March 2, 2024

California tries to lure stem cell scientists

But still no miracle cures

The taxpayer-funded California Institute
for Regenerative Medicine has spent nearly half of its US$3 billion without
delivering any miracle cures. But the CIRM’s board is thinking of asking for
another $4 billion in 2012 or 2016.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that the
institute has “decided to double the rate at which it spends taxpayer dollars
as part of a strategy to produce definitive research results that can persuade
voters to give it more cash”. The staff recently proposed a grant of $120
million to 6 researchers, but the board “said it would be a much better idea to
double the funding to $240 million for 12 researchers, one of whom, they hope,
will find a miracle cure for a debilitating disease.”

The CIRM is also trying to lure top
researchers from other American states to California. It has budgeted $45
million to poach 8 leading researchers which California universities and
institutions would not otherwise be able to afford. It recently offered a Duke
University scientist $5.9 million to transfer his lab to San Diego. ~ San Francisco
Examiner, Aug 21

Michael Cook
stem cells