Stem cell research stands as a high-priority field in many countries across the Asia-Pacific region, and the past decade has seen remarkable investment into facilities and programs intended to increase competitiveness in the drive to find clinical applications. In the years roughly framed by Korean cloner Woo-Suk Hwang's meteoric ascent and fall, speculation was rampant that Asia was poised to overtake the West in this field of science. But that potential remains unfulfilled. In this article, I will look at some of the deficits in infrastructure and governance that underlie the East–West stem cell gap, and suggest a number of measures that might be taken to remedy them. J. Cell. Biochem. 107: 853–856, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.