Friday, August 19, 2005

Sacramento Stem Cell Conference Requires Disclosure

In case our readers can't make it to one of the two California stem cell conferences already scheduled for September and October, there still is another chance.

This one-day session is called "Stem Cell 101-- Everything You Wanted to Know About Stem Cells But Were Afraid to Ask" and is sponsored by the UC Davis Health System.

Scheduled for Oct. 8 in Sacramento, it promises presentations on scientific, ethical and legislative aspects of stem cell research. Speakers include California's most influential politician on stem matters, State Sen. Deborah Ortiz. Claire Pomeroy, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine and a member of the CIRM Oversight Committee, will speak on Prop. 71 – "Quirk or Trend?" H. Ralph Snodgrass, CEO of VistaGen Therapeutics, is scheduled to discuss uses of stem cells in drug discovery and development. (The full agenda can and registration material can be seen here.)

The agenda also includes this note regarding potential conflicts of interest:

"Consistent with UC Davis policy, faculty are expected to disclose any significant financial interests or other relationships with manufacturers of commercial products and/or providers of commercial services discussed in their presentations. The intent of this disclosure is not to prevent speakers with significant financial or other relationships from making presentations, but rather to provide listeners with information on which they can make their own judgments. A complete faculty disclosure statement and acknowledgment of commercial support for this program will be included in the syllabus provided at the activity."

It would seem that this type of disclosure would be appropriate for adoption by CIRM at all of its sessions, including its October conference. Perhaps the agency has done something along these lines. If so, we have missed it.

Registration for the UC Davis conference is $120 for health care professionals and $95 for others before Sept. 16. Slightly higher after that date.

To see items on the other two conferences check "Baybio" on Aug. 14 and "CIRM conference" on Aug. 12.

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