Friday, June 26, 2009

Minimal Media Coverage of Csete's Resignation

They didn't stop the presses at the San Francisco Chronicle this week for news of the resignation of the chief scientific officer at the $3 billion California stem cell agency, although it is a bit of a local story for the newspaper.

No mainstream media have covered Marie Csete's pending departure as far as we can tell. But it surfaced in a couple places on the Internet that have international audiences, which this blog has as well. The news was also, we understand, the subject of some discussion at a meeting of CIRM grant reviewers in San Francisco the last two days. No information has been posted concerning Csete's resignation on CIRM's own Web site.

Ron Leuty of the San Francisco Business Times wrote two pieces, one a straight-forward news story and the other something of a reaction piece.

Monya Baker at The Niche, Nature magazine's stem cell blog, wrote that she was “impressed with (Csete's) very practical approach to the unglamorous parts of helping move stem cells into human testing.”

Jim Till
put up an item on the blog of the Canadian stem cell consortium. And Peter Jamison of the San Francisco Weekly also posted a piece.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:52 PM

    What we should see is Trounson's resignation. He isn't qualified to advance CIRM programs into clinical applications or work with companies for that matter IMHO. In industry, an executive that loses his number two "man" after one year, twice, raises some questions...

    Dr. Csete found an ocean liner of every which way to Sunday basic research and little in the way of quality translational work (as noted in previous comments on this blog). She had investigators, according to her recent presentation at the CIRM meeting, wanting to switch to the latest "hot" thing while she wanted them to persevere on the work CIRM already invested in. Add to that a board full of grant recipient institutions who never should have been on the board in the first place, I am sure not happy if their institutions didn't maintain a level of CIRM funding, and you can see why the CSO is only lasting a year. What a mess. The citing of a few research papers by Trounson at the recent meeting in lieu of budget details would be laughable if it wasn't so pitiful. Pitiful in that it is far from giving the people of California or the US for that matter what we thought we were getting when the idea of CIRM was first proposed. CIRM appears to be an unfocused, political, conflicted version of the "NIH", for a lot more money per head. Now that Obama has changed the rules for ES research CIRM has the opportunity to stop the overly broad focus in its basic research and play an important role in translational/applied stem cell research, tapping into the impressive scientific and clinical resources and talent in CA but it will be a bear to turn that ocean liner around - if it can be done.