CIRM Announces Leadership Transition


Koren Temple-Perry
Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications 

South San Francisco, CA, Nov. 7, 2023– The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the world’s largest institution dedicated to regenerative medicine, announced today that Maria T. Millan, President and CEO of CIRM, is resigning from her position effective November 17, 2023. After eleven years of dedicated service to CIRM, including six years as President and CEO, Dr. Millan leaves behind a legacy of significant accomplishments and advancements in the fields of cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine. 

“My eleven years at CIRM have been fulfilling and rewarding. It has been an incredible honor to work with CIRM’s mission-driven team in partnership with patient advocates, researchers, industry leaders, academia and other funders to drive the unimaginable progress and growth of the regenerative medicine field,” said Dr. Millan.   

During Dr. Millan’s tenure, CIRM achieved several significant milestones. This includes collaborating with the organization’s leadership team to devise a transition plan to prepare CIRM for a potential wind-down from the original Prop 71 funding while positioning the organization for growth if refunded in 2020. Following the passage of Proposition 14, the organization reinvigorated its funding programs, crafted a new 5-year strategic plan, attracted top talent, and experienced a 2.6-fold growth. During this time, CIRM also paved the way in integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into its grantmaking processes.   

“I am proud of the transformative work we have done, which includes the launch of new educational initiatives and the development of innovative concepts such as the Alpha Clinics expansion, manufacturing network, shared labs, and the patient support program,” said Dr. Millan. “CIRM has now funded 96 clinical trials and we have nearly doubled our clinical trial portfolio in less than three years. All of this was possible because of CIRM’s amazing mission-driven team.” 

Dr. Millan previously served as Vice President of Therapeutics at CIRM.  She received her general surgery training and transplant immunology postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and trained in solid organ transplantation at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she went on to serve as Associate Professor of Surgery and ultimately Director of the Pediatric Organ Transplant Program.  

Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Board Chair of CIRM, praised Dr. Millan for her dedication and leadership. We are grateful for the invaluable impact Dr. Millan has made on the organization and in advancing our mission. Her vision, passion and tireless efforts have set a standard of excellence that will continue to inspire us at CIRM.” 

CIRM’s executive leadership team will continue to advance CIRM’s key strategies and drive current programmatic initiatives. The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), the governing board of CIRM, is in the process of identifying an Interim-CEO who will serve throughout the executive search process.  



About the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (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 $5.5 billion in funding and more than 150 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is one of the world’s largest institutions dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality.  

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