Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CIRM Director Azziz Looking to Move to Georgia

If you are interested in serving on the board of directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency, you might want to get your application in early to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger. But if you don't work for Cedars of Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, you may be out of luck.

It appears that Ricardo Azziz, one of the governor's appointees, will soon be leaving for the Peach State. Azziz holds what might be called the Cedars seat on the CIRM board.

Azziz (see photo) is the only finalist for the presidency of the Medical College of Georgia, according to media reports this week in the Augusta Chronicle and on Channel 12 in Georgia.

In addition to serving on the 29-member CIRM board, Azziz is currently chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and serves as professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA.

Azziz has served on the CIRM board since September 2006. He replaced Keith Black, director of the neurosurgery at Cedars.

Cedars has received $5.7 million in grants from CIRM, out of the $1 billion the agency has given away in less than three years.

Azziz noted that the Georgia medical school was in “crisis.” He said,
"And that's really the best time when a leader can step in and add his or her feeling, add his or her flavor, to the direction of the institution. So I think it is as good a time as any and probably better than most."
Sort of the same situation that Obama had when he became president and what the next governor of California will have as well.

The current California governor has been slow in filling vacancies on the CIRM board, so it could be some months before a replacement is named. It is also not clear when Azziz would assume his responsibilities in Georgia. Sphere: Related Content

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