EMERYVILLE, CA – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced the appointment by the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) of members to serve on its Scientific and Medical Research Facilities Working Group (Facilities Working Group). The members were recommended by a subcommittee of the ICOC which met for the first time just over three months ago and were appointed by a unanimous vote during the June 6 ICOC meeting in Sacramento.

“Building research facilities for stem cell research will be a top priority for the CIRM. Current federal restrictions on use of laboratory equipment and space add a special urgency to the mission of the Facilities Working Group,” said Interim President Zach Hall, Ph.D. “This outstanding team of experts will ensure that California stem cell researchers will have high-quality laboratories built in a cost-effective manner.”

The 11-member Scientific and Medical Research Facilities Working Group makes recommendations to the ICOC that governs on interim and final criteria, requirements and standards for applications for, and the awarding of, grants and loans for buildings, building leases, and capital equipment. The Facilities Working Group will also make recommendations to the ICOC on oversight procedures to ensure grantees’ compliance with the terms of an award.

As mandated by the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, the committee is composed of four real estate specialists and six members of the Grants Working Group. Five of the six required Grants Working Group members have been appointed, with one more to be appointed in the coming months. The real estate specialists of the Facilities Working Group, required to be California residents, were chosen from 25 applications, based on their extensive experience developing and overseeing large-scale property development and management..

The members of the Facilities Working Group have agreed to abide the conflict of interest policies of the CIRM.

Brief biographies of the appointed members are below.

Albert “Rusty” Doms was CEO and President of his company, Karsten Realty Advisors, from 1972-1994. The company provided real estate investment management services for pension funds and development management services. Before running Karsten, Doms spent six years at Economics Research Associates performing market research and financial feasibility studies for real estate and recreation properties. Prior to this work, he served two years in the United States Army as Captain, U.S. Armor.

Mr. Doms has spent several years in service to his community and volunteering for non-profit organizations in various roles, such as Pomona College, the Children’s Bureau, the Los Angeles Building Authority, St. John’s Health Center Foundation, and the Project Advisory Committee for Los Angeles County. Mr. Doms is a graduate of Pomona College, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Deborah Hysen is currently Project Director for the California Performance Review, adjunct to the Department of General Services (DGS). She is responsible for start-up and day-to-day functions of this comprehensive review of government established by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004. Hysen previously served as Acting Chief Deputy Director at DGS, where she directed the operations of 14 operating divisions and offices providing services to state agencies throughout California, including the Division of the State Architect, Real Estate Services, Office of Public School Construction and Procurement. As a Senior Property Manager at Insignia Commercial Group, she established and implemented policies and procedures that governed the financial performance of the Citibank Building in Los Angeles, a one million square foot Class “A” high-rise. Hysen was previously a property manager for Columbia Savings and Loan, followed by three years as General Manager of Optima Capital Management.

Hysen is a member of the Governor’s Energy Policy Advisory Council, the State’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Subcommittee for Private and Public Building Infrastructure, the Governor’s ADA Inter-disciplinary Task Force and the Sacramento Downtown Partnership Association Committee. Certified as a Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA), Hysen is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Edward M. Kashian of Fresno is the CEO and founder of Lance-Kashian & Company, one of the Central Valley’s leading firms in real estate development, asset management and property management. It has served California since 1964, developing regional shopping centers, office complexes, industrial projects and pioneering master- planned corporate communities. Kashian was a partner in the first “power center” built in the country, which still exists in Fresno. Currently he is the managing partner for River Park Properties, developers of River Park Shopping Center, the co-managing partner for Fancher Creek Properties, LLC, a general partner of Kashian Enterprises and the Fresno Historic Chinatown, LLC. Prior to his career, Mr. Kashian served in the U.S. Navy for four years during the Korean conflict, was honorably discharged and is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Long active in San Joaquin Valley civic affairs, he has served on several boards in various capacities, such as the University of California, Merced and its Real Estate Committee, the Community Hospital Medical System, the Fresno Madera Agency on Aging, the San Joaquin River Trust, and the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board, a State mandated commission. Mr. Kashian joined the Urban Land Institute in 1970 and is a graduate of Fresno State College.

Sherry Lansing serves as the patient advocate for Cancer on the ICOC. Founder and current chair of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, a philanthropy organization focusing on cancer research, health and education, she was the former chair of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount Pictures from 1992 to 2005, where she oversaw the release of more than 200 films including Academy Award winners like “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart,” and “Titanic.”

