Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Goldberg Departs from California Stem Cell Board; Panetta and Miller Join

The California stem cell agency is losing another of the original members of its governing board but two new ones with markedly different backgrounds will be joining the 29-member panel tomorrow.

Departing is Michael Goldberg, a venture capitalist from the San Francisco Bay area. He has served as head of the board's finance subcommittee. Along with Marcy Feit, another longtime board member, he has cleaned up the accounting
Michael Goldberg
Mobihealth News photo
mess that once made the $3 billion agency's operational budget nearly incomprehensible.

In response to a question from the California Stem Cell Report, Goldberg said,
"John Thomas's leadership (as agency board chairman) has long been firmly established and it is now time for me to step aside to allow for a new appointee to contribute to taking CIRM to the next level.
"I will be forever indebted to have had the privilege to serve my fellow Californians as a member of the ICOC(the agency governing board). As a patient advocate and member of industry I am extraordinarily proud of what CIRM has accomplished to date and enormously enthusiastic about our future prospects for improving patient care and bettering the health care economics of our state."
Joe Panetta
Biocom photo
Joining the board in Berkeley tomorrow are expected to be Joe Panetta, head of Biocom, and Hollywood actress and writer Lauren Miller. Both were appointed by California Gov. Jerry Brown, who sometimes is noted for his unusual choices in personnel.

Panetta, however, does not fit that category. He is a longtime figure in the biotech community in California. He has been head of Biocom, the life sciences industry association in the San Diego area, since 1999. He fills the vacancy left by the death of Duane Roth, who was also came from the San Diego business community.

Lauren Miller
Ivan Nikolov/WENN photo
Brown's other appointment, Lauren Miller, comes from a far different perspective. She wrote the script for the movie "For a Good Time, Call..." Last spring, she and her husband, actor and director Seth Rogen, staged a fundraiser last year called “Hilarity for Charity” on behalf of Alzheimer's, generating more than $500,000 in donations.

CIRM quoted Miller in a press release as saying,
“To have the opportunity to learn about, and support the research for so many important diseases is such a great honor and responsibility and I look forward to starting.”
The agency also said,
“Miller’s commitment to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s comes from her family’s battle against the disease. Her grandfather died of Alzheimer’s and her mother was diagnosed with it when she was just 55 years old.”
Miller replaces Leeza Gibbons, another celebrity who is a patient advocate for Alzheimer's.
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