The Stem Cell blog has this fine piece on the California Stem Cell Agency and its governing board. It is no secret that there are massive conflicts of interest on the board and until these are eliminated, the agency will lack public confidence and credibility. The National Institutes of Health warned them about this a while a ago, but the agency seems blithely unaware of any problem.

The Stem Cell Blog

ImageStem cell agency needs to shed conflicts
California‘s stem cell agency understands the importance of attacking chronic problems. So if it wants to survive beyond 2014, it should heed the Institutes of Medicine‘s advice to eliminate conflicts of interest on its board — and do it before awarding the remaining $1.2 billion of the $3 billion voters approved for stem cell research.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine asked the prestigious Institutes of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, to evaluate its operations. One of the findings was that the vast majority of the agency’s 29 board members stand to benefit in various ways from their decisions on awarding research grants.

This has been suggested before, but the new report leaves no question of the ethical issue. To justify its continuation in some form, perhaps as a nonprofit or a foundation…

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mburatov

Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, MI. Have been at SAU since 1999. Author of The Stem Cell Epistles. Before that I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA (1997-1999), and Sussex University, Falmer, UK (1994-1997). I studied Cell and Developmental Biology at UC Irvine (PhD 1994), and Microbiology at UC Davis (MA 1986, BS 1984).