Maria Millan, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA

Maria Millan is the President and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Under her leadership, CIRM has generated a robust and growing portfolio as a patient-centric funder, partner, accelerator, and de-risker for over 1,000 projects in basic, translational, and clinical research, as well as infrastructure and education programs.

After completing her education and training at Duke, NJ Medical School, Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Millan served as an Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Organ Transplantation at Stanford. She then joined the private sector where she helped to launch the first in-human neural stem cell clinical trial performed in children afflicted with a devastating and fatal neurodegenerative disease.

In 2012, Dr. Millan joined CIRM where she led the implementation of CIRM’s unique acceleration model, the formation of infrastructure to support translational and clinical research, and the growth of CIRM’s clinical stage portfolio. In 2017, she took on the role of President and CEO and successfully led the Agency to accomplish all of its goals under the 5-year Strategic Plan including the discovery of 50 new drug candidates, the growth of its clinical portfolio to 76 predominantly first in-human trials, and the training of hundreds of students and scholars in regenerative medicine. In 2020, with CIRM unding running out, its future uncertain, and at the height of the pandemic, she led the Agency to continue its commitment to funding and supporting important scientific and clinical programs. In November 2020, with the reauthorization of CIRM through the passage of a $5.5 billion bond initiative (Prop 14), she led the CIRM team to immediately relaunch its programs, expand its highly skilled team, and develop and implement a bold Strategic Plan to accelerate world class science to deliver transformative regenerative medicine therapies to a diverse California and world.

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