Friday, March 06, 2009

CIRM Identifies Obama as Cash Source for Its Troubled Lab Projects

California stem cell Chairman Robert Klein says that strapped recipients of CIRM lab construction grants should attempt to tap the nearly $1 trillion Obama stimulus package.

His remarks were contained today in a piece by Ron Leuty of the San Francisco Business Times. Leuty quoted Klein as saying,

"Our grantees are perfectly situated — they’re in construction or about to go. They can clearly demonstrate that they’re going to create jobs."

Leuty wrote that CIRM intends to use its new, $240,000 Washington lobbyist, the Podesta Group, to help snag the cash. Leuty reported,
"The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine — with the help of a well-heeled Washington, D.C., lobbying firm — wants organizations like Novato’s Buck Institute for Age Research to seek some of the $1.5 billion that is earmarked in the $787 billion stimulus package for biomedical research facilities and construction."
Other institutions previously identified as needing to raise more matching funds include the Sanford Stem Cell Consortium (UC San Diego, Scripps, Burnham and Salk) and UC Santa Barbara.

The $240,000 figure is new and comes from a copy of the contract requested from CIRM by the California Stem Cell Report. The total includes expenses plus $20,000 a month from Feb. 11 through Dec. 11, 2009. The contract, which does not need CIRM board approval, can be extended indefinitely by mutual agreement.

If you are interested in a copy of the contract, please send an email to

1 comment:

  1. Dave,

    It's worth noting that the $240K figure for the Podesta Group is $10K under the $250K threshold that would require Governance Subcommittee approval. CIRM's president can sign off on contracts up to $250K.

    Contracts above $500K must be approved by the full Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.

    If the contract is extended by an amount that brings the total over either thresholds, appropriate approvals are necessary.

    John M. Simpson
    Stem Cell Project Director
    Consumer Watchdog


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