Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Response from Grant Applicants on Klein Contact

In an earlier item concerning private contacts by Robert Klein, chairman of the California stem cell agency, with some of the applicants for $262 million in stem cell lab construction grants, we mentioned that we had queried some members of the CIRM board about whether they or their staff had been dealing with Klein on their applications. We also queried other applicants that do not have representation on the CIRM board.

CIRM has since acknowledged that Klein has been in contact with some applicants. The agency contends he has done nothing wrong despite a no-contact rule in the agency's bylaws. (See the "zeal" item below.)

However, for the record, we received responses from five institutions. Two shunted the query to other entities. Three addressed the question at least partially or completely. Of those, only one responded fully to the question of whether he or his staff had contact with Klein. That answer was no.

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