Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Klein Defends Role in Selection of Successor

CIRM Chairman Robert Klein today posted a statement on the CIRM Web site regarding his attempt to engineer selection of his successor at the $3 billion stem cell agency. Klein's remarks were filed on the agenda for today's meeting of the CIRM board. It was not immediately clear whether he read the statement to the full board because the audiocast of the meeting began late and was interrupted from time to time.

Here is an excerpt:
"I organized a dinner among all of the individuals whose names were under consideration for nomination. I asked for Board counsel to be present to be sure that Bagley-Keene (open meeting law) requirements were observed. The intent was to provide a free exchange of ideas between the candidates and an opportunity for them to get to know one another. Indeed, I intentionally invited an individual whom I knew had a significantly different position than mine, in order to provide him an opportunity to present his views. The mutual respect and understanding of the candidates’ positions is generally considered essential to prepare for a thoughtful Board discussion on similarities, differences and strategic advantages of one possible candidate versus another. It was also intended to lay a foundation for constructive cooperation between those who succeeded and those who did not succeed in the election.

"Ultimately, lacking time to resolve a technical legal issue, the Governor nominated me, but I have made it clear that I only intend to serve until a new Chair can be selected. In my view, the best candidate would be a person who has exceptional scientific and/or clinical expertise and outstanding patient advocacy credentials that testify to his or her ability to assist in reaching the ultimate objective of our principal mission of driving therapies safely and quickly through FDA-approved clinical trials to patients. Certainly, I would include in our primary mission the parallel development of basic science to validate our understanding of chronic disease and the “mechanisms of action” of potential therapies; as therapies proceed through clinical trials, there will be innumerable intellectual challenges to overcome, ranging from basic science through early translational development issues through to clinical trial methodologies. The ideal candidate would have the education and experience to understand this entire continuum of biomedical knowledge.

"I had scheduled a Governance Subcommittee meeting to discuss the value of a scientist-clinician as Chair, but given that Dr. Bernstein was no longer a candidate, that issue was

"I look forward to a future, robust discussion at the Governance Subcommittee and at the Board of the best criteria for a new Chair."
(Editor's note: Klein later presented a briefer and slightly altered version of the statement orally to the board.)

1 comment:

  1. I would expect nothing less from a comitted leader. Well said by Mr. Klein. I am very glad to see a response from him and wish the CIRM well in their work.