Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Stay On Top of California's Stem Cell Research Cash Cow -- At Least This Week

Persons interested in listening to Thursday's hearing on California's $70 million “Alpha” stem clinic proposal can do so by two different methods via the Internet.

In addition to Internet access, the public can participate in the meeting in Burlingame, Ca., and also at two teleconference locations in Los Angeles. The Internet access does not allow two-way participation.

If you have money in the game, our advice is to attend the meeting in Burlingame. Only a handful of business people and scientists attend the agency's governing board meetings, but they seem to benefit from the information and discussion as well as from the ability to meet face-to-face with CIRM officials and board members.

Of particular interest may be a scheduled discussion of CIRM's goals and direction this year and next along with other proposals that will funnel $128 million to researchers in California, including the clinic plan.

If stem cell agency fans do not have time to sit through the day-long proceedings, they can follow developments via the California Stem Cell Report, which will be covering the meeting live via the Internet and filing stories as warranted.

Instructions for Internet access can be found on the meeting agenda. One method is a relatively straightforward audiocast. The other involves WebEx, which may involve some configuration of your computer. However, the method also shows the Power Point presentations that are used during the meeting and are otherwise not available in advance or on the day of the meeting. They often contain valuable information that informs the discussions of the board of the $3 billion agency.

In either case, you will want to check out the procedures in advance if you have not used them before. The dial-in number for the audiocast is 866-320-4708 with the password of 297273. Here is the link for the WebEx connection: https://cirm.webex.com/cirm/onstage/g.php?d=286602980&t=a&EA=acheung%40c...

As for the teleconference locations, the specific addresses are on the agenda. But you should ask in advance for more information on the Cedars-Sinai location to be sure you can find it on the day of the meeting. The Cedars complex is very large.

Tomorrow the agency's standards group will take up a proposal to allow CIRM grant recipients to purchasestem cell lines derived from eggs from paid donors. Unfortunately, that session is not available either by Internet or teleconference, but only in San Francisco. The proposal is expected to move forward to the full board on Thursday but it could be modified.

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