Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The ISSCR, California Stem Cell Financing and Silence

It comes as no surprise that the largest organization of stem cell scientists in the world is in favor of "rigorous funding" for stem cell research and warns of the perils of decreased financial support. 

That organization is International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), which is meeting in Los Angeles later this week and expects 4,000 persons to attend. 

California's stem cell agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), has long been a supporter of the ISSCR. In 2009 it contributed $200,000 to help out with the ISSCR's annual conference. 

Times have changed, however, since those halycon days 10 years ago. It is running out of cash for new awards. This year CIRM contributed "only" $50,000 to help stage the group's annual meeting. A few days ago it cut off applications for new research awards beginning next Monday. It needs support for $200 million in private "bridge" funding to continue its program while it awaits what it hopes will be voter approval in November 2020 of re-funding the agency. 

What does the ISSCR have to say about the state of the California stem cell agency?

Anne Nicholas, director of communications for ISSCR, was asked about the situation last week by the California Stem Cell Report. She replied,
 "We don’t have anything to add to your story at this point."

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