>They just can't get good help - a scientist is leaving, just after the resignation of the temporary president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Could it be that everyone who works for CIRM sees failure down the road?
From this week's Bioedge 263, a weekly newsletter on biotechnology out of Australia:
CALIFORNIA STEM CELL INSTITUTE SHAKEN BY RESIGNATION
Like Gulliver, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has been pinned down by countless pygmies equipped with lawsuits. The lengthy delay in launching its ambitious US$3 billion research program, with a focus on embryonic stem cells, appears to be taking its toll. Its president, Zach Hall, resigned in April, and now its chief scientist, Arlene Chiu, has announced that she will be leaving. Several other executives have also left in recent months.
Wired.com bloggers are talking about the difficulty of finding a permanent president, after years of fignting litigation over the funding passed by the California voters:
Insiders suspect Chiu's resignation is at least partly related to frustration over the difficulty the agency has had in finding a permanent president. After an unsuccessful seven-month search for a permanent replacement for former president Zach Hall, CIRM hired Richard Murphy as interim president earlier this month.
UPDATE: Dale Carson, the communications director at CIRM just sent a statement from Zach Hall that makes it even more clear what a big loss Chiu is:
Persuading Dr. Arlene Chiu to come to CIRM from NIH was one of the most important accomplishments of my presidency. As the senior CIRM scientist during its first three years – a time of constrained resources, Arlene recruited, mentored and led the scientific team responsible for awarding the first $200 M in grants for stem cell research in California – a remarkable legacy. She has a deep understanding of stem cell research, expert knowledge of grants administration, and extraordinary personal qualities of integrity, grace and a passion for the mission of CIRM. Arlene has left her mark on the DNA of CIRM. She will be hard to replace.
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