cirm-logo.jpgLast week, the top scientific official at the institute managing California’s $3 billion stem-cell stepped down unexpectedly.

Arlene Chiu, who joined CIRM with great fanfare in mid-2005, had shouldered additional responsibility when the institute’s president, Zack Hall, left. Chiu left without real explanation.

It’s just the latest challenge for the organization. David Hamilton, at VentureBeat LifeSciences has the update:

….it seems safe to say that the stem-cell agency is probably one of the most grueling places to work in all of biomedicine. Structurally, CIRM is a Rube Goldberg-inspired contraption in which a panel of 26 appointed academic luminaries, business types and patient advocates oversees a professional staff of no more than 50.