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Dean Spiegel Appointed by Governor to Empire State Stem Cell Board Funding Committee

Replaces Obama Science Advisor Harold Varmus

July 1, 2009 — (BRONX, NY) — Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has been appointed by Governor David Paterson to the Empire State Stem Cell Board Funding Committee.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.
Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.
The Marilyn and Stanley
M. Katz Dean of Einstein
During his term, Dr. Spiegel will join 12 esteemed members of the funding committee who have expertise in biomedical research. The committee's responsibilities include reviewing grant applications, recommending standards for grant awards, and making recommendations for awards to New York State health commissioner, Richard F. Daines, M.D.

Earlier this year, in applauding President Obama's executive order restoring federal funding for stem cell research, Governor David Paterson announced $101.8 million in new State funding for stem cell research. This move reinforced New York's continued investment and leading role in this rapidly evolving scientific field. To date, New York State has awarded a total of $118.3 million in funding for stem cell research.

Dr. Spiegel will replace Harold Varmus, M.D., the president of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and director of the NIH from 1993 to 1999. Dr. Varmus has been selected as one of the co-chairs of the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the Obama administration.

Dr. Spiegel is an internationally recognized researcher and endocrinologist. He assumed office as Dean of Einstein in June 2006. Prior to joining Einstein, Dr. Spiegel was director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health, the culmination of a distinguished 33-year-career at the NIH.

Dr. Spiegel has expertise in stem cell research. He served as a member of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force from its creation in 2002 through 2005 and was vice-chair from 2005 through 2006. In 2001, he conducted a White House Oval Office briefing on stem cell research before former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and Andrew Card. He also testified before the Senate and House in multiple hearings on stem cell research.

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Spiegel earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in 1967. He received his M.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1971 and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Spiegel began his career at the NIH in 1973 as a clinical associate in its endocrinology training program. He then served as a senior investigator in the Metabolic Disease Branch from 1977 to 1984. In 1985 he was appointed chief of molecular pathophysiology, and then chief of the Metabolic Diseases Branch. In 1990, he was appointed director of the NIDDK's Division of Intramural Research. He served in these various capacities until his appointment as director of the NIDDK in 1999. In this role, Dr. Spiegel had responsibility for a staff of 625 full-time employees and a $1.7 billion budget.

Dr. Spiegel is a widely renowned physician-scientist and endocrinologist with extensive experience in translational research programs. His research has centered on G-protein-regulated signaling dysfunction in human disease, and his work on signal transduction helped to clarify the genetic basis of several endocrine diseases. He has published extensively, with more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and 100 reviews and book chapters to his name, as well as two books on G proteins.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have received nearly $14 million from the Empire State Stem Cell Board. In his capacity, Dean Spiegel will recuse himself from any discussion or recommendation that impacts future Empire State Stem Cell Board funding for Einstein.

In 2007,  New York State strengthened its position as a leader in biomedical research by  adopting an 11-year, $600 million initiative that provided State funding for stem cell research, in part to counter President Bush's policy restricting federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research (hESC) to those hESC lines in existence prior to August 9, 2001.