Dr. Marie Csete Joins CIRM as Chief Scientific Officer

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 12, 2008 – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today named Marie E. Csete, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Csete will be a key member of the CIRM’s senior management team and help further define and execute the strategy to achieve the Institute’s goals.

 “We are delighted that Marie has chosen to relocate to California to join the CIRM,” stated Alan O.Trounson, president of CIRM. “Her training and experience as both a basic researcher and clinician is critical to our strategy of advancing discoveries into the translational pipeline. In addition, her expertise in the field of transplantation and understanding of immunology issues will be highly relevant to advancing new discoveries in the stem cell field toward therapies and cures. ”

  “Marie brings extraordinary experience and capabilities to this position,” stated Robert N. Klein, Chairman of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, CIRM’s governing board. “Her scientific leadership is certain to help us advance CIRM’s mission to support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine under the highest ethical and medical standards.”

  Stuart H. Orkin, MD, the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Chair of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Chair of CIRM’s Scientific and Medical Research Funding Working Group stated, I am very pleased that Dr. Marie Csete will assume the Chief Scientific Officer position at CIRM. She was an active and insightful member of the Scientific Working Group. Her leadership will ensure that CIRM meets its potential for the state of California.”

  “No one knows more about or is more skilled at dealing with the intersecting worlds of real-life clinical transplantation and basic stem cell research than Dr. Csete,” commented David J Stone, MD, Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “Dr. Csete is a person of the highest ethics who possesses the humanistic qualities that are required to complement the scientific and clinical aspects of this complex field.”

  Prior to joining the CIRM, Dr. Csete was John E. Steinhaus Professor of Anesthesiology at Emory University, with adjunct appointment in Cell Biology, and program faculty appointments in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Neurosciences, and the Emory/Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Program. She was also the director of Liver Transplant Anesthesiology at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and director of the Emory/Georgia Tech Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core, and co-Director of the Emory MD/PhD Program.

  Dr. Csete graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Music and received her M.D. from Columbia Universitys College of Physicians & Surgeons. After residency and fellowship training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and St. Elizabeths Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, she was Assistant Professor in Residence at the University of California, San Francisco where she directed the liver transplant anesthesiology team.

Dr. Csete received her PhD from California Institute of Technology where her work focused on the role of physiologic gases in stem cell fate. Her lab at Emory continues to study the role of gases in differentiation, death, and migration of stem cells, as well as the aging of stem cells.

Additionally, as a member of the CIRM Scientific and Medical Research Funding Working Group since 2005, Dr. Csete has an appreciation and understanding of CIRM’s scientific strategy and has already been providing expertise to the CIRMs efforts.

About CIRM: CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. To date, the CIRM governing board has approved 156 research grants totaling almost $260 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit .www.cirm.ca.gov  

Contact:         Don Gibbons