Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UC Irvine Breaks Ground on Stem Cell Lab

In a bit of a minor PR gaffe, UC Irvine announced its groundbreaking ceremonies on Friday for a new stem cell lab that will be partially financed with $27 million in CIRM funds without specifically mentioning the California stem cell agency by name.

The news release named Robert Klein and the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, but nowhere was the phrase "the California stem cell agency" or "CIRM" used. The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee is the ungainly official name for the CIRM board of directors, but few Californians would make that connection.

One page
on the UC Irvine web site did, however, carry a small rendering (see photo) of the lab which identified it as the "Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute." All of this PR hooha makes little difference to the stem cell effort. However, CIRM directors have expressed their firm desire for PR credit by retaining the right to approve the naming of labs that they finance with public money. The names are not official until approved by CIRM directors. Sphere: Related Content

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