As President Barack Obama announced he was lifting a ban on embryonic stem cell research Monday morning in Washington, D.C., local researchers declared they will enthusiastically pursue the sometimes-controversial research in their labs.

At the University of Miami Medical School, where doctors have been looking into the healing powers of immature adult stem cells, medical school dean Dr. Pascal Goldschmidt said embryonic stem cells would be added to their research efforts.

''We agree with using embryonic stem cells for research,'' Goldschmidt said. "We feel the restrictions of the past eight years were of no benefit to mankind.''

UM doctors said they now will use embryonic stem cells in research in several areas:

Spinal cord injury repair: The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis already is seeking FDA approval to experiment with adult stem cells, injecting them around the injury to see if they will generate into spinal cord cells, restoring the patient's ability to walk. Now it will add embryonic stem cells, which are more flexible, to the FDA request.

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