Advocacy groups are calling for resignations from the board chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and another CIRM board member in the wake of a violation of the institute's own conflict of interest rules. Meanwhile, California's state controller, John Chiang, has asked the state's Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate the allegations while his office conducts a financial audit of CIRM. The conflict of interest occurred in August, when John Reed, a member of the CIRM's governing board, wrote a linkurl:letter; to linkurl:Arlene Chiu,; then CIRM's chief scientific officer, opposing the denial of a CIRM grant to a researcher at the San Diego-area Burnham Institute for Medical Research. Reed, who is president and CEO of the Burnham Institute, wrote the seven page letter lobbying CIRM to reconsider its linkurl:denial; of a $638,000 SEED grant to David Smotrich, a researcher affiliated with the Burnham Institute but also the...

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