Stem Cell Leaders To Discuss State of Stem Cell Research
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine this weekend in San Francisco will host a conference intended to "create a scientific roadmap" for the state stem cell program to follow, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Experts will begin with a discussion of the current state of stem cell research.
Arlene Chiu, CIRM's director of scientific programs and review, said the discussion will help establish guidelines for the institute's first research grants.
The conference, called "Stem Cell Research: Charting New Directions for California," is expected to cost about $215,000, with most of the costs paid by donations and registration fees, according to the Chronicle. About 200 people, including members of the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, are registered to attend the event, which also will be simulcast on the Internet (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/30).
In related news, the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights on Wednesday said that drug companies could benefit financially from grants awarded by CIRM because of pharmaceutical industry ties to institutions that received the grants, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
CIRM earlier this month awarded grants intended to provide stem cell research training to students. FTCR said 13 of the 16 grant recipients have board members affiliated with biomedical companies, have received funds from pharmaceutical firms or have other connections to drug manufacturers.
CIRM spokesperson Nicole Pagano said, "We are seeing to this issue" (Johnson, San Jose Mercury News, 9/29).