Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities support for stem cell research

Major activities in 2005

New institutions formed

Jan 2005 - The Israeli Stem Cell Research Forum (ISCRF) is formed

This forum was appointed by the director general of the Ministry of Health and the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The forum is administered by the office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health.

Vision Statement: To advance Cell Therapy and Stem Cell research and development in Israel in order to create new knowledge and to translate it into improved health for the benefit of individuals and families throughout the world. To support the use of the revolutionary principles of the new stem cell and regenerative biology in order to develop qualitative and innovative treatments for patients.

November 2005-  The Israel Stem Cell Society (ISCS) is established

The establishment of the society was announced publicly during the Stem Cell Meeting that was held at the Weizmann Institute.

Ethics, regulation and Legislation


Bioethics Advisory Committee of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
The committee published a report on "The use of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic research" and on " Population-based large- scale collections of DNA samples and databases of genetic information". Both reports can be obtained at the Academy's website:

National Council of Bioethics

In 2004, the National Council of Bioethics was appointed by the Ministry of Health and Minister of Science.
In contrast to many Western countries, Israel endorses a very permissive legislation and regulation of Embryonic Stem Cell research and development.
Judaism places a high value on the religious obligation of treating serious illness even if it requires transgression of religious commands such as the sanctity of Sabbath. The obligation of saving life cannot obviously be done at the expense of another life. With respect to the embryo prior to implantation, it is further viewed that there is no potential of the fertilized egg or the blastocyst to initiate pregnancy and develop to birth unless there is a parental decision to do so. These moral stances have been the basis for authorizing IVF and related medical procedures, often with religious consent and with moral consistency.


In Israel, derivation of Embryonic SCs from early stage embryos is allowed. The Israeli Law ( Prohibition of Genetic Intervention ( Human cloning and Genetic Manipulation of Reproductive Cells) Law, 5759-1999, prohibits the creation of a ‘complete human being’ by reproductive cloning, yet does not rule out producing cloned embryos that will not be implanted. The law shall remain in force until March 1st,2009.


The Supreme committee for human experimentation
This committee was appointed in 2004 under the Public Health (Medical Experiments on Humans) regulations 5741-1980, by the director general of the Ministry of Health. This committee regulates human genetic experiments, IVF and special requests of the director general that concerns experiments done in humans.

R&D Highlights

Israeli Consortium Bereshit (Genesis) for cell therapy

Vision Statement: To create and advance a cluster of cell therapy companies in Israel that will acquire a global leadership position in the field, providing generic enabling technologies for cell therapy and stem cell derived products and new human Embryonic SC lines.


Design and technology by tmg