Thursday, October 05, 2006

San Diego Stem Cell Researchers Enthused by CIRM Plan

Reporter Terri Somers of the San Diego Union Tribune has a more detailed story -- compared to her early report Wednesday -- on the CIRM draft plan in this morning's paper, including more reaction.

She wrote:
"San Diego-based stem cell scientists who will be applying for funding from the institute were enthusiastic after reading the proposal.

"'I think many of the five-year goals we are well on track for accomplishing, which probably means we'll be able to make the 10-year goals as well,' said Evan Snyder, a stem cell researcher at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla.

"'I also think there's a good appreciation (in the plan) for the fact that developing therapies depends on good fundamental knowledge of disease process and how cells work,' Snyder said.

"He and his Burnham Institute colleague Jeanne Loring said they were excited with a plan to provide about $182 million to interdisciplinary teams of scientists. Some of these teams will start out with a plan of addressing a specific disease.

In the early years, an important part of the institute's program will encourage scientist-initiated, curiosity-driven science relevant to the development of embryonic stem cell therapies. Limited federal funding for stem cell research makes the institute's funding of this what-if science imperative, the strategic plan states.

"Loring, one of many people interviewed by the committee drafting the plan, was enthusiastic to see that the funding included grants for scientists looking for many different ways to grow embryonic stem cell lines."
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