June 15, 2012
Embryonic stem cell research vital to European heart
A coalition of leading funders of
medical research, including the British Heart Foundation, is
calling on the European Parliament to continue to allow funding for
research using embryonic stem cells.
We have issued a joint statement urging
the European Parliament to continue to make provision for the
funding of embryonic stem cell research as part of the EU's
new programme of research and innovation, called
Funding this type of research is
currently allowed under existing EU rules but has come
under threat from pro-life MEPs.
Any scaling back of the EU’s investment would send out a dangerous message
are the single biggest funder of cardiovascular research
in the UK and our
Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said: “Any scaling
back of the EU’s investment would send out a dangerous
that could seriously damage this area of research
in Europe, to the detriment of patients in the future.
“The advances in some of the most
promising types of stem cell research in recent
years, for example the ability to turn adult skin cells into heart
cells, have only been possible through the knowledge gained from
embryonic stem cell research.
“It’s only by understanding the molecular
processes by which embryonic stem cells become heart cells that we
can hope to be able to coax other cells to help repair a damaged heart - an approach which may
one day revolutionise treatments for heart