CIRM Completes Reorganization with the Appointment of Three Highly Talented Individuals to its Leadership Team

July 1, 2015

San Francisco, CA – The job description calls for someone who is a strong leader of people with an innate sense of urgency, who delivers outstanding results and inspires the team, and that’s exactly what CIRM, California’s stem cell agency, has found in its new Vice President of Therapeutics, Ramona Doyle, M.D., one of three new appointees to its leadership team.  Dr. Doyle is joined by Maria Millan, MD, Senior Director of Medical Affairs and Stem Cell Centers, and Maria Bonneville, Director of Administration, both promoted from within the organization.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant inflection point for CIRM,” said C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Institute.  “People are everything when it comes to the potential and performance of an organization.  With the appointment of these three exceptionally talented individuals to the leadership team, CIRM is now better positioned to achieve its mission and forever change the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Doyle comes to CIRM from Genentech where she was the Senior Group Medical Director for Respiratory Product Development, leading an international team of scientists and clinicians developing programs in 5 different disease areas.

“As soon as she came in for the first interview we knew we had a special candidate,” says Dr. Mills “In a very short time she showed us she had the vision, experience and expertise needed to help CIRM fulfill its mission of accelerating stem cell therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. We are thrilled and delighted to have her join our team.”

A Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in the UK where she also earned a Master’s degree in Physiology, Dr. Doyle received her M.D. degree at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She trained in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and was on the faculty of Stanford University for 12 years where she was the Medical Director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation Program and founded a program for pulmonary hypertension.  Currently she volunteers her time as a physician at UCSF where she sees patients in clinic twice a month, focusing on people with advanced combined lung and heart disease.

As Vice President of Therapeutics, Dr. Doyle will oversee the teams working to advance CIRM’s mission in neurological and ocular, cancer and blood related and cardiovascular, lung, liver and other organ system-related conditions.

The agency also named pediatric transplant surgeon Maria Millan, M.D., as Senior Director of Medical Affairs and Stem Cell Centers.  A graduate of Duke University and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with surgical training at both Harvard and Stanford, she served as the Director of the Pediatric Liver and Kidney Transplant Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Millan served as the Medical Officer at CIRM.  Prior to joining the Institute, she served as the Vice President and Acting Chief Medical Officer at StemCells, Inc.

“Dr. Millan is not only a talented surgeon, but an inspirational leader of people, said Dr. Mills. “Those fortunate enough to get to know Maria will attest to her vast knowledge of transplant medicine and collaborative approach to program management.  But what really makes Maria stand out is the positive energy she brings to any team in which she is engaged.”

Finally, Maria Bonneville has been promoted to Director of Administration overseeing the Agency’s Board relations, human resources, communications, and information technology departments.  Previously, Ms. Bonneville served as Executive Director of the CIRM Board. Before joining the agency she was a consultant at Tramutola LLC and worked for former State Treasurer Bill Lockyer as the Finance Director for Northern California and Special Assistant to the Treasurer. She has a B.A. in political science from University of California, Berkeley.

“Anyone who has ever worked with Maria knows that she is the glue that holds so many things together,” says Jonathan Thomas, J.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Board of CIRM. “Her job title only begins to describe her impact on the work that we do at CIRM. Her intelligence, knowledge, commitment and compassion have made her a standout leader at CIRM.”

The three are now permanent members of the leadership team along with Chila Silva-Martin, Director of Finance; Dr. Gil Sambrano, Director of Review; James Harrison, General Counsel; Gabe Thompson, Director of Grants Management; and Dr. Patricia Olson, Executive Director of Discovery.

About CIRM
At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by the people of California to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to succeed in that mission.

To meet this challenge, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals actively partners with both academia and industry in a hands-on, entrepreneurial environment to fast track the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies.

With $3 billion in funding and approximately 300 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is the world’s largest institution dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality.

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