The 2020 World Stem Cell Summit will take place Jan. 21- 24, 2020 in Miami, FL

Washington, DC - (January 2, 2020), Jan. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated tothe advancement of ethical research and patient advocacy for the development ofcurative medicine utilizing advanced cell and gene therapies, today announced thedesignation of four new positions to the Board of Directors. Sam Merchant, founder ofThe Merchants Financial Group, has been elected Board Chair, Dr. Jeanne Fontana asVice Chair, Alan Jakimo Esq. and Dr. Ann Murphy as members at large.“Both Sam and Jeanne have taken a great deal of time to understand the role of ourfoundation in accelerating the field of regenerative medicine. Both will take leadershipresponsibility and possess the vision to accomplish our mission. Alan and Ann have longserved as valued collaborators to RMF and I am grateful that they are joining the board,”said Bernard Siegel, Executive Director, of the RMF and Founder of the World Stem CellSummit.

Sam Merchant - Sam is the founder of The Merchants Financial Group, a global capitalinvestment corporation focused on identifying and developing international growthopportunities in a variety of business areas including technology, artificial intelligence,biotech, banking, manufacturing, franchising, multiple real estate sectors including butnot limited to R&D and manufacturing lab, healthcare, opportunity zones andunderwriting of financial products including, but not limited to, tax incentive bonds andprivate and public syndicated equity. Mr. Merchant is an active member of the Atlantabusiness community since 1981, and is a US citizen since 1986. He served on theAtlanta Regional Commission Board for seven years and as a stakeholder member ofAtlanta Vision 20/20 commencing in 1990. With family business operations based inAtlanta, GA, and West Palm Beach, FL, Sam’s expertise in innovative financial solutionsand strategic planning has enabled the expansion of multiple emerging as well asestablished public and private operations throughout the world. Sam has been a SouthFlorida permanent resident for the last few years. He is a co-founder and Chairman ofthe Board of a biotech company, BioCurity Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Jupiter, FL, guidingBioCurity through drug development and company operations. Mr. Merchant is also aco-founder of a boutique investment banking advisory company MerchantCass AdvisorsLLC. Mr. Merchant is proficient and strategic in his understanding and execution of theJOBS Act for the benefit of emerging growth and middle market companies. Hisbusiness and personal interests include traveling the world seeking M&A opportunities,learning more languages, engaging with like-minded ethical, transparent, honestsuccessful people with high morals. He finds pockets of opportunities to make the worlda better place and when the calling came, he gladly accepted the role of Chairman ofBoard of RMF, where he also serves on the executive financial board of the World StemCell Summit. Mr. Merchant is gratified by his ability to give back philanthropically inmultiple regions of the world, where he is known and respected in the communities of allwhose lives he has touched. His quote "pluralism is the key to success for all mankind".

Jeanne Fontana, MD, PhD - As vice chair of RMF, Jeanne brings decades ofexperience in the stem cell community from basic science, to patient advocacy andboard governance. She was an active board member of the Independent Citizens’Oversight Committee (ICOC) of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the governing body charged with implementing California’s Proposition 71, a $3billion stem cell initiative and the state agency it created. Dr. Fontana was instrumentalin communicating this new science to the general public as well as editorial staff of themajor newspapers. She focused her early work on drug discovery for ALS and mostrecently in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alan L. Jakimo, JD, MBA - Alan joins the Board of Directors of the RegenerativeMedicine Foundation, which he continues to serve as Senior Policy Research Fellow, aposition he held at Genetics Policy Institute, a predecessor of RMF. Mr. Jakimo beganworking with GPI in the fields of policy research and patient advocacy in 2007. He is amember of the bar in New York, where he has focused on securities and technologytransactions since 1981. Alan is a member of the investment banking group at T.R.Winston & Company and teaches health law and drug development law at HofstraUniversity. In addition to his roles at RMF, he also serves as a director and advisor tononprofit organizations engaged in cancer R&D and life science. 

Ann Murphy, PhD – Ann and her husband, Martin J. Murphy, co-founded AlphaMedPress in 1983 that launched STEM CELLS, the first journal devoted entirely to thesubject. With offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, NI, Ann publishesand is the executive editor of two other international peer-reviewed journals with globallyrecognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing research and education in theirfocused disciplines: The Oncologist and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (the official journal partner of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation). In 2000, Ann co-founded the Society for Translational Oncology to fill the gap between discovery of newcancer treatments and their global translation into oncology practice. The Oncologist is its official journal.

About the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) 

The nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations toaccelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and delivercures. RMF unites the world’s leading researchers, medical centers, universities, labs,businesses, funders, policymakers, experts in law, regulation and ethics, medicalphilanthropies, and patient organizations. We maintain a trusted network of leaders andpursue our mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit series ofconferences and public days, honoring leaders through the Stem Cell and RegenerativeMedicine “Action” Awards, supporting our official journal partner STEM CELLSTranslational Medicine (SCTM), promoting solution-focused policy initiatives bothnationally and internationally and creating STEM/STEAM educational projects. For moreinformation about RMF, please visit:  

About the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) 

Produced by the non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF), and in its 15 th year,the World Stem Cell Summit will take place January 21-24, 2020, in Miami, Florida. TheSummit is the most inclusive and expansive interdisciplinary, networking, and partneringmeeting in the stem cell science and regenerative medicine field. With the overarchingpurpose of fostering biomedical research, funding, and investments targeting cures, theSummit and co-located conferences serve a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders.Together with Phacilitate Leaders Asia and the Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics,RMF produced the inaugural World Stem Cell Summit-CHINA in October 2019. Formore information about the upcoming 15 th World Stem Cell Summit in Miami, please 



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