Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hall To Leave CIRM at End of This Month

In a surprise announcement, Zach Hall, president of the California stem cell agency, said he would leave his post at the end of this month instead of June. Among the reasons, he cited for his earlier departure is a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Here is the full text of his resignation letter to the Oversight Committee:

"Dear Colleagues,

"I am writing to announce that I will be stepping down as President and Chief Scientific Officer of CIRM as of April 30. I had originally intended to stay through the June ICOC meeting, but several recent developments have caused me to change my plans.

"First, and most importantly, I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and, in early May, will be undergoing surgery that will require several weeks convalescence.

"Secondly, I had hoped, in spite of the surgery, to stay long enough to complete the Shared Laboratories RFA review and to help launch the large facilities RFA in June. It is clear from the most recent Facilities Working Group meeting, however, that there is a strong and understandable desire by the working group to have a longer and more deliberative approach to developing the RFA than I will have time to lead. In addition, the exceedingly contentious and occasionally personal tone of the last FWG meeting suggests that it is in both my best interest and that of the Institute for me to step down at this time.

"I am very, very proud of what we have accomplished together. I have enjoyed working with such a distinguished and talented group, both on the ICOC and at CIRM. It has been a privilege to participate in this great project, and I wish you every possible success as you continue to pursue it."
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