California Voters to Weigh Billions in Funding for Stem Cell Research, Again

Jessica Lo Surdo, M.S. (foreground), a staff scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, studies chain reactions in stem cells in an FDA laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md.

Michael J. Ermarth/US Food and Drug Administration

Jessica Lo Surdo, M.S. (foreground), a staff scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, studies chain reactions in stem cells in an FDA laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md.

In 2004, state voters approved a $3 billion bond to fund stem cell research. A bigger ask, for $5.5 billion, is coming in 2020. “Civic” sat down with Kevin McCormack, senior director for public communications and patient advocate outreach at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, to talk about the history of stem cell research, what the first bond has actually funded compared with what researchers hoped to achieve, and what’s being promised to voters this time around.

“For us the biggest concern is that if we don’t get funded that many of the most promising research projects may just simply fade away.” — Kevin McCormack
 



A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM, available in San Francisco.