Wednesday, March 16, 2016

California Stem Cell Board Finishes Today's Business

Directors of the California stem cell adjourned their meeting this afternoon at 2:39 p.m. PDT. This concludes our coverage of today's session. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    It is shameful that CIRM does not have a process to appeal reviews that are factually incorrect or overtly biased. The GWG is composed of human beings, not of biblically-anointed solons. For all his commitment to transparency, Mills and his CIRM 2.0 have let down the community in this instance. This is a fixable problem.

  2. Anonymous3:17 PM

    No one suggested that a review was factually incorrect or overtly biased, so the need is prospective. I suppose the commenter is suggesting that CIRM be prepared for that to occur.
    The issues related to the Parkinson's grant were around new information that became available after the review took place.
    Perhaps there is a sense that the workaround approved is inadequate. However, one cannot review information that is not available and one cannot suppose that incomplete answers to scientific questions will be miraculously answered by the time awards are made.

  3. A short explanation from a grant applicant: I think that the problem with the Parkinson's disease grant emerged not because study section members lacked the ability to "miraculously" get the answers to their questions. The problem was that the research progressed rapidly, and most of the GWG's questions were already answered by the time they reviewed the grant - no need for a miracle, there just was a need for a mechanism to bring them up to date. For NIH grant reviews, there is a mechanism to add new information for the review, but not for CIRM. Unfortunately, the formal appeal process, which was put in place to deal with the specific issue of new information, was discontinued for these CIRM grants. That left the ICOC with the difficult decision about what to do to be fair to the grant applicants and the advocates. The solution may not be perfect, but it is gratifying that they took the responsibility to come up with a solution, and we appreciate their efforts. Imagine yourself in the position of knowing that if the GWG had had the new information, they would have come to a more positive conclusion. If this had been a basic science grant app, we could have just been annoyed that we couldn't update the review committee, and gone ahead with the reapplication months later. But this is a translational grant application, with real people with progressive disease--time is precious for them, and we want to waste none of it.