Stem cell teamwork stops after split

American stem cell scientists reluctant to move forward with U.S.-Korea collaborations

Melissa Lee Phillips(mlp@nasw.org)
Nov 17, 2005

American scientists said they are hesitant to collaborate with Korea on stem cell work after a U.S. stem cell scientist ended his 20-month collaboration with Woo-Suk Hwang of Seoul National University in South Korea, whose lab has derived human embryonic stem cell lines through somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Gerald Schatten, director of the Pittsburgh Development Center and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, stated in a November 12 news release that he is ending his work with Hwang because he is concerned that human egg cells used to make stem cell lines were obtained unethically.

The move has halted other researchers' plans to collaborate with Hwang. At Harvard University, "there were several people in discussions about establishing possible collaborations with Hwang's group," said B.D. Colen, a science communications officer at Harvard. But these discussions are now "all on hold," he said.

The allegations "are serious charges...

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