Lewis was named interim vice president for research and development. He will be working two to three days a week and focus on “identifying strategic opportunities and developing action plans to fulfill the mission of the Institute.”
In the CIRM news release, Patricia Olson, executive director of scientific activities for CIRM, said,
“His many years of experience in developing therapies for patient benefit in both for-profit and non-profit organizations will be valuable to CIRM as we expand our program to include clinical projects.”The announcement from CIRM said Lewis will take direction from President Alan Trounson and Olson.
Trounson, who has been seeking to fill the VP slot for about a year, was not quoted in the release nor was CIRM Chairman Robert Klein.
CIRM did not immediately disclose Lewis' compensation. The VP position has a salary range that tops at $332,000. The news release did not say whether Lewis would be an employee or an outside contractor. However, a CIRM insider told us he would be a contractor. The agency is heavily reliant on outside contractors because it is limited by law to 50 staffers. Currently it has about 45 employees.
Lewis' old firm, now known as ViaCyte, has $26.3 million in awards from CIRM.
The California Stem Cell Report first reported Lewis' link-up with CIRM on Monday.