Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Important role with NHMRC Committee granted to lead CMRI researcher

CMRI’s Professor Patrick Tam was given an important and trusted role. He was made a member of the Embryo Research Licensing Committee of the NHMRC, which oversees the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 and the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002.  It regulates research activities that involve the use of human embryos created by assisted reproductive technology (ART) or by other means. There are strong penalties for non-compliance with the legislation.  The legislation also prohibits human cloning for reproductive purposes and a range of other practices relating to reproductive technology.

The Licensing Committee has prescribed functions under the national regulatory framework established by the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 (RIHE Act) and the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 (PHCR Act).

The functions of the Licensing Committee are:
  • to consider applications for licences to conduct research involving human embryos;
  • to issue (subject to conditions) or not issue such licences;
  • to maintain a publicly available database containing information about licences issued;
  • to monitor licensed activities and ensure compliance with the legislation through the appointment of inspectors and take necessary enforcement action, such as cancelling or suspending licences;
  • to report to the Parliament of Australia on the operation of the RIHE Act and the licences issued under this Act; and
  • to perform such other functions as are conferred on it by the RIHE Act or any other law.

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