Thursday, August 09, 2007

Murphy Talks About His New Role

The new interim president of the California stem cell agency says he has no intention of being a placeholder until a permanent president is found, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Reporter Terri Somers interviewed Murphy following his appointment. He said,
"I want to be hands-on. That is part of the attraction for me and part of what (the institute) needs right now."
Murphy said,
"I think it's an exciting time for the (institute), with application requests ready to be issued for large facilities and applications for new investigators grants going out,” he said. “And now there's also discussion about a new (request for applications) for disease-oriented research groups, which I think is a great way of kick-starting disease-oriented research related to stem cells."
Here is more from Somers' story about the sometimes ticklish relationship between California stem cell Chairman Robert Klein and CIRM's former president, Zach Hall:
"'I think Bob and Zach are very talented people. . . . (The institute) did very well in a very short time period,' Murphy said. 'I think Klein is a genius. The guy created Proposition 71 out of nothing and worked very diligently to put (the institute) on the map in a short period of time despite having a lot of hurdles to get over. I look forward to learning a lot from Bob.'"

"Meanwhile, he said, he expects to continue the very open relationship that he had as a board member serving with Klein.

"Murphy does not think Klein's active role at the institute is causing the president search to drag on. In fact, he and others involved in academia said it is not uncommon for recruitment and hiring for such a position to take a year. Nor do they think money or the high cost of housing is an issue, with the salary range set around $500,000(note: the salary currently is capped at $412,500)."
Somers reported that Murphy said "he has no interest in the job long term, although he had been approached several months ago to apply for the permanent position."

In other coverage, Andrew Pollack of the New York Times wrote a brief story on the appointment that also mentioned the California Stem Cell Report reporting on the presidential search. Sphere: Related Content

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