January 31, 2007

California Steals the NIH Stem Cell Chief

So you were looking for proof of our "states are taking over science" hypothesis? Um, try this on:
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is courting the top stem-cell official at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to take over as its president.

James Battey, who since 2002 has coordinated stem-cell research at the NIH as chair of its Stem Cell Task Force, was approached by a member of the CIRM's governing committee in December after its current president, Zach Hall, announced his resignation (see Nature 444, 803; 2006).

Since then, Battey has been excused from all stem-cell-related work at the NIH, agency spokeswoman Marin Allen has confirmed. He remains in his position as director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland. "NIH is grateful for the leadership he has provided and is honouring his privacy," Allen wrote in an e-mail.


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