Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Make Up Your Mind, Dr. Morrison! [Serge] (Updated)

Sean Morrison of the University of Michigan Life Science Institute seems very confused about the prospects of finding stem cell researchers to recruit for our state. On one hand, he tells the Kalamazoo Gazette that the prospects are extremely dim:

`The law in Michigan puts us at such a disadvantage in embryonic stem cell research that people in that area don't even apply for jobs here,'' said Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology, quoted last week in the Kalamazoo Gazette and The Grand Rapids Press.
However, in an in-house publication, Morrison explains that he recruited "the top young stem cell scientist" for his university:

Dr. Ivan Maillard joined the Life Sciences Institute as a Research Assistant Professor July 1. He is also an Assistant Professor Dept. of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology and the fourth faculty member of the U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Ivan Maillard

Ivan Maillard

"Ivan was the top young stem cell biologist in the country on the job market last year. We had intense competition from other research universities that were also trying to recruit him," said Sean Morrison, Director of the U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology.


What a turnaround! Morrison went to not being able to get applications to netting the top stem cell researcher despite Michigan's restrictions. Interesting that when he is trying to convince the public about the desperate need to overturn Michigan's law he is so pessimistic. However, when discussing the issue in a publication that exists in part to raise money for his institute, he touts his ability to recruit the best.

Anyone still willing to "trust the scientists" about virtually anything in this field are dreadfully naive.

Update: Jason of Theosophical Ruminations adds in the comments:

I emailed Dr. Morrison to inquire about this apparent discrepancy between what he said to the media, and what he said in the U of M's LSI newsletter. He responded to my inquiry, noting that Dr. Maillard's work is restricted to adult blood-forming stem cells. He does not work with embryonic stem cells. It appears, then, that Dr. Morrison was not engaging in double-speak after all.
I suppose this clarifies things although the original wording is a bit questionable. I do feel good that it is Dr. Morrison's opinion that a scientist that only works with adult stem cells can be considered "the best young stem cell researcher in the job market last year." Furthermore, the fact that we are able to recruit the best adult stem cell biologists here despite our ethical stance is a very good thing.

Thanks Jason for your diligence in tracking this down.

1 comment:

  1. Serge,

    I emailed Dr. Morrison to inquire about this apparent discrepancy between what he said to the media, and what he said in the U of M's LSI newsletter. He responded to my inquiry, noting that Dr. Maillard's work is restricted to adult blood-forming stem cells. He does not work with embryonic stem cells. It appears, then, that Dr. Morrison was not engaging in double-speak after all.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete

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