Monday, September 17, 2007

Reaction to Trounson: CIRM Management Issues to His Love of Learning

The appointment of Alan Trounson to head California's $3 billion stem cell agency is triggering more reaction today, ranging from curiosity about his Australian origins to the continuing structural and management issues at the fledgling institute.

Here are some samples:

David Hamilton, writing on, discussed the management problems. He said,
"...(T)he challenges CIRM still faces are significant, and it doesn’t help that Trounson apparently won’t even start his new job until the end of the year — and even then will likely work part-time while he winds down his involvement with his Monash laboratory. With all due respect to acting president Richard Murphy, it’s still likely to be a while before CIRM gets the steady hand on the tiller it appears to need so badly.
Monya Baker, news editor of NatureReports Stem Cells, wrote on The Niche, the stem cell blog of Nature magazine,
"One strength that has not been highlighted is Trounson’s potential to link US scientists with those in the Asia-Pacific region. He has been very active in efforts to found an Asian-Pacific Stem Cell Network, and quite vocal about the advantages that that region has for stem cell research. When meeting with leading stem-cell scientists from around the region in June, Trounson was emphatic in discussing the need for political champions.

"Trounson also has experience working successfully in a highly politicized environment. Though largely unnoticed in the US, Australian politicians and scientists launched a successful campaign to make somatic cell nuclear transfer legal."
Patient advocate Don Reed brought his unique perspective to the news in his Sept. 16 item on, including how the announcement looked from a teleconference perspective. Reed noted that Trounson disclosed, in response to a question, that his Australian ancestors arrived there as a result of the British judicial system. Trounson said "he was descended from a convict, who had been jailed because of two overdue library books—and that he had inherited his ancestor’s love of learning.(see editor's note below)"

Larry Ebert, writing on his Ipbiz blog, has a discussion of patent and WARF issues related to Trounson.

(Editor's Note: John M. Simpson of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights, asked the light-hearted question about Trounson"s ancestor. After this item was first posted on this blog, Simpson said that Trounson said that his ancestor stole the books. Simpson said that Trounson also reported that "his ancestor had been 'trying to better himself'
and hoped that his genetic material had continued through to him...") Sphere: Related Content

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