Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scientist Says Csete Resignation is Regrettable

Here is another comment from a California scientist on the resignation of Marie Csete from CIRM. The researcher must remain anonymous for obvious reasons.

“It is indeed regrettable that Dr. Csete has chosen to leave CIRM. Given CIRM's mandate to move stem cells into the clinic, a Chief Scientific Officer with Dr. Csete's clinical and research credentials, especially as they apply to human transplantation, is absolutely essential. It is perhaps telling that of the over 300 grants issued by CIRM only about 10% (by my accounting) are focused on actual preclinical or clinical studies. Although CIRM was established as a way to bolster the perceived inadequacies of the NIH, that rationale has now, in now small measure, evaporated. The advantage that CIRM has, compared to the NIH, is that they are in a position to fund, almost exclusively if they wish, preclinical studies, especially high risk studies that would not get funded by the NIH. It is these studies that will help determine whether or not a given idea about how stem cells might be used clinically actually has a chance of working. If CIRM and the ICOC are continuing to focus on basic biology studies, at the expense of preclinical work, even as it might apply to the upcoming Disease Team Grants, then I, were I in Dr. Csete's shoes, would also leave.”

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