Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Information and Earlier for Public on California Stem Cell Issues

The California stem cell agency yesterday finished posting background information for its board meeting Aug. 25, which may be the first time it has provided the information so far in advance.

The postings allow the public and interested parties enough time to examine the material and make comments, if so desired. Matters before the board next week range from a major change in review procedures in big-ticket grant rounds to action on the first stage of a $243 million effort to push therapies into the clinic.

The improved posting performance appears to be linked to the election of a new chairman, Jonathan Thomas, who controls the board agenda. It is a welcome change from past practices in which information about important matters to be considered by the board was not made available in a timely fashion or sometimes was not available at all prior to a meeting. Even some board member have complained about late information.

Melissa King, executive director of the board, notified the California Stem Cell Report about the postings in an email. She said,
"I just wanted to let you know that all the documents for the board meeting next week are now posted. The items without docs linked to them are ones for which there will be no documents These are the chairman's report and item # 14, consideration of report from Intellectual Property Subcommittee, both of which will be reports and will not require action by the board."
Some of the information, however, is less than completely developed. One matter before the board involves discussion of its translational grant portfolio. The posted background material is a simple listing of the grants with no analysis or explanation of why the subject is being discussed and no indication of what decision points are necessary, if any. Another document involves ongoing work on CIRM's critical grants management program. The document is more an outline than a comprehensible narrative and is larded with technology jargon.

The full agenda can be found here with links to the background material.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Why are California scientists not eligible for the leadership awards from a state-funded California stem cell agency? Just because we live in California, support Porp71, pay tax, our leadership does not count? Last time, they gave it to a out-of-state cancer biologist as his promotion package, luckily, he is sitting on his 6 millions easy money not to lead, otherwise, may cost the State more money if he misleads.


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