Monday, January 23, 2017

From Cystic Fibrosis to Zika: California Awards $21 Million for Stem Cell Research

The California stem cell agency last week approved nearly $21 million for research to tackle afflictions ranging from cystic fibrosis to Zika.

Awards were made to only 11 researchers although the agency's reviewers had earlier approved 14 awards totaling $25.5 million. The governing board, however, had allotted only $21 million for the awards, and it decided to stick to its budget.

The awards are part of an effort by the agency to finance projects that can move forward rapidly within the next two years.

Six scientists sent letters to the board prior to the meeting discussing details of their research and dealing with concerns of the agency's reviewers, who approved awards earlier in a closed-door session, prior to ratification by the board.

Here are links to letters of each researcher: Rosa Bacchetta, Stanford, application number DISC2-
09526; Tejal A. DesaiUC San Francisco, DISC2-09559; Mark Mercola, Stanford, DISC2-09542 (rejected); Julie Sneddon, UC San Francisco, DISC2-09635; Jin Nam, UC Riverside, DISC2-09645 (rejected), and Matthew Porteus, Stanford, DISC2-09637.

Reviewers rejected any application that scored below 85. All of the three applications denied by the board stood right at the cutoff line with scores of 85. Mercola was the only one of the three to write a letter to the board. The agency did not disclose the names of the other two on its web site since they had not written a letter, which is a public record. The Nam application scored 84 and was not recommended for funding by reviewers.

Here is a link to a document that contains summaries of the reviews of all applications scored at 65 or above.

Here is a link to the agency's press release that contains the names of all the winners and a one line summary of their research. More details can be found in the summaries of the reviews. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment