Roles and responsibilities in stem cell research: a focus group study with stem cell researchers and patients

Lars S Assen , Karin R Jongsma , Rosario Isasi, Marianna A Tryfonidou & Annelien L Bredenoord

Published: July 2022


Background: The perspectives of researchers and patients regarding roles and responsibilities in stem cell research are rarely studied, but these could offer insights about responsible research conduct. Method: We have conducted a qualitative study consisting of focus groups with both early- (n = 7) and late-career stem cell researchers (n = 11) that are primarily based in Europe, and with Dutch patients with chronic lower back pain (n = 9). These focus groups have been analyzed thematically. Results: Four themes were identified: 1) roles and responsibilities in the laboratory, 2) responsibilities of and toward patients and the public, 3) the role of regulation and 4) structural hurdles for responsibility. Discussion: The results suggest that responsible research conduct could be improved by addressing grant application procedures, publication pressure and by providing support of dissemination activities for researchers. Conclusion: Responsibility in stem cell research could be enhanced by embracing open science initiatives and targeted training.

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