PAN Advocate David Higgins Named to CIRM Board

California Assistant State Director David Higgins, Ph.D., has been named as a patient advocate member of the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee (ICOC), the governing board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). David will replace Joan Samuelson, PAN’s founder, as the Parkinson’s patient advocate on the board.

CIRM is a California government agency that directs $3 billion in funding to support stem cell and regenerative medicine research. The ICOC is composed of California residents with expertise in managing large research grants and conducting medical research, understanding and guiding research and treatments through regulatory pipelines, and advocating on behalf of Californians with chronic illness and injury. It is charged with adopting scientific, medical, ethical, and intellectual property policies, making final decisions on financial awards, and the oversight of CIRM operations. 

David, who was profiled in our weekly newsletter earlier this summer, has a lifelong family connection to Parkinson’s and became involved with PAN in 2012 following his own diagnosis with the disease in 2011. He is also a trained scientist with a background in molecular biology and genetics and has professional experience in biotechnology.

PAN was proud to nominate David for this prestigious position due to his commitment and outstanding advocacy work on behalf of the Parkinson’s community. We congratulate him and wish him well in this exciting new opportunity.

Date originally posted: August 14, 2014.