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HEALTH
July 9, 2011 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene left a Stockholm hospital Friday, breathing through a manufactured trachea that was built with his own stem cells. The 36-year-old Eritrean geology student at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik had suffered from an advanced case of tracheal cancer, and tumors were threatening to block his windpipe and choke off his supply of oxygen before the artificial trachea was implanted June 9. Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of Karolinska University Hospital decided there was no time to wait for a donor trachea, so he assembled a team to build one. Since the artificial trachea was made with Beyene's own cells, he hasn't needed anti-rejection drugs that would have suppressed his immune system and made him vulnerable to other infections.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Thanks to a $100-million donation, UC San Diego will be creating a new clinical center to study how the use of stem cells may help cure or alleviate leukemia, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer's disease and other health problems, officials announced Monday. The gift is from  T. Denny Sanford , a South Dakota businessman who made a fortune in the banking and credit card industry and has been very generous to various healthcare initiatives. The new Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego will integrate researchers affiliated with the UC medical center there and several other nearby organizations in the La Jolla area, including the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.
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OPINION
December 14, 2012
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the quasi-governmental agency authorized to spend $3 billion in taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research, deserves praise for commissioning an independent study of its operations by a blue-ribbon committee of the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. But the $700,000 spent on the study - funded by donations - will be wasted if the institute's oversight board fails to heed the committee's criticisms, which echo the findings of the Little Hoover Commission and other groups over the years.
SCIENCE
July 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine , or CIRM, will vote Thursday on whether to move ahead with a five-year, $70-million plan to establish a network of stem cell clinics. According to a proposal posted on CIRM's website , the CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network will be composed of up to five clinics in California, each affiliated with an established research institution and all designed to make it easier for researchers to conduct -- and for patients to find -- clinical trials of stem cell therapies.
SCIENCE
January 30, 2010
Wolf population steady A new tally of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies shows the population held steady across the region in 2009, ending more than a decade of expansion by the predators but also underscoring their resilience in the face of new hunting seasons in Montana and Idaho. Biologists said the region's total wolf population will be similar to 2008's minimum of 1,650 wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. If the preliminary figures hold, it could bolster the federal government's assertion that wolves are doing fine since losing protections under the Endangered Species Act last year.
SCIENCE
December 7, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The board of California's stem cell funding agency is rife with conflicts of interest and should be restructured to improve the integrity of its grant-making process, according to a new report from independent experts convened by the national Institute of Medicine. The committee found that "far too many" of the board members are from organizations that stand to benefit from the $3 billion the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is supposed to dole out to researchers over 10 years.
SCIENCE
January 9, 2010
A team from City of Hope in Duarte plans to genetically modify the blood-forming stem cells of AIDS patients so that they can rebuild their immune systems with new T cells that aren't susceptible to HIV. Researchers from USC and UC Santa Barbara are growing human embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelium cells that can replace damaged eye cells in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Stanford University scientists would like to treat patients with a genetic skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa by reprogramming their skin cells and fixing the defect.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2011 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
California's stem cell research agency says it needs billions more taxpayer dollars to deliver on promised cures to major diseases. Yet at a time when other departments are cutting back spending, the agency recently agreed to pay its new boss one of the highest salaries in state government. The 50-person grant-making body will pay a Los Angeles investment banker $400,000 to serve as its new part-time board chairman, pushing the combined salaries of its two top officials to nearly $1 million per year.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
It's never pretty to see people get blown up by their own bombs. But it sure can be educational. A case in point is the leadership of the California stem cell program, which pushed through Proposition 71 in 2004 to create the program, entrenched itself in almost unassailable control of its $3 billion in funding, and has self-righteously fought every attempt to improve public oversight over its disbursement of what is, after all, the people's money....
OPINION
May 29, 2013 | Patt Morrison
In 2004, with President George W. Bush dead set against stem cell research, California just went ahead and did it. Voters made stem cell research a state constitutional right, and endorsed $3 billion in bond sales for 10 years to cement the deal. CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine created under Proposition 71, has become a world center for stem cell research, and its president is Australian Alan Trounson, a pioneer in in vitro fertilization. As Proposition 71 approaches its 10-year anniversary, Trounson offers a prognosis.
