Stem cell-based embryo models

Current Project

Rapid review

A rapid review project exploring the ethical and regulatory issues raised by research using human stem cell-based embryo models.

Human embryo culture

We are conducting a rapid review project to assess and advise on the ethical and regulatory issues raised by research using human stem cell-based embryo models.

This work forms part of our Reproduction, Parenthood and Families focus areas which we identified as a priority in our new strategy 'Making ethics matter'.

The questions we are exploring include:

  • Do these models raise specific ethical considerations and could they merit the requirement for special protections?
  • Are current UK governance mechanisms suitable and sufficient?
  • How might these governance mechanisms need to evolve as science advances and embryo models become more sophisticated?

We intend to provide robust, actionable recommendations for decision makers working in this area by the end of 2024.

This project is being overseen by an expert working group, Chaired by Emma Cave, Professor of Healthcare Law at the University of Durham.

Project Team

Ran Svenning Berg

Research and Policy Manager

Ranveig undertakes research to support the Council’s work and monitors developments in areas of interest to the Council.

Prior to this she was the Communications Officer at the Council, and before that managed communications at the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and completed a BA in Development Studies and International Relations at London Metropolitan University.


Allison Milbrath

Researcher, Bioethics and Policy

Allison is a bioethics and policy researcher, primarily supporting our current independent review looking at the causes of disagreements in the care of critically ill children in England.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's emergent COVID-19 response. She holds a BSc in Public Health Science, BA in Spanish, and a MS in Bioethics and Society from King's College London.