The California Stem Cell Report brings you authoritative information and valuable insights into California’s $12 billion stem cell research program that can be found nowhere else. This newsletter is the only independent news and information source devoted solely to what is officially known as the California Institute for Regenerative (CIRM). The stem cell agency brings together — in an unprecedented way — Big Science, Big Academia, Big Pharma, politics, business and even life and death.
In the fall of 2020, CIRM received a life-saving infusion of $5.5 billion from California voters and is now in the process of deciding how it will spend the cash on everything from cancer and incontinence to mental health and “aging as a pathology.” Whether you are a researcher looking for funding, a biotech entrepreneur, a health care policy wonk or simply a curious citizen, the California Stem Cell Report is must reading if you want to follow the cutting edge development of what many consider to be “miraculous” cures and therapies.
Who produces the California Stem Cell Report?
My name is David Jensen, and I am a retired newsman. I have been writing about the Golden State’s stem cell agency since January 2005, shortly after California voters created the enterprise via a ballot initiative. Last year, I published the only book — “California’s Great Stem Cell Experiment” — that chronicles the life and times of CIRM, for better or worse. I was quoted in a number of news stories last fall dealing with Proposition 14, which provided the agency with an additional $5.5 billion. (See here, here, here and here.) Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik calls this report “indispensable” and “authoritative.”
Prior to leaving the mainstream news business, I spent more than two decades at The Sacramento Bee as special project editor, business editor and reporter. While at The Bee, I was the primary editor on the Pulitzer Prize-winning, 1992 series, “The Monkey Wars,” written by Deborah Blum. I was a press aide to former California Gov. Jerry Brown during his first two years in office (1974-76). I worked seven years at United Press International in Los Angeles and Sacramento prior to joining Brown’s first gubernatorial campaign.
In 1998, I left The Bee after helping to start a Spanish language weekly, La Voz, and The Bee’s web site. It was clear even then that the Internet was going to transform the news business in an unpleasant way. My wife, Sally, and I sold the house and bought a 39-foot sailboat, which we named Hopalong. We sailed out the Golden Gate and turned left, spending many years up and down the west coast of Mexico and the incredible Sea of Cortez. Our journeys also took us to El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama — all while I covered stem cell doings in California via the Internet and with intermittent trips back to the Old Country. The more than 5,000 items I have written can be found here, the predecessor to this site on Substack.
We are now located in Santa Cruz, Ca., having sold Hopalong in 2018.
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