Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gritty, Gritty Details on CIRM's Planning Process

For those thirsting for more details on the latest in strategic planning by the California stem cell agency, here is an update on some of the material recently available online. The information included below is being added unannounced to the CIRM site in some sort of willy nilly fashion and can be easily overlooked by the casual browser. But if you are a casual browser of the CIRM Web site, you are probably are not interested in the following. Nonetheless, here it is.

The agency has nearly completed its interviews for the planning process. As of late last month, 59 persons were interviewed with a target of perhaps 70. The list ranges from Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, to Leonard Zon of the Harvard Medical School. Also included were a number of the agency's staunch critics.

Last month, the agency held a conference on "Industry and Stem Sells in California: Fostering Research and Development." The presenters came from a blue ribbon array of stem cell-connected companies ranging from Geron to Burrill. Here are links to their Power Point presentations.

Sumit K. Chanda, Ph.D., Group Leader, Division of Cellular Genomics, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation

Bruce Cohen, President and CEO, Cellerant Therapeutics

Ann F. Hanham, Ph.D., Managing Director, Burrill & Company

Martin McGlynn, President and CEO, StemCells, Inc.

Thomas B. Okarma, Ph.D., M.D., President and CEO, Geron Corporation

Alan K. Smith, Ph.D., President and Chief Operating Officer, Cognate BioServices

Michael D. West, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Scientific Officer , Advanced Cell Technology, Inc

E. Edward Baetge, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Novocell, Inc.

Another conference last month dealt with “The Scientific Challenge: From Basic Research to the Clinic.” The speakers and their Power Point presentations:

Stuart Orkin, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Chair, CIRM Scientific and Medical Research Funding Working Group, “Stem Cells: Looking Back and Ahead”

Jill Heemskerk, Ph.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “The SMA Project: A New Approach to Therapy Development at NIH”

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Delivering on the Promise of Stem Cell Research: What Will it Take?”

Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., Cell Genesys, Inc., “The Development of Novel Cellular Therapeutics: Some Lessons from the Private Sector”

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