also specify that it only be used in adult stem cell research, as this is Dr. Peduzzi’s main focus.   Upon receipt of the check, you will be mailed information so that this donation can be used as a tax deduction. Please mail your check (made out to "Wayne State University") to: 

Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson, 8137 Scott Hall School of Medicine, Wayne State University, 540 E. Canfield Avenue  Detroit, MI 48201.  Further information about Dr. Peduzzi’s research can be found at: (http://www.med.wayne.edu/anatomy/) under research faculty. 

 

The Thomas Hartman Foundation for Parkinson’s Research  (www.hartmanfoundation.org) Founded by Father Tom Hartman who is co-host, along with Rabbi Marc Gellman, of radio and TV’s popular “God Squad.”  Father Hartman was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s which led him to establish The Hartman Foundation.  The foundation excludes any funding for human embryonic stem cell research and supports research using adult stem cells to treat Parkinson’s.

 

The Iacocca Foundation (Type 1/Juvenile Diabetes) (www.iacoccafoundation.org)  The Iacocca Foundation is raising money to support the research of Harvard’s Dr. Denise Faustman. Dr. Faustman and her team at Massachusetts General Hospital have received FDA approval to begin human trials of an adult cell therapy that reverses Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in animals.  Although the researchers are ready to test this very promising approach in patients, millions of dollars are needed for human trials—and some major foundations are devoting much of their funding to research that relies on destroying human embryos instead.  The Iacocca Foundation has contributed $1 million for human trials using the Faustman approach, and is asking one million Americans to help by donating $10 each.  

 

Auto-Immune Disorders  Dr. Richard Burt, M.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is using adult stem cells primarily to treat patients with auto-immune disorders, including such disorders as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, scleroderma, Crohns disease, myasthenia gravis, chronic inflammatory autoimmune polyneuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune related retinitis and optic neuritis, pemphigus, and other immune-mediated disorders.

In 2007, Dr. Burt, along with a team of Brazilian doctors, led a groundbreaking study that used adult stem cells to reverse Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in patients. That study was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 4/11/07 (see also http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11571-rebuilt-immune-system-shakes-off-diabetes.html). 

 

Dr. Burt’s most recent article, “Clinical Applications of Blood-Derived and Marrow-derived Stem Cells for Nonmalignant Diseases” (Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 2/27/2008), examined hundreds of studies that were conducted between January 1997 and December 2007, and found that therapies using blood- or  bone-marrow derived stem cells can successfully and safely treat heart disease and autoimmune disorders (see: http://pubs.ama-assn.org/media/2008j/0226.dtl and http://www.stemcellresearch.org/press/2008-02-27_JAMA.pdf).

 

On March 13th, 2008, Dr. Burt participated at a Capitol Hill briefing that also included several of Dr. Burt’s patients who had been successfully treated with their own adult stem cells for lupus, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis. You can read their stories at Http://www.stemcellresearch.org/testimony/capitalhill_briefing.html.  If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to Dr. Burt’s research in treating patients with adult stem cells, you may contact his division manager, Kate Quigley, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information and assistance. 

 

Produced By:

Greg Schleppenbach, State Director, Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities

215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 310, Lincoln, NE  68508

 

Last Update May 25, 2010