California's ambitious stem cell agency is in the midst of determining how it is going to spend $5.5 billion over the next decade or so. Its decisions are likely to affect millions of patients desperate for therapies and cures for afflictions ranging from cancer to diabetes. That is not to mention the agency's impact on health care policy and the thousands of scientists, technicians and others in their California laboratories.
The go-to source for independent information about the programs of the stem cell agency is this blog, which has readers in every major stem cell research organization in the Golden State, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
Over the last 16 years, the California Stem Cell Report has brought its readers exclusive information and news that can be found nowhere else. It has chronicled CIRM's accomplishments and its missteps over the years. And it is essential reading as CIRM wades into gene therapy, affordability efforts, personalized medicine and much more.
Here are links and excerpts from this week's California Stem Cell Report, which has moved to a new platform as it chronicles the latest chapters in the life of the agency known officially as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Subscribe to the "new" version of this blog through the "subscribe" buttons that can be found on its new platform at Substack. Three-million "views" of the site can't be wrong.
California’s stem cell agency today pumped an additional $165 million into its efforts to beef up the Golden State’s stem cell workforce, but not without a rumpus involving the actual cost of each additional worker, who range from technicians to physicians.
The agency and many of its 35-board members have touted the programs, which have been underway for a number of years. But earlier versions of the program, as well as the latest proposal, have not included a price tag for each of what the agency calls “ready-to-start” professionals.
That led to a contentious discussion among governing board members during which a variety of high-level figures surfaced. One calculation by a board member generated a cost of $1 million per person per year (video at end of this item).