April 12, 2006

Things Are Just Great in the Bush Stem Cell Program

Wired News reports that:
The leader of the stem-cell unit at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today he will leave the NIH to join the private sector at a biotech company called Invitrogen in Carlsbad, California.

Dr. Mahendra Rao says the president's executive order that embryonic stem-cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001 are not eligible for federal funding, is the reason behind his decision to leave the government agency. He spoke to Wired News...
Wired News: What made you leave the National Institute on Aging to join Invitrogen? Rao: In a nutshell, it was because of opportunity. The stem-cell program at Invitrogen is quite international in scope, and the regulations on stem-cell work in the United States, particularly for government employees, are more constrictive than I would have liked.

WN: Can you talk about the restrictions that you faced while working at the National Institutes of Health?

Rao: The biggest issue was the policy decision -- I work primarily on embryonic research and the big issue was that we could work only on a limited number of lines that had been derived before Aug. 9, 2001. The number of available lines is quite small and I felt we needed to be working on a larger number of lines -- at least on lines that carried certain characteristics that were derived subsequent to that deadline.

And this is the guy the Bush people wanted.
-thanks Art Caplan

View blog reactions

| More