Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More on Alan 'Big Fish' Trounson: Spin Doctors 'Wrong'

Here is how Constance Holden of ScienceNow put it:
"California has landed one of the biggest fish in the Pacific to head its stem cell venture."
She continued:
"'Things are booming in California right now,' says former CIRM President Zach Hall, who notes that Trounson's varied experience makes him "almost uniquely qualified for the job."
Holden wrote:
"Those who know Trounson say his personal skills should smooth the way for cooperation with CIRM's high-profile board chair Robert Klein, who has more than once ruffled colleagues with his propensity to take unilateral actions. "Alan is charming, ... a lovely human being," says stem cell researcher Evan Snyder of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in San Diego, California. Researcher John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, says he is 'politically savvy,' in addition to having a 'very broad base of knowledge.'

"Trounson is one of several major stem cell scientists whom Australia has lost to the United States lately, including Martin Pera, now at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and Paul Simmons, now at the University of Texas, Houston. Trounson himself has made it clear he regards the CIRM presidency as the capstone of his career. "This is the biggest job in stem cells in the world," he told the Australian paper The Sunday Age."
David Serrano Sewell, a member of the CIRM Oversight Committee, told the California Stem Cell Report, in response to a query:
"Alan is a unique person, he has the administrative and person skills needed for this job. And, he's a top sciencetist. We are lucky to have him. Second, the spin doctors could not resist from speculating that the governance structure and Bob were some road block to selecting a President. Wrong. ... They were hoping for this to be the case, and it was not. We found someone who is truly amazing. Enough said.

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