Robert Klein Honored with Research!America Advocacy Award

Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award

WASHINGTON—March 3, 2010—Robert Klein, JD, chair of the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will receive Research!America's 2010 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award. He will be recognized for his vision and his bold advocacy for diabetes and stem cell research for patients in California and nationwide.

Klein will be honored March 16, 2010, at the 14th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards event at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

After his son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in 2001, Klein committed himself to research advocacy to help patients with diabetes and other degenerative diseases. In 2002, he was a principal player on a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation team that secured five-year supplemental National Institutes of Health funding for diabetes research.

More recently, Klein conceived of, drafted and led the campaign to pass Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures ballot initiative, which became law in 2004. The bill authorized $3 billion in funding for embryonic and progenitor stem cell research in California, at a time when federal stem cell research funding was limited. Proposition 71 created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to distribute the funding. Klein became founding chair of CIRM's governing board, a position he still holds. He also serves on the board of directors of the International Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as president of Klein Financial Corporation, a real estate company focused on affordable housing financing and development.

The Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to increasing the level of advocacy for medical or health research at the local, state or national level. Llura and Gordon Gund have been benefactors of the award since 2006, when Gordon Gund received an Advocacy Award for his role in advancing research for retinal degenerative diseases.

Other 2010 Research!America Advocacy Award winners are March of Dimes; U.S. Representative David Obey; J. David Gladstone Institutes Founding Director Robert Mahley, MD, PhD; advocate-philanthropist Ann Lurie; and Geoffrey Beene FoundationTrustee and CEO G. Thompson Hutton, Esq.

Pictures of Klein and the Advocacy Awards event will be available on March 17 at www.researchamerica.org/march16.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. The 2010 Advocacy Awards represent Research!America's 14th year of recognizing the accomplishments of leading advocates for medical and health research. For more information, visit www.researchamerica.org/advocacy_awards.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana