Thursday, December 10, 2009

CIRM Pumps More Millions Into Training

Directors of the California stem cell agency today added $10.8 million to its training efforts at California colleges and universities, a welcome change for the institutions that have been reeling under brutal cuts because of the state's financial situation.

Earlier this year, the directors declined to fund the seven programs because of CIRM's then precarious financial situation. However, the agency now has funds through June 2011.

Scientific reviewers earlier concluded that the seven applications should be approved if cash were available, a decision that CIRM directors this morning accepted without dissent.

Duane Roth, a San Diego businessman and co-vice chairman of CIRM, however, said the $50,000 per student cost in the overall Bridges program was high and asked for a more detailed report later. Given the size of the schools involved, he said the number of students involved (about 100) was quite small.

CIRM staff said that not all the money goes to the students. The institutions take a cut for "indirect costs." Additional funds are also used elsewhere rather than going directly to students.

CIRM has not yet identified the specific institutions that will receive the funds. But here are the number of the grant applications: Training program II, TG2-01155, TG2-01161; Bridges program, TB1-01181 70, TB1-01185 70, TB1-01183 68, TB1-01197 65, TB1-01188.

Summaries by number of the grant reviews for Training II can be found here.

Summaries for the Bridges grant reviews can be found here.

CIRM is expected to issue a news release later today with the names and more details.

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