CANADA: Canadian outlawed from top US stem cell post

In the global endeavour that science has become, where research knows no borders, it is a strange story, writes Carolyn Abraham for the Globe and Mail. An internationally respected Canadian scientist who was the leading candidate to become the head of California's high-profile stem cell research institute was, at the last minute, banned from consideration because he is not an American.

Dr Alan Bernstein, founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and currently executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, had even been nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be the next chairman of the California Institutes for Regenerative Medicine. He also had the backing of the institute's current chairman, Robert Klein.

But while Bernstein might have been the right man for the job - his citizenship was all wrong. "It is a state law that says a state agency has to be run by a US citizen," said Don Gibbons, a CIRM spokesman who described the statute as "obscure." "We weren't aware of the code." Apparently, neither was the Governor. "I think the whole thing has been very unfortunate," Dr. Bernstein said. "Everyone knows I am a Canadian.
Full report on the Globe and Mail site

The citizenship requirement is unconstitutional, according to California's attorney general, who is the chief arbiter of such matters. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) had other reasons for using that as an excuse. See

David Jensen
California Stem Cell Report