Calif. stem cell grant raises concerns

Public interest groups criticize decision to award CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute nearly $3 million

Kirsten Weir
Mar 25, 2007
Two public interest groups are raising questions about the recipient of a $2.6 million grant awarded by California's stem cell agency. The watchdog groups have criticized the decision by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to pledge funding to the CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute (CHA RMI) of Los Angeles, citing numerous "red flags" about the organization and its affiliates.According to CIRM spokesperson Dale A. Carlson, the grantees have so far been evaluated purely on scientific merit, and CIRM won't distribute any money until staff members complete an administrative review of each application to verify the details of their affiliations, budgets, and medical and ethical standards. No checks will be cut "until we're satisfied that each institution and each investigator is capable of living up to our standards," said Carlson, who declined to speak specifically about the grant in question.This month, CIRM announced the winners of 29 comprehensive research grants worth...

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