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As the court battle escalates over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, scientists continue to pursue alternative stem cell technologies. One such approach involves human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC) derived from unfertilized human eggs. These human pluripotent stem cells have potential therapeutic value, and they are produced from eggs that cannot develop into embryos.
While hpSC alleviates ethical concerns about harming a viable human embryo, these cells present unique ethical challenges of their own, including creating an oocyte procurement process acceptable to bioethical oversight and review committees worldwide. Mr. Janus will address the ethical issues surrounding hpSC and discuss his own experience in setting up an oocyte procurement process that meets legal requirements and satisfies ethical considerations in California and Russia.
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Senior VP, International Stem Cell Corporation
CEO, Lifeline Cell Technology
For over 20 years, Mr. Janus has been developing human-cell-based products as research tools for studying human disease and as alternatives to animal testing. He is a member of an international team of scientists that first created human parthenogenetic stem cells.
After a career at Hybritech, he led the development and commercialization of Clonetics Corporation’s brand of human-cell based products.
Mr. Janus subsequently founded Lifeline Cell Technology, now a subsidiary of International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO), to generate income to fund ISCO’s parthenogenetic stem cell therapeutic research. He is now helping ISCO build a bank of parthenogenetic stem cells for therapeutic applications, and he is leading an international project to produce human corneal tissue with scientists in the United States and India. Mr. Janus obtained an M.B.A. from San Diego State University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis.