The  California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), a state agency with a US$3-billion budget for stem-cell research, is in need of more funding. Nature reports that “CIRM had to revamp its structure and practices in response to complaints about inefficiency and potential conflicts of interest. It has also had to adapt its mission to seismic shifts in stem-cell science” and that, as a result, its pockets need to be replenished.  CIRM began asking for an additional $5 billion contribution (plus $5 billion in interest) in 2016. CIRM was established in 2004 to ensure that California researchers could undertake research with stem cells in the aftermath of a 2001 decree, signed by then-President George W. Bush, that severely limited federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research. In the United States, state-level initiatives in the field of regenerative medicine seems particularly important especially after the closing in April 2014 of the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine, which had been established in 2010 to centralize and promoted stem-cell research. On the other hand, CIRM has been the target of critiques, especially for its handling of conflict of interests. The fact that its former president, Alan Trounson, was appointed just seven days after his departure from CIRM to the board of StemCells, Inc., of Newark, Ca., which holds a $19.4 million award from CIRM, does not promote the Institute’s image.


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