case western reserve university



Public Affairs Discussion Group

"STEM CELL RESEARCH: Science, Ethics, and Prospects"

April 6, 2007
Crawford Hall, Room 9 & 11 - The Inamori Center

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

(Lunch and refreshments will be provided)

Sponsored by: Case Western Reserve University Center for Policy Studies and The National Center for Regenerative Medicine

Interim President-Gregory L. Eastwood M.D.

Gregory L. Eastwood M.D. - Interim President at Case Western Reserve University

Insoo Hyun , Ph. D. - Assistant Professor of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University

Horst von Recum, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University


The use of both adult and embryonic stem cells for medical treatment has been a subject of great political controversy. There are ethical and political issues about both research and treatment. Yet the stakes may be overstated by both sides, in a competition between political and scientific exaggeration.

What is the state of the science? What is its potential? How do policies affect the science? What are the ethical issues about research? If the research is successful, would that raise new ethical issues about treatment? Professor von Recum will speak about the science; Professor Hyun about the ethics; and then President Eastwood will offer his perspectives as both a physician and a medical school and university leader.

This is a special event of the Friday Public Affairs Lunch sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Center for Policy Studies.

More About Our Guests

Dr. Eastwood is the interim president of Case Western Reserve University, having taken the helm June 2, 2006, following the resignation this past spring of Edward M. Hundert, M.D.

Before accepting the interim post, the Case alumnus and former board of trustees member, served as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, since January 1993. Upstate Medical University is comprised of the University Hospital, four professional colleges (medicine, nursing, health professions, and graduate studies), and a clinical campus in Binghamton, NY. With an annual budget of nearly $800 million and a workforce of over 6,300 people, Upstate is Central New York's largest employer.

Dr. Eastwood received his B.A. in 1962 from Albion College (Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.D. in 1966 from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha). He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Boston University Medical Center sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

He then served two years on the Clinical Investigation Service at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. Subsequently, he held faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was director of the gastroenterology section and associate dean for admissions. Before coming to Syracuse, Dr. Eastwood was dean of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Eastwood's professional interests have included the responsibilities of academic health centers to the health of the community, the role of leadership in academic health centers, bioethics, and ethics of academic health organizations. His research interests have been in gastrointestinal epithelial renewal, neoplastic disorders, mechanisms of mucosal injury and protection, and peptic ulcer disease. He has authored 125 articles and book chapters and has written or edited several books.

Dr. Eastwood is married to Lynn Marshall Eastwood (CIT '66). They have three daughters, Kristen A. Eastwood Bowers, Lauren E. Eastwood, Ph.D., Kara L. Eastwood Grace, M.D., and four grandchildren, Caitlin Eastwood Bowers, Nicholas Eastwood Bowers, Hunter William Grace, and Adelaide Lee Grace.


Insoo Hyun received his BA and MA in philosophy from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University. Most of his early training in philosophy focused on ethical theory and epistemology; under the direction of his dissertation supervisor, Dan Brock, he later came to develop a predominant interest in biomedical ethics.

Dr. Hyun's scholarly interests include human embryonic stem cell research ethics, cross-cultural issues in informed consent, multiculturalism and patient autonomy, and health resource allocation.  His bioethics publications have appeared in Nature, The Hastings Center Report, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, among others.

In 2005, Dr. Hyun was awarded a Fulbright Research Award by the U.S. Department of State to spend the summer studying the ethical, legal, and cultural dimensions of human research cloning in South Korea.  His work focused on improving the informed consent procedures for oocyte and somatic cell donation for stem cell research to be used by researchers at the World Stem Cell Hub in Seoul. 

Dr. Hyun has been actively involved with the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), the leading professional organization for stem cell scientists around the world.  In 2006, Dr. Hyun served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Materials Procurement for the ISSCR's International Guidelines Task Force headed by George Daley. Dr. Hyun is also the current Chairperson of the ISSCR's Ethics and Public Policy Committee.


The research in Horst von Recum's lab is on tissue engineering blood vessels either for use as small diameter implants, or for pre-vascularizing polymer scaffolds for other tissue engineering applications. To this end he examines the differentiation of stem cells, both embryonic and hematopoietic to become the various components of blood vessels. Stem cells show great promise as tissue engineering tools both in their unlimited replication potential and plasticity. Recent progress has shown that stem cells can be differentiated into circulating endothelial precursors, and it is these cells which cause repair and regeneration of large vascular defects.

Horst von Recum is are also investigating the use of novel stimuli-responsive polymers for use in cell, gene, and drug delivery. These polymers can allow binding and loading under one condition, and release or expression under another condition. We are examining the use of these polymers as scaffolds for engineered tissues, as coatings for existing biomaterial implants, and as selection substrates in the identification of novel angiogenic factors through systems biology approaches.

Spring Semester Schedule

Beginning on February 2, the Friday Lunch will move back to Crawford Hall, in ROOM 9. Room 9 is within the Inamori Center, on the basement level of Crawford.

It is very kind of Bill Deal, Director of the Inamori Center, to make this room available on a regular basis. Thank you, Bill!

Room 9 seats 35, with a central table and also chairs along the wall. It should be a better setup than Guilford. If we expect a large crowd, we may be able to open a partition and join up with Room 11.

There will, however, be a class in the room until 12:20. Therefore it will not be possible to get there much before the lunch begins. On the other hand, people who are a bit early should be able to hang out in the Tomlinson food court. I believe the underground passage from Tomlinson to Crawford will be restored when construction is finished.

Coffee will be provided from the SAGES Cafe'. Which should mean very good coffee.

The tentative schedule of speakers, so far:

January 26: Phil (Perkins Professor of Physics-Case Western Reserve University) and Sarah Taylor, Wind Power and All of It's Aspects - Environmental, Energy,  Economic, Aesthetic, and Maybe More.

February 2: Ken Grundy, Marcus Hanna Professor Emeritus of Political Science, on subject to be determined

February 9: Paul Schroeder, Visiting Lecturer in Political Science and from Families of the Fallen for Change, on what to do in Iraq

February 16: Mark Turner, Professor of Cognitive Science, on cognition and politics

February 23: Mel Goldstein, Professor of Anthropology, on why the Chinese are winning in Tibet

March 2: Susan Helper, Professor of Economics, on strategies for American workers within the current global competition.

March 9: Baiju Shah, President, Bioenterprise Corporation, on the new economic prospects in Cleveland.

March 16: Break

March 23: Mike Aronoff of Cuyahoga County on the evaluation of sexual predators for the courtsare they really dangerous, and can we predict if they will reoffend?

March 30: Lewis R. Katz, John C. Hutchins Professor; Director of the Master of Laws in U.S. and Global Legal Studies program at Case Western Reserve University, on the Ups and Downs of Running for Congress.

April 6: Horst von Recum, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Insoo Hyun, Assistant Professor of Bioethics; and Greg Eastwood, Interim President of Case Western Reserve University on Stem Cell Research.

April 13: Marixa Lasso, Assistant Professor of History: Drugs, War, and Coffee in Colombia

April 20: Mark Joseph, Assistant Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences: Mixed-Income Development as an Approach to Addressing Urban Poverty

April 27: Christine Cano, Associate Professor of French, on the French elections (this date falls between the first round and the runoff election)

Parking: Normally 6 parking spaces are reserved in the CWRU visitors lot off of Euclid Avenue for the Friday Public Affairs Discussion Group lunches.

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