The leader of the stem-cell unit at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today he will leave the NIH to join the private sector at a biotech company called Invitrogen in Carlsbad, California.

Dr. Mahendra Rao, the leader of the stem cell unit at the National Institute on Aging says the president Bush’s 2001 policy decision lies at the root of his decision to leave the government for the private sector.

Dr. Rao says the president’s executive order that embryonic stem-cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001 are not eligible for federal funding, is the reason behind his decision to leave the government agency. He spoke to Wired News about young scientists’ hesitation to enter the field, the danger of hyping stem-cell research, and why he’s still excited about the future of stem-cell research in this Q&A with Wired News.

Link [,70623-0.html]

BTW: Did I mention Carlsbad has a nice ocean beach too and fantastic climate. I will make it a point to meet him on my next visit to Invitrogen.