Monday, June 02, 2008

Trounson and Clues to CIRM's Scientific Interests

Want to track the latest scientific thinking at the $3 billion California stem cell agency? What research looks promising to the folks at CIRM? And does it mean possibilities for future funding?

CIRM President Alan Trounson is now offering some clues. He has begun a practice of discussing what he considers interesting research at the beginning of meetings of the CIRM board of directors. He also touches on issues of the day in stem cell research during the presentations.

His observations are tucked away in two different places on the CIRM web site. They can be found in the transcripts of the meetings of the board of directors, which is known as the Oversight Committee, as well as on the online agendas of the meetings, but only after the meetings take place – at least so far.

In May, Trounson discussed a report in Nature in April involving the McEwen Center for Regenerative Medcine (Gordon Keller's group) and research by Lei Yang. VistaGen Therapeutics of South San Francisco was also involved. Trounson's slides from the agenda can be found here.

Among other things, Trounson said he anticipated "that there will be a proposal coming downstream for clinical trials." He said,
"Interestingly, in these studies there was not any observation of teratomas or unwanted cell types."
Other topics for Trounson in May:

-- The Catriona Jameson work at UC San Diego involving TargeGen of San Diego, Ca., and the work, also reported in Nature April 2008 involving Michael Clarke's lab, Stanford and the University of Michigan.

-- Work involving Lorenz Studer, Sloan Kettering and Wakayama Riken, published in Nature Medicine March 2008.

Here are links to the transcript and slides in March and the transcript in January, where he also discussed recent stem cell research. No slides were posted in January.

(A tip of the hat to John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog who pointed out the usefulness of Trounson's briefings.)

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