SAN FRANCISCO, September 21, 2006 – The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today welcomed Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, MBA to its governing board, the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. Dr. Azziz was appointed to the ICOC by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. Keith Black earlier this year.

Dr. Azziz is Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He also serves as Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA.

“We are delighted by Dr. Azziz’ appointment to the board,” said Robert N. Klein, chair of the ICOC. “As we approach the issuance of our first stem cell research grants, his extensive experience and impressive credentials will help ensure that our resources are wisely invested. He is a strong bridge between the research bench and clinical practice, and I know we will benefit from his contributions immediately.”

“I am honored by the Governor’s confidence in my experience and abilities,” said Dr. Azziz. “The Institute is one of the greatest public projects ever undertaken in science, and I am looking forward to advancing the impressive work Bob, the ICOC, and the CIRM staff have underway. Stem cell research holds great promise for so many illnesses and disabilities. We owe the people of California and patients around the world our very best efforts to make that promise a reality.”

Dr. Azziz received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez and his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He completed a residency on Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Hospital and a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, Dr. Azziz earned a Masters of Public Health and a Masters of Business Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

About CIRM

CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was approved by California 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. For more information, please visit

Contact: Dale A Carlson