Smacking the Stem Cell Agency? Ouch!

So, there’s drama at the stem cell agency.  In case you didn’t read the attention grabbing headline in Capitol Weekly, here are some of the details.  

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), better known as California’s Stem Cell Agency, needs to hire a new Chair.  The agency has limits for how long a Chair can serve, so it was time for a new one.  The Board of Directors was expected to choose the Chair on Monday.  Calpeek had previously discussed the two candidates for the job: former Assembly Speaker and current U.C. Regent John Perez and Dr. Emilie Marcus of UCLA’s School of Medicine.  

Now for the drama: Perez recently pulled his name from consideration after CIRM changed the job description.  The job was originally posted as 80% part-time, but then became full-time.  Governor Gavin Newsom, who nominated Perez, submitted a letter to CIRM stating that Perez pulled his name “due to the actions taken by the board after his nomination to significantly modify the responsibilities of the position to which he was nominated.”

According to Capitol Weekly, “Gov. Gavin Newsom has rebuked California’s stem cell agency about its conduct of the election of a new chairperson.”  Newsom’s letter also stated that he was nominating Vito Imbasciani.

The Chair, who will oversee the $12 billion agency, will be paid $569,000 a year.  CIRM’s Board now expects to elect and install the new Chair in January.

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