Workshop on Adult and Non-embryonic Stem Cell Research

Author: Susan Good

Stem Cell Workshop story

Some of the world’s leading experts across a variety of relevant disciplines came to the Notre Dame Law School for a weeklong “Workshop on Adult and Non-embryonic Stem Cell Research” June 27 – July 1.

In conjunction with the workshop, an afternoon lecture series, “Alternate Visions of Stem Cell Research: Scientific, Ethical, Legal & Theological Dimensions” was open to the public from 4 – 5 p.m. each day in the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom in the Law School’s Eck Hall of Law. > View Topics

Notre Dame Law Professor Carter Snead and Emeritus Professor Phil Sloan (of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies) co-led the workshop and hosted the week’s public events, which were part of a University-wide effort to develop a center for high-level interdisciplinary work on the various dimensions of human developmental biology. Professor Snead delivered a public lecture entitled “The Legal and Public Policy Dimensions of Stem Cell Research.” Numerous entities throughout the wider University (including the Office of the President) have endorsed the initiative, which seeks to demonstrate that respect for the equal dignity of every human being (from conception to natural death) and a commitment to excellence and rigor in research are both integral and complementary goods necessary to pursuing the proper ends of biomedical science, most richly understood.

As the premier American Catholic research university, Notre Dame is ideally suited for this work. It has strong departments in biology, engineering, law, theology, philosophy, and the history and philosophy of science with individuals in each component with expertise in all aspects of stem cell research. Moreover, given its distinctive Catholic mission, Notre Dame offers a unique voice to this domain of inquiry.

The university is grateful for the many participants in this inaugural event, including Dr. Donald Landry, M.D./Ph.D. (the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University) and Dr. Carlos Cordon-Cardo, M.D./Ph.D (Chair of the Department of Pathology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City), as well other top academics from both University of Notre Dame and other elite universities in the U.S. and abroad. Finally, we are thankful for the interest and participation of the Holy See, including especially the involvement of Msr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, M.A., S.T.D, D.Phil (Undersecretary for the Pontifical Academy for Culture) and Rev. Tomasz Trafny, S.T.D., D.Phil. (Executive Coordinator, Science Theology, and the Ontological Quest (STOQ) Project; Head, Science and Faith Department, Pontifical Academy for Culture).