Saturday, 01 October 2022

California controller appoints Cancer Institute founder to governing board of State’s Stem Cell Agency

SACRAMENTO – State Controller Betty T. Yee on Monday named a key appointee to the board that governs the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM.

CIRM was created after voters approved Proposition 71 in 2004 to accelerate stem cell treatments for patients with unmet medical needs.

The Institute is overseen by a 29-member Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee, or ICOC, composed of patient advocates, biotechnology industry professionals, and research leaders. The State Controller appoints five ICOC members.

Ysabel Duron was one of the first Latina journalists in mainstream media. After her own battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Duron launched a second career creating nonprofits to address challenges and gaps in cancer education and access to care for the Latino community nationwide, including Latinas Contra Cancer, which hosts the biennial National Latino Cancer Summit.

Now retired from a four-decade career in broadcasting, Duron leads The Latino Cancer Institute, a national network of Latino cancer service agencies addressing the community’s cancer disparities.

“Ms. Duron’s personal perspective as a survivor and her commitment to equity will serve the institute’s mission well,” said Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer and chair of the Citizens Financial Accountability Oversight Committee that oversees CIRM finances.

In 2011, Duron was appointed to the federal Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Coordinating Committee.

In 2018, she was appointed to the Institutional Review Board for the federal Precision Medicine Initiative.

She has been recognized for her efforts by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, AARP, Silicon Valley NAACP, California Teachers Association, and Girl Scouts of America. Duron recently was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation she cofounded three decades ago.

CIRM issued its first round of funding in 2006, with a focus on training young scientists and building new research facilities in the state.

By 2009, the Institute began investing in potential future therapies made possible by the initial awards. CIRM-supported research already has led to a cure for severe combined immunodeficiency, and a 2019 independent economic impact report shows the Institute has created tens of thousands of new jobs and produced billions of dollars in additional revenue for the state.

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