Statement on American Journal of Public Health Report on CIRM

American Journal of Public Health Finds CIRM Achieves Core Mission

After a thorough review of the operations, management and oversight of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a report in today’s American Journal of Public Health found that CIRM has been successful in carrying out its core mission of accelerating research, creating jobs and fostering economic growth in California.

We are pleased that this peer-reviewed examination of CIRM activities has found the agency to be living up to the expectations of Californians. As a state agency, and one playing a vital role in the future medical and economic health of the state, CIRM welcomes such independent inquiries into how well we are meeting the goals that California voters overwhelmingly approved in 2004.

“The NSF study provided strong validation of the major research jobs and medical leadership future of California, driven by Proposition 71 funding,” said Robert Klein, Chair of the Governing Board.

Klein noted that in the report, the authors state, “The shift of a major focus for stem cell research to California will have a significant effect into the future on the geographic distribution of biological science and biotechnology infrastructure in the United States; on the location of university, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical research and start up firms; and on the investment of venture capital. Evidence for this is the $300 million the CIRM has invested in stem cell facilities, already leveraged to more than $1 billion in linked donations.'”

“The conclusions also emphasized how Proposition 71 has made California ‘host to a steadily growing cadre of world class scientists, dedicated state-of-the-art facilities, training programs, and support programs,’ that reach all parts of California’s diverse society,” Klein said.

The report notes CIRM’s success in advancing stem cell research in several key ways, including the establishment of research priorities, the creation of ethical standards, building frameworks making it possible for academic researchers to work together with private enterprise, and in establishing extensive global collaborations.

Through these activities, and research grants to California institutions worth $1.1 billion, the report found that CIRM has firmly established the state as one of the world’s pre-eminent centers for stem cell research. And CIRM’s investments in stem cell research facilities around California have in turn attracted billions of dollars in additional private donations.

As a result of CIRM’s activities California is in a long-term position to remain at the center of not just education and research into stem cells, but the development of a robust public and private infrastructure that leads to the discovery of breakthrough treatments, significant private investment, job creation, and economic growth.

You can read an abstract of the report here. The journal charges for full access.