Monday, June 25, 2018

New California Stem Cell Agency Board Member: Suzanne Sandmeyer of UC Irvine

A woman who is a medical doctor as well as a professor of both chemical engineering and microbiology and molecular genetics is joining the governing board of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

She is Suzanne Sandmeyer, vice dean of research in the School of Medicine at UC Irvine. Her appointment by the UC Irvine chancellor was announced today by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). 

UC Irvine has long held positions on the 29-member governing board of the agency, which was created by California voters in 2004. UC Irvine and its researchers have received $114.3 million from CIRM, ranking sixth among all recipients. Roughly 90 percent of CIRM awards has gone to institutions with ties to members of its board.

In its news release today, the agency quoted Sandmeyer as saying,
“Our country has one of the most expensive systems of medical care, and yet we don’t have the longest-lived population. I want to work toward reducing the burden of medical expenses for people. I am very excited about the potential of stem cells to treat many disorders and the potential for new technologies like CRISPR to further empower that approach.”
The agency's news release also noted Sandmeyer's broad range of interests outside academia.  She was quoted in a CIRM blog item as saying:
"I go through phases like everyone. There is never enough time. My favorites are astronomy, bird photography, guitar, biking, kayaking, reading and of course German shepherd dogs."
She replaces Howard Federoff also of UC Irvine, who is stepping down to devote more time to his research, CIRM said.

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