1.6(c) ESCRO committees should include on their registry a list of cell lines that have been imported from other institutions or jurisdictions and information on the specific guidelines, regulations, or statutes under which the derivation of the imported cell lines was conducted. This is in accord with the requirement in Section 2.0 of the Guidelines that calls for ESCRO committees to maintain registries listing the cell lines in use at their institutions.
To provide oversight of all issues related to derivation and use of hES cell lines and to facilitate education of investigators involved in hES cell research, each institution should have activities involving hES cells overseen by an Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) committee. This committee could be internal to a single institution or established jointly with one or more other institutions. Alternatively, an institution may have its proposals reviewed by an ESCRO committee of another institution, or by an independent ESCRO committee. An ESCRO committee should include independent representatives of the lay public as well as persons with expertise in developmental biology, stem cell research, molecular biology, assisted reproduction, and ethical and legal issues in hES cell research. It must have suitable scientific, medical, and ethical expertise to conduct its own review and should have the resources needed to coordinate the management of the various other reviews required for a particular protocol. A pre-existing committee could serve the functions of the ESCRO committee provided that it has the
recommended expertise recommended here and representation to perform the various roles described in this report. For example, an institution might elect to constitute an ESCRO committee from among some members of an IRB. But the ESCRO committee should not be a subcommittee of the IRB, as its responsibilities extend beyond human subject protections. Furthermore, much hES cell research does not require IRB review. The ESCRO committee should:
Provide oversight over all issues related to derivation and use of hES cell lines.
Review and approve the scientific merit of research protocols.
Review compliance of all in-house hES cell research with all relevant regulations and these guidelines.
Maintain registries of hES cell research conducted at the institution and hES cell lines derived or imported by institutional investigators.