While political debate over stem cells continues, the science has made tremendous strides during the past 18 months. In the frenzy of activity, Woo Suk Hwang has stood out for the impact his team from Seoul National University has had on the still nascent field. Hwang has achieved remarkable progress in a short period.
In February 2004 Hwang and his research group reported the first embryonic stem cell line derived from a cloned human embryo. By May 2005 they had used cloning techniques to create 11 stem cell lines, each one the perfect genetic match of a different patient, another first. In August 2005 they introduced the first cloned dog. And in October 2005 they announced a plan for a stem cell bank open to scientists worldwide.