C. Randal “Randy” Mills

Biotech pioneer C. Randal Mills has been named the new chief executive officer of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla.

Mills, who has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and executive in the biomedical industry, assumed his new role at the 700-person research organization this week.

“I am very pleased to have Randy join the Institute as CEO,” said James C. Blair chair of the Sanford Burnham Prebys board of trustees. “We conducted a very thorough search to identify an experienced industry leader who understands medical and translational research and has a track record of successfully advancing diverse organizations. Randy fits that profile perfectly and his organizational and leadership experience stood out from the beginning.”

Mills. 48, previously served as president and CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program, which supports bone marrow transplants within the United States and around the world. Prior to that, he headed the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s $3 billion regenerative medicine agency.

He moved to San Diego from Minneapolis, where the marrow donor program, known as Be The Match, is based.

“I am excited and humbled to serve as CEO at this pivotal time in the Institute’s history,” says Mills. “I’m inspired by the immensely talented people of this organization and the contributions Sanford Burnham Prebys has made to improving human health over the past 40 years. It is our responsibility to now build upon that exceptional work.”

Kristiina Vuori, who is president and oversees Sanford Burnham Prebys’ scientific and academic activities, called Mills “a great leader” for the institute.

“He comes to us with extensive organizational and executive leadership experience,” she said. “His diverse background and knowledge of translational research and drug discovery will help us propel the Institute into a bright and successful future.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.