Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis  Appoints USC Medical School Dean to CIRM Board  

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 
Contact:, (916) 445-8994


SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis announced a new appointee and one reappointment to the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC), the board that governs the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). 

Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis appointed Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, as the newest member of the CIRM board. Dr. Meltzer will serve as a representative from a California research institution.  

“Dr. Meltzer brings extraordinary expertise in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine, along with a deep passion for helping Californians in need,” said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis. “Her distinguished career and pioneering work will be invaluable to California and the future of medical treatments. I look forward to her leadership on the board as we continue to build a brighter and healthier California for all.”

As an expert in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine, Dr. Meltzer has had a long and distinguished career studying the brain’s structure and function during aging, including Alzheimer’s disease and psychiatric disorders that occur later in life. She also specializes in optimizing new technologies to benefit human health, including overseeing the clinical evaluation of the world’s first combined PET (positron emission tomography)/CT (computed tomography), which has revolutionized the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients with cancer.  

“It’s an honor to be called to service on behalf of the people of California,” said Meltzer, holder of the May S. and John H. Hooval, M.D., Dean’s Chair and professor of radiology at the Keck School. “We’re in the midst of an age of discovery in medicine, with game-changing potential for addressing serious disease. CIRM has been a major driver of progress in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to create the greatest health impact possible.” 

Vito Imbasciani, PhD, MD, Chair of the CIRM Board, also expressed his enthusiasm for Dr. Meltzer’s appointment. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Meltzer in her new role at CIRM,” said Dr. Imbasciani. “Her extensive expertise in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine and her commitment to advancing medical technology make her an exceptional addition to our board.” 

Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis also reappointed George Blumenthal, PhD, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of California Santa Cruz, to the ICOC. Blumenthal will serve in the role of an executive officer from a California University. He was originally appointed to the ICOC by Governor Gavin Newsom when he served as Lieutenant Governor.  

About the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM): 

Established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, and refunded by Prop 14, CIRM is dedicated to advancing the development of innovative cell and gene therapies to treat diseases and other medical needs. CIRM currently has $3.8 billion in funding and more than 150 active stem cell programs in its portfolio. For more information, go to