Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nature Magazine Trumpets California 'Upstart'

The California stem cell agency's $85 million faculty awards program received some attention today on the website of Nature magazine.

A brief piece by Monya Baker noted that the program had been announced by "an upstart state-funded initiative to make California a stem-cell research hub."

She wrote:
"US biomedics moving from postdoc to independent research often struggle to find stable sources of funding. New investigators receive only 6% of US National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 awards, the multi-year grants that US universities rely on. Similar to R01, the CIRM grants will fund direct project costs of $300,000 for academics and $400,000 for clinicians. Worries over money hamper long-term thinking, says Xianmin Zeng of the Buck Institute in Novato, California, who plans to apply. Many foundations give only small amounts of money over one or two years, she says. 'For young investigators to get a stable environment, they need a stable foundation,' Zeng says."

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