Her distinguished career has earned her numerous awards including the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America, and an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the American Film Institute, among many others. She continues to lend her energy and talents to such advisory boards and committees as the American Red Cross Board of Governors, The Carter Center and Stop Cancer, a non-profit philanthropic group she founded in partnership with Dr. Armand Hammer. Lansing received her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

David Lichtenger is President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrity Office Solutions (IOS), which he founded in 1999. Over the past 20 years, Lichtenger has been personally involved in the planning, design, and construction of over 10 million square feet of projects. IOS project management includes: real estate site and lease evaluation, needs analysis, architectural design, engineering, construction, technology, furniture, A/V, security and relocation services with a guaranteed price and schedule completion date. Projects have included many types of facilities: mission critical data centers, biotechnology and engineering laboratories, clean rooms, medical facilities, offices and manufacturing facilities. IOS serves clients across business sectors: technology, medical device, biotechnology, consulting, financial, healthcare, manufacturing, and non-profit. Prior to IOS, Lichtenger was involved in various real estate development projects.

Dedicated to affecting the highest level of professionalism, Lichtenger is active in many industry associations, including Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group (SVMG), International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Core Net Global, and International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Mr. Lichtenger attended Rutgers University and Columbia University.

Joan Samuelson, J.D., serves on the ICOC as the patient advocate for Parkinson’s Disease. Her work in the area of Parkinson’s disease has earned her numerous awards and honors from her peers, including the Research! America’s Advocacy Award for “Exceptional Contributions as a Volunteer Advocate for Medical Research,” and the Parkinson’s Institute’s 15th Anniversary Award for Achievement. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1987, Ms. Samuelson left the practice of law to found the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) in 1991, where she continues to serve as President and a member of the executive committee of the Board of Directors. She has been appointed to a variety of advisory panels on biomedical research and health policy, including the Board of Directors of the Parkinson’s Institute and as Patient Advocate to the Medicare Consumer Advisory Committee. Samuelson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in public service from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned her Juris Doctor from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

David Serrano Sewell, J.D. , is the patient advocate for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on the ICOC. Sewell has participated in numerous local and statewide campaigns. Currently, Mr. Sewell is employed as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, assigned to the Port of San Francisco. He has served on the City’s Ethics and Elections commission and the board of directors of BRAVA! For Women in Arts. After his own diagnosis of MS, he began volunteering with the Northern California Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Sewell earned his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, where he served a year as Student Body President. He later attended Golden Gate University School of Law for his Juris Doctor.

Jeff Sheehy serves as the patient advocate for HIV/AIDS on the ICOC. Sheehy worked in collaboration with California State Senator Carole Migden on the Survive AIDS Initiative to raise funds for organ transplants for people with HIV, which also led to a NIH-funded protocol to perform solid organ transplants in people with HIV at sites across the country. In 1996, he and two colleagues conceived, drafted and lobbied San Francisco’s historic Equal Benefits Ordinance, which requires companies contracting with the city to provide domestic partner benefits. Sheehy was appointed HIV/AIDS advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004 and has been deputy director for communications at the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF since 2000. He is a recipient of the Cape Crusader Award from Equality California, the HRC Leadership Award from The Human Rights Campaign, the Tomas Fabregas AIDS Hero Award. In 1999, he was featured in OUT magazine’s list of the most influential members of the LGBT community. Sheehy received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas in Austin.

Janet S. Wright, M.D., F.A.C.C., is the patient advocate for heart disease on the ICOC. She is currently assisting the coordination of the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) collaboration with several disease management organizations in Phase 1 of CMS’ Chronic Care Improvement Programs (CCIP). Dr. Wright practices invasive cardiology as a partner in Northstate Cardiology Consultants in Chico, California and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the American College of Cardiology. She is the ACC Advocacy Committee’s Liaison to the Food and Drug Administration and to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Dr. Wright was recently elected to the board of directors of the Disease Management Association of America (DMAA) and is a member of the DMAA Healthcare Leadership Advisory Council. She received her medical doctorate at the University of Tennessee and completed her internal medicine residency at Children’s Hospital and Adult Medical Center in San Francisco. She also completed a cardiovascular fellowship at San Francisco General Hospital and UCSF.  


Nicole Pagano
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