Sanford-Burnham News Archive

The Burnham Institute's President/CEO Tapped for Prop. 71 Stem-Cell Research Governing Body

LA JOLLA, Calif. , November 16, 2004

California State Controller Steve Westly today appointed Dr. John C. Reed, President and CEO of The Burnham Institute, to the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee that will govern the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine established on November 2 when voters approved the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, Proposition 71.

“Dr. Reed runs one of the world’s most prestigious medical research facilities, and he brings a combination of world-class research skills and scientific leadership to this post,” Westly said. “Working near the hundreds of high technology and life-science firms in San Diego, I’m confident Dr. Reed will help identify projects with the best potential for finding the next breakthrough cures.”

Dr. Reed joined The Burnham Institute in 1992 to establish its program on Apoptosis and Cell Death Research. He served as Scientific Director for five years prior to his appointment as President and CEO in January, 2002. Before joining The Burnham Institute, Dr. Reed was Assistant Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia.

Much of Dr. Reed’s research has revealed how defects in programmed cell death contribute to cancer and other diseases. The Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia has recognized Dr. Reed as the most highly cited author in the field of apoptosis research for the decade 1992-2002, and the most highly cited researcher in the world from 1997-1999 in all research fields.

“I am honored to accept Controller Westly’s appointment to serve on the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee to implement Proposition 71. Stem cell research has been hailed as the most promising medical research frontier of the 21st century," said Dr. John Reed. "The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as envisioned in Proposition 71, will help to ensure that we are able to deliver on that medical promise."

The Burnham Institute’s Program on Stem Cells and Regeneration, started in 1997, is spearheaded by seven faculty members; nearly 100 scientists at the Institute are working on stem cell technology, making it one of the largest collaborative efforts focused on stem cell research in the world.

Dr. Reed’s appointment is the second of five ICOC appointments to be made by Controller Westly. There will be a total of 27 appointments to ICOC, drawing from the leadership of the University of California, the state’s non-profit research institutions, California's disease advocacy groups, and the biotechnology industry. Each appointee will serve a six-year term, with a maximum of two terms.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

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