Klein Gets the Final Stem Cell Nomination

From a Times Staff Writer

Treasurer Phil Angelides nominated Palo Alto real estate developer Bob Klein to head the state’s new $3-billion stem cell institute Tuesday, making Klein the unanimous choice of the four state elected officials charged with finding candidates.

The chairperson and vice chairperson of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine are scheduled to be elected by 27 board members at the agency’s first meeting Friday in San Francisco. The chairperson’s job will be one of the most important and influential in the controversial field of embryonic stem cell research.

Some board members and others who worked to pass Proposition 71, which created the state agency, have expressed concerns about having just one choice for chairperson.


Klein, 59, ran the ballot measure’s successful multimillion-dollar campaign. He is a lawyer with a background in bond financing. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, no one employed or on leave from an institution eligible for funds could be considered.

For vice chairperson, Angelides nominated Joan Samuelson, a lawyer who founded the Parkinson’s Action Network after being diagnosed with the disease in 1987.

Angelides also named his five appointees to the board Tuesday, choosing Caltech President David Baltimore, a Nobel Prize winner in medicine; City of Hope President Michael Friedman, an oncologist and former acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; Michael Goldberg, who is on the board of Genomic Health and is a longtime patient advocate for cancer research; Dr. Francisco Prieto, president of the Sacramento-Sierra chapter of the American Diabetes Assn.; and Janet Wright, a cardiologist and advocate for patients with heart disease.