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Since cutting the first check in 2006, CIRM now finds itself at a crossroads. The federal research limits that existed when it was created have been relaxed and it recently shifted focus from basic research to funding projects that can swiftly begin human trials. Experts felt this goal was unrealistic and urged the agency to have a more balanced approach.

At its current funding pace, CIRM is expected to earmark the last grants around 2017, but since most are multi-year awards, it will stay in business until around 2021. It’s currently deciding its future for when the money runs out.

The $700,000 report was sponsored by CIRM _ a customary practice for organizations seeking a review. The Institute of Medicine said sponsors have no influence on the fact-gathering process and are barred from reviewing drafts or weighing in on the report before publication.

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Follow Alicia Chang at http://twitter.com/SciWriAlicia

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Online:

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/

Institute of Medicine: http://www.iom.edu/