Herrera Lauds David Serrano Sewell’s Appointment to Statewide Stem Cell Panel

Deputy City Attorney Appointed to 29-Member Oversight Committee as MS Advocacy Representative Known for Leadership, Longtime Community Activism

City Attorney Dennis Herrera today lauded David Serrano Sewell’s appointment to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, a 29-member panel charged with administering the $3 billion program voters authorized last month with their passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

A deputy city attorney in the Port Division of Herrera’s office, Serrano Sewell was appointed this morning by Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to serve as disease advocacy representative for people with multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Serrano Sewell, who has been active in the MS community since his own diagnosis with the disease nearly three years ago, is a longtime San Francisco community activist who has served on the City’s Ethics and Elections Commissions; as an aide to former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. on permitting and land-use issues; and as former president of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club.

“David Serrano Sewell has demonstrated leadership and unwavering commitment to public service throughout his career, and I can think of no one better suited to the task of helping achieve the full promise stem cell research holds for all of us — to improve health care, to cure diseases, and to save lives,” Herrera said. “In naming David to the citizens oversight panel, Lt. Gov. Bustamante has made a thoughtful and effective pick that well serves the vitally important work of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.”

The Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee is the policy-setting body for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which will manage $3 billion in research grants and loans for embryonic stem cell research over the next decade. In addition to patients rights advocates such as Serrano Sewell, appointees to the statewide stem cell panel will include doctors, scientists, medical ethicists and research universities, working to direct and oversee some $295 million in annual funding, spread over ten years. The far-reaching initiative is expected to catapult California to the forefront of life-saving stem cell research, and provide the scientific community the opportunity and critically needed resources to discover new treatments and cures for generations to come.

For more information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, please visit City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s Web site at https://www.sfgov.org/cityattorney/.