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

January 6, 2005

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.org
or 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.