Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NIH Lawsuit Reaction: CIRM Chair Thomas Touts Research 'Stability' in California

The California stem cell agency this afternoon weighed in with a reaction to dismissal of the lawsuit against federal funding of hESC research, using the opportunity to promote the different situation in California.

It was the first foray by new CIRM Chairman Jonathan Thomas, outside of his election last month, in an official CIRM press release. Thomas said in the release,
"The field of stem cell research depends on a stable source of funding, such as CIRM provides in California. Young scientists uncertain about future funding might opt to work in areas other than stem cell science, which could slow progress toward new cures. This ruling is a positive step, but with the possibility that the case might be appealed, a predictable source of state and private funding continues to be essential."
CIRM President Alan Trounson was quoted as saying,
"California scientists have been able to carry on with research toward therapies for HIV/AIDS, diabetes, sickle cell disease and spinal cord injury, among others, without worrying about disruptions in their funding. With federal dollars available these scientists can leverage results from CIRM grants to get additional federal capital and can tap into potential collaborators in other states who bring expertise that could speed progress toward stem cell-based therapies."
Stability and potential leveraging are the two themes Trounson and Thomas hit – something that CIRM has tried to sell for some time.

The news release was a bit late for East Coast daily newspaper deadlines and much too late to be included in the initial news reports, but it could pick up some traffic on the Internet. Whether it makes any stories in California news outlets will have to be determined later.

When Thomas was elected, he said the agency is in a "communications war." However, CIRM is handicapped because it is in the midst of a reorganization of its PR efforts including the hiring of a director of communications to work out of Thomas' office. Sphere: Related Content

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