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Klein Re-nominated for CIRM

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger re-nominated Silicon Valley real estate investor Bob Klein to continue as chairman after a presumed front-runner dropped out of competition to run the state’s California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the $3B stem cell research agency,

  • Klein, who led a successful 2004 initiative campaign to create the agency, CIRM, has been chairman for 6 years.

The agency has funded research that led to hundreds of scientific papers and early clinical trials of treatments for rare diseases.

  • But scientists say therapies for such maladies as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord damage that were promised during the campaign remain years, if not decades, away;
  • The agency has come under sharp criticism from legislators and government watchdogs for paying its president more than 2x the salary set for California’s governor and distributing nearly $1B to universities with representatives on its board of directors.

In an interview last month, Klein said he would not seek and would not accept renomination.

  • But, his preferred successor, Canadian researcher Alan Bernstein, withdrew his name from consideration late Wednesday as the deadline neared for the governor to nominate a replacement.