UCSF study analyzes California stem cell initiative progress

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has overcome start-up challenges, been selectively influenced by criticism, and ultimately has adhered to its core mission, according to a new UCSF analysis published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH).  UCSF researchers Joel W. Adelson, MD, PhD, MPH, and Joanna K. Weinberg, JD, LLM, both with the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging, School of Nursing, interviewed major stakeholders—supporters and opponents—and analyzed documents and meeting notes for the analysis.

CIRM was created in 2004 after California voters passed a ballot initiative making stem cell research a constitutional right. The initiative created a taxpayer-funded, multibillion-dollar institution intended to advance public health by developing cures and treatments for diabetes, cancer, paralysis and other conditions. The initiative has been controversial among stakeholders and watchdog groups concerned with organizational transparency, accountability and the ethics of stem cell research.

Study findings are available at: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/AJ