Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wechsler-Reya Still Mulling Move to California's Burnham

Cancer stem cell researcher Robert Wechsler-Reya says he has not yet made a decision to leave Duke University and come to California, where he would be the recipient of CIRM's first Research Leadership Award.

Directors of the California stem cell agency today or tomorrow are scheduled to approve a $5.9 million grant for Wechsler-Reya to help lure him and his wife, stem cell scientist Tannishtha Reya, to the Sanford-Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Ca.

The California Stem Cell Report yesterday queried Wechsler-Reya concerning the award. Here is the verbatim text of his response:
“Thanks for your interest in the Leadership award.  I just recently received the news, and am very honored to have been chosen by the CIRM committee as the first recipient of this Award.  The prospect of interacting with the vibrant stem cell community at Sanford-Burnham, and in the broader San Diego area, would be truly unique, and we are really excited about this opportunity. However, as you can imagine, this would be a major move for me and my family, and therefore we plan to take some time to think about it before making a decision.
“In that vein, a couple of suggested corrections to your blog:
“- Since I have not yet decided to leave, I wouldn't say that I'm leaving Duke. ('He is considering leaving Duke' would be more accurate)
“- I'm not sure the first round drew only one applicant; there may have been more applicants, but the committee made only one award
“If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.  (I'm giving a talk tomorrow, and out of town until Thursday, so it may take me some time to get back to you).”

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