February 9, 2021
Oakland, CA – Elena Flowers, PhD, RN, an associate professor of physiological nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is joining the Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s Stem Cell Agency.
Dr. Flowers was appointed to the Board by State Controller Betty T. Yee who said: “Ms. Flowers’ experience and express commitment to equitable health outcomes for California’s diverse communities will bring a valued perspective to the work ahead.”
Dr. Flowers is a member of the UCSF Institute for Human Genetics and the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. As a researcher her work focuses on genomics involving precision medicine and risk factors for cardiovascular health and type 2 diabetes. She is also a teacher and has lectured internationally on issues such as topics from racial disparities in Type 2 Diabetes to the implications of genomic technologies for the nursing workforce.
CIRM Board Chair, Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, welcomed the appointment: “Dr. Flowers brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our Board and, as a nurse, she will bring a different perspective to the work we do and help us in trying to better address the needs of underserved communities.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of California in this capacity,” says Dr. Flowers. “CIRM has ambitious goals, seeking to improve upon common limitations of public research agencies by its commitment to delivering meaningful findings and ultimately treatments for patients as rapidly as possible. I’m particularly committed to improving inclusion and access to these treatments across the entire diverse California population.”
Dr. Flowers got her undergraduate degree at UC Davis and then served as a research assistant at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She then went on to get her MS and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the UCSF School of Nursing.
In her spare time she has no spare time because she is the mother of two young daughters.
Under Proposition 14 – the Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative – passed by California voters last November, the CIRM Board expands from 29 to 35 members. Six of those members are appointed by the State Controller. In addition to Dr. Flowers’ appointment, in December 2020, Controller Yee reappointed Ysabel Duron, president of the Latino Cancer Institute, to a term on ICOC ending December 2028. In January 2021, Parkinson’s disease patient advocate David R. Higgins, PhD, was reappointed to a term ending January 2029. Other State Controller appointees to CIRM include Dr. Linda Boxer, vice dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, and Dr. Anne-Marie Duliege, appointed by then-Controller John Chiang. Controller Yee has one remaining CIRM appointment to fill.
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 regenerative medicine 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.
For more information go to www.cirm.ca.gov