Forum on Stem Cell Guidelines Will Feature Two UC Merced Faculty Members

MERCED, CA— Two top faculty members from the University of California, Merced, will speak on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Fresno Area Community Forum, an opportunity for California citizens to learn about and comment on best practices with regard to funding and carrying out stem cell research. Vice Chancellor for Research Keith Alley will be speaking on grant-making processes and Dean of Natural Sciences Maria Pallavicini will address issues of conflict of interest. Their remarks will give attendees a factual frame'for their comments on these issues.

"Dean Pallavicini and I both believe it's vital that the citizens of California have the best possible scientific and procedural information to inform the complex process of implementing Proposition 71," said Alley. "It's an honor to be part of this public comment phase."

The California Research and Cures Coalition (CRCC), a nonprofit organization assisting with the public comment phase of Proposition 71 implementation, will host the forum in Room G140 A & B at the Children's Hospital of Central California in Madera from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. The hospital is located at 9300 Valley Children's Place.

"The goal of the Community Forum series is to inform and gather public comments about ethical and other issues related to implementation of California's stem cell proposition," said Christina Olsson, a program director at the CRCC. "We will make unedited transcripts of these meetings available to the Independent Citizen's Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and to the general public."

Until the ICOC develops its own set of guidelines for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, it is operating with the standards created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The CRCC is hosting four separate Community Forum events. The other events will be held in San Francisco on Jan. 10, San Diego on Jan. 18 and Los Angeles on Jan. 19. At each of these forums, the public is invited to comment on the grant-making process, royalty agreements, institutional review boards, facilities development, and development of standards and ethical guidelines for issues such as conflict of interest, patient privacy and informed consent.

Participants are invited to prepare written copies of their remarks to submit when they attend. Individuals who cannot attend the forum may send comments to be included in the transcripts by e-mail to bpinfo@curesforcalifornia.orgor by postal mail to Community Forums, 550 California Ave., Ste. 300, Palo Alto, CA 94306. The CRCC requests that individuals focus their remarks on comments and concerns related to the creation of standards for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Interested parties should note that parking and seating space are limited. The CRCC advises that participants arrive early.

The CRCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the importance and potential benefits of stem cell research, promoting regenerative medicine, expediting the discovery of cures and treatments for patients with chronic disease and injuries, investigating best practices for the conduct of medical research and clinical trials, and advocating the realization of the goals of Proposition 71.

Media Contact