Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More on CIRM's stem cell grant to CHA

Further to California's CIRM giving CHA RIM a research grant, recall words from the era of the Hwang fraud: Most recently, the South Korean uproar illustrates the tangle of publishing and policing issues that can arise as science becomes increasingly competitive and international. "Now we're in a situation where we have these alliances between university researchers in countries and between institutions that really weren't working together before," said Dr. LaFollette, author of "Stealing Into Print." (...) "Unfortunately, individual institutions have an enormous conflict of interest," said Dr. Smith, the former editor of The British Medical Journal. "It's a lot easier," he said, for such bodies when examining an allegation of fraud on their own, "to slide someone out of the organization or to suppress it altogether." [through NYTimes as quoted on plantbio.]

As we know from later events, Korean officials did a thorough job of investigating the Hwang matter. Based on the Korean investigation, the US journal Science retracted the papers of Hwang and co-workers from the years 2004 and 2005.

Rob Waters had written for Bloomberg: The two largest recipients of the [CIRM] awards yesterday were the University of California-San Francisco plus an affiliate, with eight grants totaling $20.5 million, and Stanford University, with six grants for $15.2 million. A Los Angeles-based unit of CHA Biotech Co. in Seoul also received funding from California.

Other than the Bloomberg report on CHA (and derivatives thereof), the only other mention seems to be from India:

Stanford University received around six grants worth $15.2 million. Other institutes who were awarded grants include Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Los Angeles-based CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, UC San Francisco-affiliated J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Diego-based Salk Institute for Biological Studies, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC San Diego.


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