Ed Penhoet, one of the co-founders of Chiron, has denied scuttlebutt in the California stem cell community that he is leaving the board of the $3 billion California stem cell agency and is stepping down as its vice chairman.
Penhoet's statement came in response to a query from the California Stem Cell Report concerning the talk about changes in the CIRM board. He said,
"I have no intention of leaving the board."If Penhoet (see photo) were to resign as vice chairman, CIRM Chairman Robert Klein would like to replace him with Tina Nova(see photo), president and CEO of Genoptix, Inc., of Carlsbad, Ca., according to the scuttlebutt. However, Nova resigned in September from the CIRM board of directors, citing demands of her business.
Responding this morning to our question, Nova said she is not interested in resuming service with CIRM. She said,
"I have no plans to return to the CIRM board. My business is demanding all of my time, that is why I resigned. I have not been approached about the vice chair position, and I have not spoken to Ed Penhoet for over three months."CIRM has not responded to an inquiry on the Penhoet/Nova matter. We will carry its response when we receive it.
Given the firm denials from both Penhoet and Nova, one can only wonder how the subject came to surface publicly. Such talk usually has some sort of basis in fact, although it can become distorted as it passes around. It could also represent some sort of trial balloon on the part of persons interested in seeing changes made.
As far as the mechanics of selection of board members are concerned, Klein does not have legal authority to either appoint or re-appoint board members or select a vice chair. Klein is also elected by the board.
The vice chair and chair, who serve for a term of six years, are elected by the full board of directors from nominees offered by California constitutional officers, such as the governor and state treasurer.
Penhoet has been on CIRM's board since its first meeting in December 2004. He heads the task force that worked out the difficult issues of intellectual property concerning CIRM grants, bringing his broad background as a scientist and businessman into play. Sphere: Related Content