Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Reviewers Unaware of Funding Shortfall?

Some of the scientists who reviewed the training grants authorized by the California stem cell agency may not have known that no funds were available, according to The Scientist.

In an article on the grant program, writer Alison McCook said, "Stuart Orkin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researcher and cochair of the committee that reviewed the grant applications, told The Scientist that committee members did not consider where the money was coming from when awarding grants, and some likely didn't even know about the ongoing legal battles."

The reviewing scientists ranked the proposals on scientific merit as part of the process of making recommendations for funding to the stem cell Oversight Committee.

McCook also interviewed Dennis Clegg, chair of the department of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a grant recipient. He was quoted as saying, "We can't write checks yet."

That appears to be contrary to the expectations of California stem cell leaders, who had expressed hope earlier that grant recipients would proceed with the programs and seek reimbursement later. One suspects the response to that expectation would vary, depending on how flush a particular recipient is. Sphere: Related Content

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