Capecchi Peer Review Revisited

I like Jeremy Berg, who heads up NIGMS. I also like Mario Capecchi, who graced our institution with not just a talk but a day full of mentorship and collegial networking the week he received his Nobel. Dr. Capecchi’s response in Science to Dr. Berg’s comment about the fateful 1980 study section that doubted his gene-targeting project in mammalian cells is worth a quick read. But I must concur with Dr. Berg … Mario – a priority score of 139 is, by definition, outstanding! (though, admittedly, not perfect, like your other scores apparently)

1 Comment »

  1. drugmonkey said

    no, no. it is an insult! An insult I say, to receive a 139 after his prior competing proposal received a 100.

    what IS it with these people…

    still, Capecchi is very good to point out that his real point is:

    Rather, it has been to provide a well-documented case of the delicate balance that study sections must negotiate between their responsibility to prudently allocate their funds and their responsibility to encourage innovative (i.e., “risky”) projects with potentially very high rewards.

    of course, study sections don’t “allocate…funds” but we know what the good Professor means…

    DM … remember, this was 1980 (for context, MR imaging in humans wouldn’t be on the scene for another 5 years … NHGRI was a decade away). Much smaller, tighter club that made 16,030 competing (types 1 & 2) awards in FY80 to a much smaller applicant pool compared with the 17,506 competing awards made in FY07 (data from CRISP). Those were the days …

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