Thursday, March 11, 2010

Snyder Provides Additional Comment on Out-of-State Spending Proposal

Evan Snyder of the Sanford-Burnham institute has emailed additional comment on his grant proposal, which this morning comes before the board of the California stem cell agency. His response came after we asked him yesterday: "How did you happen to propose spending CIRM money out of state? The agency clearly bans such actions and explicitly states that in its instructions to applicants."

Here is the text of Snyder's most recent remarks.
"As a California scientist, I wrote the strongest scientific application possible for performing a clinical trial on Parkinson's Disease in California. Having justified each step, each experiment, each reagent, I let the scientists on the Study Section vet it, and make a decision. Recognizing that performing these experiments in this manner was the only way that a clinical trial for Parkinson's Disease would ever reach fruition in California (or anywhere else in the world), not wishing to let Parkinson's patients suffer, and knowing that, other than procuring NHPs from the optimal source, the substantive work was being done in California, the Study Section recommended that the proposal be funded. In fact, they called it a "tour-de-force".  NHPs are necessary for Parkinson's Disease research work; the proper NHPs are not available in California. The alternative is for California to decide to ignore and not treat Parkinson's Disease at all for its citizenry, an unacceptable proposition to most compassionate voters. All research will be done in California.
            "As to the Australian involvement, that was simply based on CIRM’s well-established Collaborative Funding Partner Program. A partnership had been created between California and the Victorian government before the grant was written. Collaborations were encouraged. However, no CIRM funds will be used in Australia. The Victorian government determined that, if Australian investigators collaborated on a meritorious California project, the Victorian government would pay all of the expenses of the Australian component of that collaboration.
            "So, the answer is that CIRM is paying only for research done in California."

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