Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Warm-up for a Big Money Week

You could call it the CIRM Round – the wave of meetings surrounding each session of the California stem cell agency's Oversight Committee.

But in this case it is a mini-wave, given the committee's busy, two-day agenda – freshly posted on the Web -- during which it is expected to award its first research grants. Ahead of that is a meeting of the legislative subcommittee Feb. 12. The presidential search subcommittee met last month.

In addition to consideration next week of the recommendations on $24 million in SEED research grants, the Oversight Committee will take up a report (not yet online) from the search group. Overseers are scheduled to consider recommendations from the legislative panel involving federal stem cell legislation. Legislative matters at the state level involve two umbilical cord blood bills (AB34 and AB40) and possibly proposed legislation by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, chair of the State Senate Health Committee.

That proposal is not specifically listed on the agenda, but should be discussed if the stem cell directors want to move off their reactive legislative posture.

Also on tap are federal rules (OMB Circular A-21) having to with determining costs on grants. It is not clear why this is on the agenda based on the online material, but it is likely to involve issues of separation of federal and state grant money, since federal grants must be isolated from non-approved stem cell lines.

Remote locations for the legislative subcommittee are available to the public in California in Palo Alto, Chico, Sacramento, La Jolla and San Francisco as well as Maui in Hawaii. No remote locations are available for the Oversight Committee meeting Feb. 15-16 in Burlingame.

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