Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Three Top Execs Named Today at $3 Billion California Stem Cell Agency

The California stem cell agency today marked the completion of a year-long reorganization with the appointment of three top executives, including a veteran of Genentech.

Randy Mills, who became president of the $3 billion agency in May 2014, said the appointments represent a “significant inflection point.”

Mills said in a press release,
“People are everything when it comes to the potential and performance of an organization.  With the appointment of these three exceptionally talented individuals to the leadership team, CIRM is now better positioned to achieve its mission and forever change the practice of medicine.”
The trio consists of Ramona Doyle, vice president of therapeutics; Maria Millan, senior director of medical affairs and stem cell centers, and Maria Bonneville, director of administration. Millan and Bonneville both were promoted from within the organization.

Ramona Doyle, Rhodes Project photo
Doyle comes from Genentech. She was senior group medical director for respiratory product development at the South San Francisco business, where she has worked since 2009. She worked for Gilead Sciences for two years. Doyle has also taught at UC San Francisco and at the Stanford Medical School, where she worked with Millan.

Beginning Monday, Doyle will oversee projects involving neurological and ocular, cancer and blood related and cardiovascular, lung, liver and other organ system-related conditions. She is also the only person designated as vice president within the agency, formally known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Doyle received her M.D. from Emory University and was a Rhodes Scholar after receiving an undergraduate degree in English and literature from Sewanee: The University of the South. When she was at Sewanee, she was editor of the Mountain Goat literary magazine and wrote prize-winning poetry.

Also named today as senior director of medical affairs was Maria Millan, who formerly was a
Maria Millan
medical officer at CIRM, which she joined in 2012. Prior to that, she was vice president and chief medical officer at StemCells, Inc., and director of the pediatric liver and kidney transplant program at Stanford, where was also an associate professor. Millan, a surgeon, is overseeing the agency's $34 million Alpha stem cell clinic program. 

Prior to Bonneville's appointment today as director of administration, she was executive director of the CIRM board. She will have oversight over the agency’s board relation, human resources, communications and information technology departments. Before joining CIRM, she was a consultant with Tramultola LLC and worked for former state Treasurer Bill Lockyer as finance director for Northern California.

Other members of the agency’s “leadership team” are Chila Silva-Martin, finance director, Gil Sambrano, director of review; James Harrison, general counsel; Gabe Thompson, director of grants management, and Patricia Olson, executive director of discovery(basic research).

All have been with the agency for some time. Harrison is an outside contractor.

Not including Mills, the 8-member leadership team at CIRM now consists of five women and three men. 

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