A UC Irvine team under the guidance of neurobiologist Hans Keirstead will generate five new stem cell lines to be used in research and treatment for several injuries and illnesses including spinal-cord injury, diabetes, various forms of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The lines will be developed through excess embryos — both healthy and genetically abnormal — donated by couples undergoing fertility treatment at West Coast Fertility Centers in Orange County, Calif.

Donations will only be made under the approved consent of donor couples and will be conducted under policies approved by a stem cell oversight committee established at UC Irvine.

Once the lines are established, the team will make them available to scientists worldwide free of charge.