Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gaining Brains in California

Thomson, now Yamanaka, plus nearly 50 more. So goes the count of a stem cell scientists dipping their toes – if not their entire corpus – into the California stem cell pool.

A few days ago, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University said he was opening a lab at the Gladstone Intitutes in San Francisco. Yamanaka excited the stem cell world recently with his work in reprogramming adult stem cells to return an embryonic state. Earlier this year, UC Santa Barbara said Jamie Thomson of the University of Wisconsin was establishing a lab at the seaside campus.

Dale Carlson, chief communications officer for the California stem cell agency, said the state is a becoming a mecca for stem cell researchers. He produced a list (see item below) of nearly 50 who have come to California since Prop. 71 created CIRM and funded it with $3 billion in state bonds.

The headline on the story by Mary Anne Ostrom in the San Jose Mercury News read, "Japanese scientist's move reflects state's rising clout." David Hamilton's piece on Venture Beat described Yamanaka's move as "certainly a coup," likening it to a "brain gain." But he also said Yamanaka will be spending only a week a month in San Francisco for the next year or two. Rob Waters of Bloomberg quoted CIRM interim chief scientific director Arlene Chiu as saying it was a "great coup" for Gladstone and California. Steven Edwards of Wired.com called Yamanaka "one of the hottest prizes in stem cell reasearch."

Here is a link to the Gladstone press release. See the item below regarding moves by other scientists to California. Sphere: Related Content

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