OPINION
May 29, 2013 | Patt Morrison
In 2004, with President George W. Bush dead set against stem cell research, California just went ahead and did it. Voters made stem cell research a state constitutional right, and endorsed $3 billion in bond sales for 10 years to cement the deal. CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine created under Proposition 71, has become a world center for stem cell research, and its president is Australian Alan Trounson, a pioneer in in vitro fertilization. As Proposition 71 approaches its 10-year anniversary, Trounson offers a prognosis.
SCIENCE
April 14, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has engineered functional rat kidneys by stripping donor kidneys of their cells and then repopulating the remaining collagen substructures with new cells. The bioengineered kidneys produced urine in laboratory dishes and when implanted in living animals. The advance could be good news for the 100,000 Americans waiting for donor kidneys for transplant, because it suggests that someday scientists might be able to grow custom-made kidneys for people, using a patient's own cells to seed tissues, said Dr. Harald Ott, a researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine and senior author of a paper describing the discovery published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine . “My goal was to show it's possible,” said Ott, who previously created bioengineered rat lungs and rat hearts using the same technique.
OPINION
February 27, 2013
After years of resisting all criticisms of its operations, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is finally listening - a little. It spent $700,000 for an outside, high-level review that complimented the stem cell agency for funding an excellent portfolio of research projects, but also raised serious objections to the agency's structure, which the review said was likely to lead to financial conflicts of interest. The criticisms were nothing new - many of the same points have been made since the agency was created by Proposition 71 in 2004 - but the positive response by the chairman of the agency's board was. The governing board is now making changes to address some of the long-standing issues.
BUSINESS
January 29, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Compromise, defined as the art of getting part of a loaf when the whole loaf is out of reach, comes in many forms. But surely the strangest of all is what comes of trying to compromise with yourself. That's what California's stem cell agency is attempting to do. And judging from its record of pioneering new ways of funding and managing scientific research, you can rest assured that the results will be fraught with interest. What's at issue is how the agency's board wrestles with recommendations for changes in its membership and its authority over the spending of its $3-billion endowment in state bond funds (that's $6 billion, including interest)
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Changes may be on the way at California's stem cell funding agency.  The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, came under fire in December when an Institute of Medicine report concluded that the agency was plagued by conflicts of interest. (See story in related items at left.)   In response, CIRM's governing board on Wednesday endorsed a “framework” designed to address some of those concerns. Chief among the changes: Board members from universities and other research institutions who compete for CIRM funding would no longer vote on grants.
OPINION
December 14, 2012
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the quasi-governmental agency authorized to spend $3 billion in taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research, deserves praise for commissioning an independent study of its operations by a blue-ribbon committee of the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. But the $700,000 spent on the study - funded by donations - will be wasted if the institute's oversight board fails to heed the committee's criticisms, which echo the findings of the Little Hoover Commission and other groups over the years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2010 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
When millionaire Silicon Valley real estate developer Bob Klein launched his ballot drive to create a $3-billion state fund for stem-cell research in 2004, he pitched it as a way of taking politics out of science and focusing on cures. One particularly heartbreaking campaign ad showed former big screen Superman Christopher Reeve paralyzed in a wheelchair, struggling for breath and imploring California voters to "stand up for those who can't. " Next month, Klein's six-year term as chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine expires.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
For years, Geron Corp. had claimed to be in the vanguard among California companies engaged in stem cell research. So it was something of a stunner when it announced Nov. 14 that it was abandoning the stem cell field completely. Geron's shares fell 20% the next day, but that was probably nothing compared with how far spirits must have fallen at the California stem cell agency, which just a few months earlier had made its highest-profile investment ever by awarding Menlo Park-based Geron a $25-million loan to help fund the first human trial of stem cell-based spinal cord therapy.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2012 | By Michael Hiltzik
If you're betting that the California stem cell agency will spurn key recommendations of a blue-ribbon review panel that criticized its leadership and management structures, you might want to double that bet. Several board members showed overt hostility to the panel's recommendations during a public meeting today. The governing board of the agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, formally received the review report at its meeting today in Los Angeles. The Institute of Medicine, an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, was paid $700,000 by CIRM to conduct the yearlong study of the $6-billion state stem cell program.
SCIENCE
December 7, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The board of California's stem cell funding agency is rife with conflicts of interest and should be restructured to improve the integrity of its grant-making process, according to a new report from independent experts convened by the national Institute of Medicine. The committee found that "far too many" of the board members are from organizations that stand to benefit from the $3 billion the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is supposed to dole out to researchers over 10 years.
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