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Report: CA stem cell agency needs a restructuring

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A report says California’s stem cell agency needs more independent oversight and recommends a restructuring to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

The report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine was impressed with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for making the state a major player in stem cell research.

But experts said CIRM could benefit from some changes. They found that too many members of the governing board represent schools that receive funding. Though the report didn’t identify any specific cases of conflict, it said the potential is there, and the board should also be at arm’s length from the management team and not be involved in day-to-day operations.

California voters in 2004 approved Proposition 71 that formed CIRM. It has distributed about $1.3 billion in grants.

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