Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO)

The purpose of the UC Berkeley SCRO Committee and associated SCRO Office is to ensure that human stem cell research undertaken at the University is performed according to the highest ethical and scientific standards, in conformance with the campus Human Stem Cell Research Policy and all applicable regulations and guidelines.

If you have questions about this page, or about stem cell research compliance, please contact the SCRO Office,

SCRO Committee Approval for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research

Principal investigators must submit a Stem Cell Research Protocol application and obtain SCRO Committee approval prior to initiating any human pluripotent stem cell research. SCRO Committee approval must be renewed annually. Principal investigators seeking to make changes or additions to an approved human stem cell research protocol must submit a Stem Cell Research Protocol application requesting the amendment, and obtain SCRO approval before implementing the update.

Research that is purely in vitro utilizing previously derived human pluripotent stem cell lines may be eligible for administrative approval.

Proposals to perform research involving any of the following require SCRO Committee review and approval:

  1. Procurement of human oocytes
  2. Use of fertilized human oocytes or blastocysts
  3. Derivation of a human pluripotent stem cell line
  4. Introduction of a human pluripotent stem cell line into a non-human animal
  5. Introduction of human neural progenitor cells into the brain of a non-human animal
  6. Introduction of human pluripotent stem cells into a human

Additional Campus Approvals Required for Human Stem Cell Research

Human stem cell research protocols must also be approved by campus oversight committees as described below. Protocols may be concurrently considered by these committees and by the SCRO Committee, however, protocol approval numbers from the relevant committees must be provided on the Stem Cell Research Protocol application before final SCRO Committee approval will be granted.

  1. Committee on Laboratory and Environmental Biosafety
    Principal investigators using human embryonic or adult cell lines must maintain a current Biological Use Authorization.
  2. Radiation Use Authorization
    Applications that include use of radioactive materials with human stem cells must obtain Radiation Use Authorization.
  3. Laser Use Authorization
    Applications that include the use of lasers and non-ionizing radiation sources must obtain Laser Use Authorization.
  4. Animal Care and Use Committee
    Proposals that include the use of vertebrate animals must demonstrate current Animal Care and Use Committee approval.
  5. Committee for Protection of Human Subjects
    All human pluripotent stem cell research protocols involving interaction or intervention with living individuals, or including private identifiable information about living individuals, must be approved by the CPHS.

SCRO Education and Training

UC Berkeley researchers who work with stem cells are encouraged to complete the Stem Cell Research Oversight course through the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

To get started with CITI, please review our CITI Login Instructions; and then proceed to the CITI Online Course.

UC Berkeley offers many CITI elective/optional modules and courses as well. You are welcome to take any of these courses in areas such as human subjects research, animal subjects research, Responsible Conduct of Research, Conflicts of Interest, Good Clinical Practice and Export Compliance.