Dr. John Robson Joins CIRM As Vice President For Operations

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 27, 2008 – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, today named John A. Robson, PhD, Vice President for Operations. In this role, Dr. Robson will be a senior officer of CIRM and responsible for all administrative and operational aspects of the Institute and will support the ongoing work of the Facilities Working Group.

“Dr. Robson is a wonderful addition to CIRM and with his appointment we have in place the leadership team that will provide the strategic guidance for CIRM to be successful in our next stage of growth,” stated Dr. Alan Trounson, president of CIRM. “Dr. Robson’s extensive experience as both a research scientist and an administrator in academic and research settings makes him exceptionally qualified to lead the operational aspects of CIRM.”

“CIRM continues to attract the most highly qualified individuals to help fulfill our mission,” stated Robert N. Klein, Chairman of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, CIRM’s governing board. “I look forward to working with Dr. Robson and the many contributions he is certain to make during his tenure at CIRM.”

“John is a wonderful appointment for CIRM” stated Dr. David Colman, the Wilder Graves Penfield Professor and Director of The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University. “In addition to his broad background in science, John will bring a wealth of connections in the Canadian scientific community that will benefit California as the two seek to establish stronger collaborations in the stem cell field. Along with Alan Trounson, he certainly brings the kind of innovative and thoughtful leadership that will be a driving force behind CIRM’s future success.”

“CIRM’s recruitment of Dr. Robson is a coup” commented Dr. Richard Murphy who was the director of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill and worked closely with Dr. Robson. “He brings to the Institute a deep understanding of basic and clinical research, years of administrative experience dealing successfully with professional staff, scientists, and physicians, and tremendous excitement about stem cell research in California, which he sees as world-leading. He is highly respected by his colleagues at McGill, and I am confident he will work well with the ICOC and with CIRM’s staff. John is a consummate and talented professional, and I can think of no better choice as a second-in-command to Dr. Trounson at CIRM.”

Before joining CIRM, Dr. Robson was Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Faculty of >Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Prior to that, he was Associate Director for Scientific Affairs at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill, a position he assumed after spending 18 years as a faculty member and neuroscientists at the State University of New York (SUNY), Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.

As the first Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at McGill, Dr. Robson oversaw all academic and administrative functions related to the professorial life cycle. His major responsibilities included all strategic planning, capital campaign planning and recruiting and administrative policy development.He held positions on ten administrative committees at McGill.As Associate Director for Scientific Affairs he oversaw a period of significant growth and was responsible for supporting and advancing the research and academic missions of the Institute. During his tenure at SUNY, Dr. Robson ran a neuroscience research lab that was supported by NIH grants and held leadership positions as both a professor and administrator.

Dr. Robson graduated from Trinity College with a degree in Biology and received his PhD in Anatomy from Duke University. He did postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Anatomy and the University of Chicago in the Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences and was a teaching research associate at the University of Chicago.

About CIRM: The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was established in 2005 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 206research and facility grants totaling more than $554million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.

Contact:   Don Gibbons
  415-740-5855 (mobile)