Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a leading supporter of stem cell research, today released the following statement after the National Institute of Health announced that it had authorized the first lines of human embryonic stem cells for research:

"For all of the families grappling with devastating diseases, conditions and injuries, the light of hope is shining a little brighter today. Scientists have long said that this particular research holds the most promise for the ground-breaking discoveries and cures that can save and improve millions of lives the world over. For years, many of us have worked to ensure that the federal government would throw its support behind this vital research. Our scientists can now get to the work of unlocking the potential within these stem cells."