Clay Hails Presidential Order to Expand Federal Support for Medical Stem Cell Research "Vital Research Could Help Close Healthcare Disparities Gap"
Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay hailed President Barack Obama's executive order lifting the previous administration's ban on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines.
"By lifting the ban on federal funding for new stem cell research, President Obama has given hope to millions," said the Congressman. "Americans from all backgrounds, from all parts of the country, and from both parties believe this vital research should go forward. Almost every family has someone who suffers from a debilitating illness like diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, heart disease or other chronic ailments. Expanding embryonic stem cell research is not only the right thing to do, it may help us close the healthcare disparities gap, which adversely effects African Americans, Latinos and other minorities."
Mr. Clay continued, "Today, President Obama also sent a strong message that science matters, and that honest research should not be based on politics, but on the search for knowledge that will help mankind. Scientists must be allowed to pursue the research that they believe has the most promise to do the most good."
President Obama's executive order directs the National Institutes for Health to support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research. It also directs NIH to develop guidelines, within 120 days, on proceeding with research on newly developed stem cell lines.
Congressman Clay, whose district in St. Louis includes top research facilities at Washington University Medical Center and Saint Louis University Medical Center, has been an early and energetic advocate of expanding research on both embryonic stem cells and cord blood stem cells.
"This research not only offers hope to millions of patients who are suffering from terrible illnesses," said the Congressman. "It's also vital to helping America maintain leadership in key scientific fields that leads to better healthcare jobs and future economic development in the life sciences. I am proud to support the President's drive to open the doors of new hope and potential cures that will help generations of Americans."