President and Chief Executive Officer
C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
Since taking the helm at CIRM in April 2014, Mills has radically changed the way the agency does business by implementing CIRM 2.0 - an aggressive plan that significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to approve funding for promising stem cell research and potential stem cell therapies. Under the guidance of Mills, what used to take almost two years to go from an initial application to approval for funding for a clinical trial now takes just 120 days. In addition to being faster the application windows for different stage research projects are also more frequent.
Mills – who served five years as a member of CIRM’s Grants Working Group, the expert panel that reviews applications for funding - has been described as a “visionary and highly regarded scientific and business leader.” In December 2015 Mills released CIRM’s new Strategic Plan, a bold vision for what the agency hopes to achieve in the next five years. The plan outlines a new approach to funding stem cell research, one that supports and accelerates research projects to the next stage and ultimately accelerates the development of stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs.
Before joining CIRM, Mills was the President and CEO of Osiris Therapeutics. Under his leadership, Osiris developed the world’s first approved stem cell drug, Prochymal, used for the treatment of acute graft-vs-host disease in children, a devastating complication of bone marrow transplantation that can be fatal.
Prior to that, he served in several executive leadership roles with RTI Biologics Inc., and was a founding member of that company’s predecessor, the University of Florida Tissue Bank. He also served, at the appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a voting member of the National Institutes of Health and AIDS Research Advisory Council and was vice chairman of the American Association of Tissue Bank’s Standards Committee.
Mills has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and cell science and a Ph.D. in drug development from the University of Florida.