January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

funding

2 min read

Should California’s Stem Cell Agency, more widely known as CIRM, get another round of funding from us California voters? I believe the answer is yes and I endorse Proposition 14, which would provide the funding for CIRM to translate dozens of clinical trials into some proven new stem cell-based treatments in the coming decade. However, my just saying that as a stem cell scientist doesn’t necessarily have the same resonance as other approaches like a funny new video starring a stem cell who pitches …Read More

2 min read

The California Stem Cell Agency, better known by the acronym CIRM, has done a vast amount of good over the past decade and a half, and today it needs your help for the future. CIRM, which stands for the “California Institute for Regenerative Medicine”, has funded a huge array of stem cell and other research projects. The CIRM of today and the future primarily supports clinical trial efforts aimed at finding new treatments and even cures for many serious illnesses. These efforts now even …Read More

2 min read

I recently started 2 polls on the future of CIRM. The polls are focused on the effort led by Robert Klein to get more funding from the State of California for the stem cell agency. They asked readers about whether Californians will refund CIRM and whether Californians should refund CIRM. Basically, the polls are asking what readers think will happen and what they want to happen in terms of CIRM potentially getting $5 billion more in funding. The results of these non-scientific polls are …Read More

3 min read

We here in California have been fortunate to have our own stem cell and regenerative medicine agency called CIRM, standing for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. How much has CIRM helped the California economy and has it had broader economic impacts outside of California? How will that impact its future? CIRM has been around for more than a dozen years. It was the end result of Proposition 71, which dedicated $3 billion to research funding. CIRM has funded a wide range of research …Read More

3 min read

Some stuff on my mind for our TGIF Science this week. Research Funding Ups: NIH. Is it my imagination or is NIH funding slightly improving? This is the overall vibe I’m hearing from the trenches. Research Funding Ups and Downs: CIRM.  CIRM funded some basic research to the tune of a total of $4 million, which is great. On a personal level, just wish my “great idea” had fared better in review there. Kind of a downer, but after a while you get a …Read More

2 min read

The California Stem Cell Agency CIRM seems to be in budget cutting mode these days, which from a general perspective makes sense as CIRM seeks to continue operating on its remaining funding through a longer period of time as far out as to 2020. However, not all cuts are necessarily positive. For example, CIRM reportedly (note: many within the California stem cell community overall are concerned about this possibility) might be considering ending its fantastically successful Bridges training program. That would be very counterproductive. In fact, the …Read More

3 min read

Is the new multi-billion dollar NIH Brain Initiative a stroke of madness or genius? For some non-brain researchers scrambling for funding from NIH, it could well just give them a stroke. At the same time as the NIH and Obama are asking for $4.5 billion (yes, with a b) for the new “big science” Brain Initiative, most biomedical scientists are feeling like it is almost impossible to get a new core NIH R01 grant. What’s an R01? It is the type of grant that usually …Read More

4 min read

Yesterday I had part I of my interview with NIGMS former Director, Dr. Jeremy Berg. Today we have part II of the interview, which I found very interesting and helpful in providing a glimpse into NIH. I appreciate Dr. Berg doing the interview and his frankness. Given the budgetary issues facing NIH in terms of funding from the federal budget, where do you see funding levels in the coming year? In the next 5 years?  Answer: The next year is particularly hard to predict.  …Read More

6 min read

Obtaining research grant funding is a critical part of science, but the process seems to be getting more challenging each year. Funding rates are decreasing. Applicant frustration is increasing and many grant applicants tell me they feel confused about the differences between funded and unfunded proposals. The largest funder of biomedical research in the U.S. is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is divided into different institutes based on focus of research (e.g. cancer, neuro, cardio, etc). One NIH institute is a bit …Read More

1 min read

What’s the deal with California Prop. 29? Every so often a proposition comes along that just flat out makes complete sense. Arguing against it is sort of like saying the Earth is flat. Just such a proposition is California Prop. 29, which will be voted on on Tuesday, June 5 as part of the presidential primary ballot. Please vote “Yes” on this important proposition. Prop. 29 imposes a $1.00 tax on a pack of cigarettes with the money going to cancer research. A legislative …Read More