Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pitt's Gerald Schatten top recipient of federal grant money for embryonic stem cell research

In a hearing chaired by U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, some interesting facts came out on funding, by the federal government, of embryonic stem cell research.

UPitt's Gerald Schatten, Hwang's co-author on the retracted 2005 Science paper, is probably the top recipient in the nation of federal grant money for embryonic stem cell research, including work with monkeys and other animals, said hearing witness Dr. James Battey Jr., who chairs the NIH Stem Cell Task Force.

In 2005, the NIH allocated roughly $40 million for 154 projects related to human embryonic stem cells, Battey testified at the hearing.

Souder asked at the hearing whether universities can be trusted to police their own scientists in cases of potential research misconduct when the institutions have a financial stake in the outcome of an investigation. [IPBiz note: ditto, journals.]

"It is true that an institution can have a natural preference for not finding research misconduct -- it can lead to embarrassment or loss of funds from the NIH," Chris Pascal [ORI director] said. "But based on ORI's many years of experiences with institutions, we think most of them want to do a good job of finding out what's actually happened."

[from article by Jennifer Bails, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]


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