Posted January. 12, 2005 22:53,
The stem cell research led by Hwang Woo-suks team of researchers at Seoul National University received the green light from the government.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare stated on January 12 The registration of professor Hwangs stem cell research institute and its research is the first of its kind since the promulgation of the law on bioethics and safety on January 1.
Research on the search for cures for rare and incurable diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease are predicted to be launched in earnest using the stem cells.
This research is effective only until a separate presidential decree on the somatic cell embryo research is promulgated, as deliberated by the National Bioethics Deliberation Association established at the end of the month. A presidential decree may mean that the team would have to retrace the research approval procedure.
According to the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation, the Association for Hwang Woo-suk (president: Kim Jae-chul, CEO of Dongwon Group), established last April, has collected 1101.6 million won worth of donations.
Three hundred people, including one anonymous businessman who deposited 600 million won, have provided donations to fund for professor Hwangs research.
The Korea Science and Engineering Foundation has distributed 116.67 million won of the donations in four installments as part of Hwang Woo-suks research funds.
Hong Jae-hoon, director of the Association for Hwang Woo-suk, stated, Our donations have exceeded 1 billion won by the end of last year, and added, Last week we used 2.8 million won to purchase a van to be used for research purposes, as his old car that the team used for two years to visit farms and ranches was too old, having traveled for 170,000 km.
The members of the Association for Hwang Woo-suk numbers 1,270 so far, including 1,020 online (www.wshwang.com) and 250 offline members. The secretariat is located at the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation.