Robert Klein is the author and Chairman of California’s Proposition 71, the $6 billion “California Stem Cell Research and Cures” Citizens’ Initiative.
For the first seven years of its existence, Klein served as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state funding entity established by Proposition 71 to manage the peer review, standards, and grant process for the $3 billion in stem cell research funding authorized by the proposed Initiative. He was elected Chairman Emeritus of CIRM in 2011.
Klein is an accomplished philanthropist and innovator who has been named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” as well as the Scientific American’s “The Scientific American 50” as a leader shaping the future of science. He has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s “Biotech Humanitarian Award”, Research!America’s “Gordon & Llura Gund Leadership Award,” and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) “ISSCR Public Service Award.”
Klein’s commitment to advancing medical research was spurred by his youngest son’s diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, his wife’s battle with breast cancer and his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. He continues to work as a patient advocate to advance stem cell research throughout California, the United States, and the world in his capacity as the Director of Americans for Cures, the legacy non-profit organization of the Proposition 71 initiative.
Klein is a currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Stand Up 2 Cancer Canada, which, in 2014, was broadcast on all public networks and all cable networks throughout Canada, blanking out all of their programming for one hour on the scientists and patients behind the next generation of cancer therapies. He is a past Member of the Board of the Global Security Institute (dedicated to reducing global risk from nuclear weapons), past Member of the Board of Genome Canada, a government genomic and proteomic agency, and past Board Member of the California Housing Finance Agency.
Klein is the President of Klein Financial Corporation, a real estate investment banking consulting company focused on multifamily rental housing and development that includes affordable housing components. Klein Financial Corporation has a record of approximately $3 billion in financing, financial consulting, and developing public and private projects.
Klein has a Bachelor of Arts in History with Honors from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.
Director of Public Policy
Mary Bass joined Americans for Cures as Director of Public Policy in 2013. Ms. Bass oversees Americans for Cures’ strategic planning, communications efforts and public policy activities as a means of advancing its mission to advocate for stem cell research and therapy development; and, ultimately, to improve the lives of patients and their families suffering from chronic disease and injury.
Ms. Bass leads a multidisciplinary team and is the director of Americans for Cures’ “Report Back to the Public” communications program to empower and inform the patient advocate community, as well as the 7 million California voters who passed Proposition 71: the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, of the remarkable Milestones of Progress in the field of stem cell research that have resulted since Proposition 71’s passage.
Ms. Bass’ expertise involves translating complex scientific information into clear, comprehensible language for public use. Working closely with Americans for Cures’ Scientific Advisory Board, Ms. Bass coordinates the scientific vetting process for all content distributed through Report Back to the Public. She is responsible for researching and tracking the 30 human clinical trials that have been catalyzed by Proposition 71 and CIRM funding.
Born and raised in the remote Yaak Valley in Northwest Montana, Ms. Bass also serves on the Advisory Board of Montanans for Research and Cures, the organization driving the campaign for the Montana Biomedical Research, Veterans Care and Cures Act: a Citizens’ Initiative on the 2016 Montana ballot which would authorize $200 million for biomedical research and therapy development in Montana.
Ms. Bass holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Public Policy, with a concentration in Health Policy, from Stanford University.
Vice President of Public Policy
Ever since his son Roman Reed became paralyzed in a college football accident in 1994, Don Reed has been engaged in a quest for cure.
Sometimes called the “Grandfather of Stem Cell Research Advocacy”, Reed has been involved in virtually every struggle to advance regenerative medicine, state, national and international: from the Missouri and Michigan efforts to legalize the research, to the United Nations battle to prevent the conservative Bush Administration from imposing a ban on somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Reed worked with Assembly member John Dutra, (D-Fremont, retd.) to pass a research funding law, AB 750, the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, which funded America’s first embryonic stem cell therapy. Using stem cells to re-insulate damaged spinal nerves, this therapy is now treating patients in FDA-approved clinical trials .
In 2002, Reed organized grassroots support for California Senator Deborah V. Ortiz (D-Sacramento, retd.) to pass the nation’s first stem cell research laws, , giving California official permission to perform both embryonic stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer, sometimes called therapeutic cloning.
In 2003, Reed began working with the inspirational Bob Klein, who inspired and led the $3 billion California initiative, Proposition 71, the California Stem Cells for Research and Cures Act, which became the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Reed worked first as a volunteer, and later became vice President for Public Policy for Americans for Cures Foundation, a position he holds today.
Reed has won numerous advocacy awards, including the first patient advocate award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the Willie Shoemaker Award for advancing spinal cord injury awareness, the first Genetic Policy Institute Advocate of the year Award, and various writing and teaching awards, including “Teacher of the Year” for Fremont Unified School District, and the National Press Award.
As a writer, he is best known for approximately 200 articles on stem cell politics for the Huffington Post, and as the author of a new book, “STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond”. Reed also wrote five books about the ocean, based on his 17 years as a scuba diver for Marine World Africa USA.
Reed’s latest book, “STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond: How Ordinary People Can Fight Back against the Crushing Burden of Chronic Disease – with a Posthumous Foreword by Christopher Reeve”, was published by World Scientific Publishing, a leading international academic publisher of 46 volumes of Nobel Prize lectures in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics.
A prolific writer, Reed has published more than 200 articles in the Huffington Post alone.
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