Wednesday, February 04, 2009

CIRM Board Member Pizzo Writes About Stem Cell Budget Woes

Stanford medical school dean Philip Pizzo, a member of the board of the California stem cell agency, this week offered his assessment of the current state of CIRM's financial affairs.

Writing Tuesday in a newsletter to the medical school staff, Pizzo described the the situation as "ironic" for CIRM, which was designed to be impervious to the vagaries of the state's budget wars.

He said that over the past few years, the NIH has struggled with funding while CIRM "filled a vital and important niche." Pizzo wrote,
"How ironic then to witness a very serious potential setback to CIRM's efforts."
He continued,
"Given the problems in the current bond sale efforts, CIRM and the ICOC (the CIRM board) will pursue an alternative through 'private placement.' This is an ambitious task with lots of challenges -- but it is worth a serious effort. The basic mantra of the ICOC is that we have faced adversity before (which I can affirm is absolutely true) and that we have found ways to overcome major external challenges. We are committed to doing that again."
Pizzo also summarized the discussion last week on CIRM's financial woes with particular emphasis on what CIRM has meant to Stanfod (more than $100 million).

The Stanford Medical School also produced a piece by Krista Conger that discussed CIRM's funding issues.

Pizzo's piece was timely with a positive spin that did not ignore the magnitude of the problem. Other CIRM board members would do well to emulate his effort and distribute their perspectives widely to their staffs and associates. Sphere: Related Content

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