In November 2004, more than seven million Californians voted for the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, to establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). CIRM’s mission is to allocate $3 billion in public bond funds for scientific and medical research in California. CIRM is governed by the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), a 29-member body appointed by elected officials and university chancellors.

As of October 2007, CIRM has approved more than $205 million in research and training grants. The CIRM Scientific Strategic Plan outlines a 10-year funding strategy.

California has developed and adopted the most comprehensive set of regulations in the United States with regard to the ethical standards, grants administration policy, and intellectual property management rules that will apply to its grantees.

In addition to the specific rules governing CIRM grantees, California also has separate legislation governing the conduct of non-CIRM funded hESC research within its borders. Recent legislation indicated the Legislature’s intent to harmonize stem cell research regulations in California. State guidelines have been developed pursuant to this legislation.

Contact for IASCR: Geoff Lomax, Dr.PH., Senior Officer for Medical and Ethical Standards, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine