Posts Tagged: DAVID JENSEN

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Tiny budget piece could have huge impact on $12B stem cell agency

An illustration of the molecular structure of human cells and a researcher with vaccine. (Image: Billion Photos, Shutterstock)

A crack opened last week for the first time in 17 years in the firewall between state politicians and the $12 billion California stem cell agency. It involves only $600,000 — at least for now — and is buried deep in the 1,069-page state budget bill that was introduced June 8. But its implications are far-reaching. They range from opening the agency to major changes — wanted and unwanted — to creating a basis for the agency’s currently dubious, long-term financial sustainability.

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“Killer cells” and conflicts at California’s stem cell agency

A laboratory pipette with fluid and test tubes for cancer research. (Photo: CI Photos, via Shutterstock)

Call it “The Case of the Killer Cells.”  It is an $8 million matter involving an effort by  California’s ambitious stem cell agency to develop cures for particularly tenacious and fatal cancers. The cash is snarled in an “embarrassing” conflict of interest, however, not to mention an irregular vote on the application for research funding from the stem cell agency.

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State stem cell agency’s first royalties: $15 million from Stanford

Stanford University, where major stem cell research is being conducted.(Photo: yhelfman, via Shutterstock)

The California stem cell agency says it has received $15.6 million in royalties from Stanford University, the largest such payment by far in the 17-year history of the state research agency. Until the announcement, the agency, officially known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), had received only $557,292 in royalties.

News

Stem cell: UC’s odd ‘unmention’ in its top 10 research tales

Sather Gate at the University of California at Berkeley. (Photo: David A. Litman, via Shutterstock)

The University of California has identified its 10 best research stories of 2021, and right at the top is an article deeply involving the state’s $12 billion stem cell agency. The catch is that the stem cell agency was not even mentioned. That despite the fact that 13 persons with significant links to the University of California, including a UC regent, sit on the board that oversees the agency. 

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Tangled tale: Research, profits and the ‘bubble baby’ syndrome

Evangelina, a former 'bubble baby,' plays inside a giant plastic bubble. (Photo: Stem Cellar Report, CIRM)

Little Evangelina Padilla-Vaccaro is more than a poster girl for the $12 billion California stem cell agency. She embodies a big bet by the agency that its efforts will conquer at least a few of the terrible diseases that are currently incurable. In the case of Evie, as the eight-year-old is known, she was born with what has come to be described as the bubble baby syndrome, a rare genetic mutation that crippled her immune system to the point that she would have died if left untreated.

News

UC Davis: First clinical trial of stem cells to treat spina bifida

A stem cell researcher at UC Davis. (Photo: AJ Cheline, UC Davis, via The Stem Cellar)

Backed by $17 million in cash from California’s stem cell agency, researchers at UC Davis this month are launching “the world’s first clinical trial using stem cells to treat spina bifida before the child is born.”

News

Recipient of $22 million from stem cell agency named to its board

Stem cell researcher and professor Larry Goldstein. (Photo: Screen capture, UCTV).

Larry Goldstein, a well-known stem cell researcher at the University of California, San Diego who has received nearly $22 million in awards from the California stem cell agency, today was named to its governing board. It was the first time in the history of the 16-year-old agency that a scientist who has received agency awards has been appointed to the board.

News

Stem cell agency, now flush with $5.5 billion, turns new page

Stem cell research using what's known as a PCR strip. (Image: Science Photo via Shutterstock)

California’s ambitious stem cell agency has launched itself on a new, $5.5 billion journey, approving a plan to hand out $182 million to researchers by the middle of next year and beefing up its efforts to bring equality to therapies and scientific labs.

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Those linked to stem cell board received more than $2.1 billion

A medical researcher examines cancer stem cells. (Photo: luchschenF, via Shutterstock)

Over the last 15 years, California’s stem cell agency has spent $2.7 billion on research on everything from cancer to arthritis.  The vast majority of the money has gone to enterprises that have ties to members of the agency’s governing board. Eight out of every ten dollars that agency has handed out have been collected by 25 institutions such as Stanford University, multiple campuses of the University of California and scientific research organizations. Their combined total exceeds $2.1 billion.

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Stem cell initiative poised to qualify for November

Signature gathering during the 2018 election cycle. (Photo: Michael Gordon, via Shutterstock)

The $5.5 billion California stem cell initiative is virtually certain to qualify for the fall ballot as the arithmetic of the signature count begins to fall into place. The measure needs only slightly more than the 67 percent of the signatures that remain to be verified as coming from registered voters. The qualification percentage of raw signatures so far is 78 percent.

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