Mark Kirk / Stem Cell Law
1:24 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

U.S. Sen. Kirk calls for action on stem cell law

A Chicago-based scientist says he's grateful to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk for siding with legislation that backs stem cell research.

Kirk on Monday called for congressional action to codify an executive order on the research issued by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Dr. John Kessler directs a stem cell research institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

He says Kirk is backing legislation that's "absolutely essential for the field" because uncertainty over federal funding discourages young scientists from doing research on stem cells.

Kirk says stem cell research offers "the best promise" to cure certain diseases. The Illinois Republican says, if senior Democratic senators choose not to move the stem cell legislation in this Congress, he will. He says court challenges to taxpayer-financed stem cell research make legislation necessary.