“This is one of those times that we must move forward and compromise.”
- Have 13 members of the 29-member board refrain from voting on specific grant applications. The 13 would be from institutions that could benefit from CIRM grants. They would be allowed to participate in discussions. Thomas said this would deal with financial conflict of interest questions.
- Increase industry participation of industry in grant application review and step up business involvement internally at CIRM, including development of RFAs.
- Redirect all scientific appeals to staff to evaluate for possible re-review before they go to the full board.
- Move “programmatic” review of grants to public sessions of the full board instead of being held behind closed doors during grant review sessions. Patient advocate directors now sitting on the grant review group would no longer be allowed to vote during the closed-door review sessions, but they could participate in the discussion.
"It looks like the message is finally getting through to California's stem cell agency board....
Part of what is driving the new approach is the realization that CIRM will need to find a new source of funding -- possibly going back to the voters -- if it is to continue. As Thomas told the board today, 'If we don't have credibility, we won't have a chance of sustaining the agency.'"
(Editor's note: An earlier version of this item, based on incorrect information from CIRM, said the vote was 21-0. The correct figure is 23-0.)