Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Larry Goldstein: San Diego an example of research collaboration

Bradley Fikes at the San Diego Union Tribune wrote a blog entry yesterday about a talk in which CIRM grantee Larry Goldstein argued that California should fund its own science and technology research. Goldstein is director of UCSD's stem cell program, and has CIRM grants to develop stem cell therapies for ALS and Alzheimer's disease.

Fikes included a short video clip of Goldstein's comments, which you can watch on the blog entry.

In his talk Goldstein compared California to a small country:
"I think we may have reached the point where as a country California is almost as big as Italy or Germany or somewhere else, it's in our best interests to begin seed-funding our own long-term research interests. That's partly what Prop. 71 attempted to do. It stimulated the growth of a number of industries, research findings, trials, what have you."
(Prop. 71 is the proposition that created California's stem cell agency.)

He also pointed to the research environment in San Diego as an example of collaboration and cooperation in biomedical research. A tiny geographic space in San Diego includes UCSD, Scripps, Salk, Sanford-Burnham, ViaCyte and the new Sanford Consortium building, making it easy for local scientists to work together and share ideas.

Among my favorite of Goldstein's comments comes when he talks about the need for transparency:
"Because at the end of the day, the clinical trials are experiments on a public who have paid for the research. And we have a great debt that we have to make good on to be sure that they're adequately informed, so that if we do hurt somebody, and there will be adverse events, we've done it in an open way."
His full comments are worth the 2:46 it takes to listen to the clip.

An example of San Diego's collaboration is in another blog entry by Fikes, this one about the upcoming Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa October 14-16. We'll have more about that meeting, and especially the Partnering Forum that we co-host, in the upcoming months.

Amy Adams

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