Korean delegation visits Wisconsin and WiCell to learn about establishing stem cell bank

12.10.07

A delegation of South Korean scientists and government officials is visiting the WiCell Research Institute, the private, non-profit supporting organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison that hosts the National Stem Cell Bank, to learn about best practices in stem cell growth, culture, distribution and operations.
 
The five-member delegation, which includes the director and a leading scientist from the CHA Stem Cell Institute in Seoul, along with representatives from the country’s Ministry of Health and National Institute of Health, are leading efforts to establish the Korean National Stem Cell Bank. The members of the delegation are:

    Hyung Min Chung, PhD., director and professor of CHA Stem Cell Institute, CHA University
    Dong Ryul Lee, PhD., associate professor of CHA Stem Cell Institute, CHA University
    Ju Young Kong, deputy assistant, Bioethics and Safety Team, Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare
    Young Ou Kim, senior scientist, Division of Life Science Research Management, Korea National Institute of Health
    Rina Han,reseacher, Division of Life Science Research Management, Korea National Institute of Health

During their day-and-a-half visit, the group is being briefed on the mission, goals, structure, staffing, funding, and operations, including quality assurance protocols, of WiCell and the National Stem Cell Bank.

About the WiCell Research Institute and National Stem Cell Bank

The WiCell Research Institute was founded in 1999 to advance stem cell science. It is a supporting organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, site of the first successful isolation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998, and currently the top-ranked public university for research funding in the United States. WiCell has hosted the National Stem Cell Bank since 2005, when it was selected to develop and operate the bank by the National Institutes of Health.

WiCell’s mission includes conducting and supporting stem cell research and establishing scientific protocols, distributing the NIH registry stem cell lines, and providing training and educational outreach to scientists worldwide, area schools and the general public.

Since 1999, WiCell has fulfilled 857 requests for stem cell lines to 563 researchers in 25 countries and 40 states. Academic scientists using these cell lines and methodologies face no restrictions on patenting or publishing their own novel work. Currently, two vials containing approximately 6 million stem cells capable of establishing multiple new colonies are priced for academic researchers at $500 through the National Stem Cell Bank.