Sunday, April 22, 2007

The $222 Million Question and CIRM's Direction

The directors of the California stem cell agency will come to grips on May 2 with the abrupt departure of its president and a related acrimonious flap involving its plans to give away – or not give away -- $222 million for research laboratories.

The public will have a unique opportunity to hear and comment on those matters during the first-ever conference call meeting of CIRM's Oversight Committee. Locations are available in many areas of California where persons can listen to the session or make comments. Three in San Francisco, two each in La Jolla and Irvine and and one each in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Carlsbad , Stanford and Duarte. You can find the specific locations on the agenda.

The 29-member committee is scheduled to consider the appointment of an interim CIRM president, probably somebody from within the existing staff. It will also have to find a new chair for the Facilities Working Group.

The May 2 meeting was called after CIRM President Zach Hall moved up his departure date from CIRM two months following a contentious meeting of the Facilities group April 13. The chairman of that group also quit, resigning with no explanation.

Also on the agenda is the go-slow motion from the Facilities group on grants for major labs. The motion was unanimously adopted on April 13 by the Facilities group, which is dominated by patient advocate members of the Oversight Committee. The motion seemed to fly in the face of opposite direction from the full Oversight Committee just three days earlier. The Oversight Committee basically approved the schedule for the grants last year as well the dollars when it approved its strategic plan. However, votes can change.

Nominally nine patient advocates sit on the Oversight Committee but two also have significant ties to institutions that could benefit from lab grants. Fourteen Oversight members, including two patient advocates, have significant ties to institutions that could stand to benefit from lab grants. Here is the list of members. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. Howard Faulkner12:30 AM

    embryonic stem cell research will not be needed because nature has produced an algae in which certain extracts fuel adult stem cell production in the human body that has proven to be beneficial to humans in a number of clinical tests.

    The moral issue has died or will soon die on the vine. Thank you Mother and Father Nature!