Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stem Cell Agency Provides Early Access to Multimillion Dollar Proposals Coming Before its Directors

Could this be a trend?

The California stem cell agency, working under the direction of a new chairman, has once again posted a handsome amount of background material well in advance of its regular board meeting – in this case the Dec. 8 session at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

For the past several years, the agency has failed to post in a timely fashion important information on many decisions to be made by agency directors, making it virtually impossible for interested parties to plan to attend meetings or prepare thoughtful suggestions or recommend possible changes.

That situation has begun to change under Chairman Jonathan Thomas, a Los Angeles bond financier, who controls the board agenda and who was elected to his post at the end of June. In August, the agency also posted in a timely fashion a healthy dollop of information on matters to come before the board.

For December's meeting, the agenda contains links to information on a proposed $5.6 million recruitment award to lure a star researcher to the Golden State, an update on CIRM's proposed changes in its strategic plan, two new initiatives totalling $27 million that would accelerate progress to the clinic, grant administration changes that could affect the hundreds of CIRM grant recipients and proposed new scientific members for the group that makes the de facto decisions on which scientists receive CIRM cash.

We will have more on the details of all this later, but readers who have a special interest might want to dip in early. All the background information can be found via the agenda, which also says a remote site in San Francisco will be available for participation of those who cannot make it to Los Angeles.

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