Friday, January 27, 2006

Policy for Removal of Stem Cell Advisers Advances

The California stem cell agency is moving forward with development of a policy on removal of members of its working groups – the panels that make key recommendations on facilities, grants and ethical and research standards.

Ordinarily consideration of such a policy would merit little notice, but it came up shortly after one working group member, stem cell researcher Jose Cibelli, became embroiled in the Korean stem cell scandal. Cibelli has resigned from his post at CIRM and has asked Michigan State University, where he is employed, to investigate his involvement in the Korean affair.

California stem cell chairman Robert Klein said today that the development of the removal policy was underway prior to the Cibelli matter.

According to the policy considered by the Governance Subcommittee, members of working groups may be removed for the following

"1. An intentional violation or violations of the Working Group conflict of interest policy applicable to the member;

"2. Two or more grossly negligent violations of the Working Group conflict of interest policy applicable to the member;

"3. Consistent failure to perform the assigned duties of the Working Group member or unexcused absence from three consecutive Working Group meetings;

"4. Violation of medical or ethical standards by the member in his or her professional capacity as determined by the appropriate research institution or the appropriate professional group;

"5. In the case of a member of the Medical Research Funding Working Group, employment by an institution located in the State of California;

"6. In the case of a member of the Medical Facilities Working Group, acceptance of a contract in his or her professional capacity that would create a conflict of interest under Proposition 71 and that cannot be avoided through the procedures and policies preventing actual conflict of interest at the Working Group;

"7. The conviction of a felony or act involving serious moral turpitude."

The full text of the policy can be found here. The Governance Subcommittee did not have a quorum and so could not vote on the policy. It will go to the full Oversight Committee for final consideration. Sphere: Related Content

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