An assistant professor of biology at CSS emphasized the function of stem cell therapy and the necessity of doing stem cell research in clinical trial during a recent speech at the CSS campus.
The speech was held in Somers Lounge and more than 200 people attended. Dr. Kara Thoemke was invited to give a lecture. She made a presentation on the basic knowledge of cells, formation and function of stem cells and the historical timeline of stem cell research.
“We need to accept that the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells is promising,” Thoemke said, “and it is useful for additional research and clinical trials.”
She addressed several issues during her presentation:
• What is a stem cell
• What’s the function of stem cell treatment
• Ethical issues in stem cell research
Stem cells are cells that are not completely specialized, which have the ability to divide and renew themselves through mitotic cell division and become many specialized cell types.
“Embryonic stem cells produced through therapeutic cloning have been proposed as promising therapies in the future,” Thoemke said, “they are used in treating various diseases such as leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but the major problems are ethical and moral issues.”
One audience asked that as a scientist, it is necessary to study stem cells and what do they do when they come across ethical issues. “Scientists know that stem cells can treat disease and it is necessary for them to do research,” Thoemke said, “but they will never cross the moral boundary.”
Father William C. Graham, professor of Catholic Studies and Director of the Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies at CSS, also gave his opinion of stem cell research from a Catholic standpoint.
“We are taught to learn what we should know and what is good for us,” Graham said in the end of the lecture. “God cannot deny himself and truth cannot contradict truth. The best way is to search more and find truth by ourselves.”