“The dismantling of the program appears to be a retreat by the United States from the translational imperative and a setback for the field at large. The patient community will be looking to Dr. Collins(head of the NIH) and others in NIH leadership to fulfill their commitment to stem cell development as a singular priority. Other countries are pouring in resources and moving full steam ahead. The NIH’s failure to continue the program represents more than just a case bureaucratic bungling. What we see here is a lack of vision and a public relations blunder. Years of valuable work and planning just tossed away. The scientific community and the public rightfully believes regenerative medicine will one day provide innovative treatments and cures to chronic diseases. The decision to tear down the Center for Regenerative Medicine, without first providing an alternative plan, undermines the credibility of NIH. A huge disappointment."
“The NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine has not closed. This is a fast evolving area of science and NIH decided to step back and reassess what the field needs in 2014 and beyond and where NIH can have the greatest impact. NIH is holding a workshop tentatively scheduled for May 5 that will convene a group of experts in the field to address current obstacles to translation of cell therapies and will help prioritize a number of requirements that the larger community has articulated through white papers over the past two years. NIH will consider the feedback from the workshop and establish a set of goals for the CRM.