Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Private Touch in ESC Research

The Washington Post today caught up with some of the doings at the California stem cell agency, reporting that private, "almost unprecedented contributions" have saved the day at CIRM.

The story by Sonya Geis said the loans have also helped fuel other giving for embryonic stem cell research in California, echoing a point made in the San Diego Union-Tribune series, "The Stem Cell Wars."
"Private money is also building new stem cell labs on university campuses across the state. Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad gave $25 million to the University of Southern California for a stem cell institute, sound-technology pioneer Ray Dolby gave $16 million to the University of California at San Francisco, and local donors are contributing to a $75 million expansion at the University of California at Davis.

"'I was amazed by the number of wealthy Californians who have stepped up and decided to support a public agency,' said Owen Witte, director of the new Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. 'I've never heard of anything like this.'"
Geis erred on one point, however. She said "affluent Californians gave $31 million" to CIRM. The money was actually loaned to the agency and is to be repaid with interest. However, if CIRM loses the lawsuit against it, the lenders will not be repaid. Sphere: Related Content

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