The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) released the ISSCR Standards for Human Stem Cell Use in Research, an international collaboration aimed at enhancing rigor in preclinical research and ultimately strengthening the pipeline of therapies for patients. Christine Mummery and colleagues were among the many dedicated expert scientists who established this document. These new guidelines will also provide invaluable aid to authors, journal editors, and reviewers in the stem cell field when considering publications.
“This nearly two-year initiative is groundbreaking for the global stem cell research community,” said Haifan Lin, ISSCR president. “The international standards will make a big difference in the quality of science that is performed and published worldwide.”
The ISSCR is the preeminent international stem cell research society with a reputation for scientific and ethical rigor and has produced field-shaping documents such as the Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation. The current initiative, which establishes the minimum characterization and reporting criteria for scientists, students, and technicians in basic research laboratories working with human stem cells, is led by an international taskforce of scientists chaired by Tenneille Ludwig, WiCell Research Institute, USA and Peter Andrews, University of Sheffield, UK. The ISSCR’s standards for basic and preclinical research draws from previous work to improve the reproducibility of research using pluripotent stem cells, such as that from the International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI) and the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative (ISBCI), and address tissue stem cells and stem cell-derived model systems with the overall goal of improving reproducibility of experiments from lab to lab and from cell line to cell line.
“The ISSCR Standards represent a huge step forward in articulating Best Practice for use of stem cells in research,” said Tenneille Ludwig, co-chair of the taskforce that developed the recommendations. “When adopted, these basic principles will help drive rigor and reproducibility within the laboratory and improve both the quality and rate of science in our field. It was an honor to work with such an experienced, dedicated, passionate group of true stem cell legends to establish this consensus document. The commitment to collaborative effort ultimately resulted in a strong document that will drive the field forward.”
One of the most impactful outcomes of the initiative is the development of the “Reporting Practices for Publishing Results with Human Pluripotent and Tissue Stem Cells” checklist. The checklist is intended to help scientists, reviewers, and editors prepare and assess manuscripts for inclusion of critical details relevant to work with pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) and tissue stem cells (TSCs) with the goal of increasing the rigor and reproducibility of research through reporting.
“Stem Cell Reports views these new guidelines as an invaluable aid to authors, journal editors, and reviewers in the stem cell field,” said Martin Pera, Editor-in-Chief of Stem Cell Reports. “At our journal, we will be introducing the checklist for authors that accompanies the guidelines on a trial basis soon and soliciting their feedback along with that of reviewers and our Editorial Team. My colleagues and I feel this is a major step forward in ensuring rigor and reproducibility in all areas of stem cell research.”
Learn more about the evolution of the recommendations made in the ISSCR Standards by reviewing the society’s open access Standards webinars on ISSCR.digital and attending the ISSCR 2023 Annual Meeting in Boston, USA 14-17 June 2023. Visit ISSCR.org/standards-document for the full text and to download the PDF of the ISSCR Standards for Human Stem Cell Use in Research and the “Reporting Practices for Publishing Results with Human Pluripotent and Tissue Stem Cells” checklist.
The ISSCR Standards initiative is supported through contributions by Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). Learn more about their support.
About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org)
With more than 4,600 members from 80 countries worldwide, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.
About Burroughs Wellcome Fund
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) serves and strengthens society by nurturing a diverse group of leaders in biomedical sciences to improve human health through education and powering discovery in frontiers of greatest need. BWF was founded in 1955 as the corporate foundation of the pharmaceutical firm Burroughs Wellcome Co. In 1993, a generous gift from the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom, enabled BWF to become fully independent from the company, which was acquired by Glaxo in 1995.
About Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. To learn more about the program, visit www.ddcf.org.