Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CIRM Pulls Three Grants from Researchers

SAN DIEGO -- The California stem cell agency tonight said it has terminated three research grants for lack of progress, but declined to release immediately the names of the researchers or the institutions involved.

James Harrison
, outside counsel to the CIRM board, acknowledged that the names were public record but said the agency wanted time to work out a well-considered way of releasing the information.

Marie Csete
, CIRM's chief scientific officer, disclosed the terminations during a report on the progress of CIRM grants. The information came in response to a question from board member Ricardo Azziz, chairman of the department of obstetrics at Cedars-Sinai Hospital n Los Angeles.

She said efforts to monitor the progress of grants were generally well-received by investigators. She said that they discovered several grants that would have been abandoned without the progress monitoring effort by her staff.

Board member Floyd Bloom, executive director of science communication at the Scripps Institute, said the monitoring effort is a “wonderful thing.” He said CIRM's “nuturing relations with PIs is absolutely unique in the grant world.”

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