|Julie Freischlag, UC Davis Photo|
Freischlag was named this week as the new vice chancellor for human health services and dean of the UC Davis medical school, replacing Claire Pomeroy, who resigned to become president of the Lasker Foundation.
Pomeroy had served on the stem cell board since 2005. She was named to the board by the UC Davis chancellor because of her position as dean of the medical school.
Freischlag, who is scheduled to begin her new job Feb. 10, is no ordinary surgeon. Currently she is chair of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins. Prior to that she was chief of vascular surgery at UCLA. A Baltimore Sun profile of her in 2003 said she stands out because of her stellar career in “perhaps the most macho specialty in medicine.” The article said women surgeons are outnumbered 5 to 1 by men.
Responding to a query from the California Stem Cell Report, a spokeswoman for the UC Davis chancellor was noncommital about whether Freischlag would be appointed to the stem cell agency board. Luanne Lawrence, associate chancellor for strategic communications at Davis, said,
“This is one of the important and transitional decisions that hasn’t been addressed quite yet.”However, the deans of the other major California medical schools sit on the stem cell agency board, which gives away $300 million a year for research. Given that context, it would seem prudent for the dean of the UC Davis medical school to serve on the board as well.
For more on Freischlag's background, see here and here.