Monday, March 14, 2005

California Stem Cell 101 -- Must Reading

It may not be everything you want to know about the current state of affairs with the California stem cell agency, but it is exceedingly close.

It is an excellent background paper prepared for last week's legislative hearing into the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It explains the ongoing issues in a straight-forward and evenhanded manner and is must reading for anyone who wants a clear overview of the agency.

The report also included questions that could be addressed by the agency.

They include:

“Whether pegging salaries for ICOC and Institute staff to the University of California and private research institutes is a reasonable guideline and whether the size and prestige of Proposition 71’s research program may enable the ICOC and Institute to attract top scientific and administrative talent without paying the highest salaries.”

“In cases where deliberations of the ICOC and its working groups are conducted in closed session, what record of decisionmaking will be accessible to the public to enable public participation in decisions of the ICOC and its working groups.”

“Whether the ICOC should apply recently adopted NIH standards prohibiting ownership of biotechnology and pharmaceutical company by senior employees to employees of the ICOC and the Institute."

“Whether statements of economic and other interests completed by Proposition 71 working group members should be accessible to the public, as are Form 700s under the Political Reform Act.”

The full text of the background paper follows in a separate item below. It did not carry the name of its author, although normally such documents are prepared by legislative committee staff.

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