The first of as many as three nominees was announced Friday to become the second chairman for the stem cell research board, which is charged with issuing $3 billion in public grants.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Gov. Jerry Brown nominated investment banker Jonathan Thomas to lead California's stem cell institute's oversight committee.
"Mr. Thomas' experience...as well as his lifelong background, education and interest in biology and medical sciences make him exceptionally well-suited to fill the role," Lockyer wrote in his nomination letter.
Robert Klein, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine's independent oversight committee chairman, is resigning June 23. Klein helped write and finance the ballot initiative that created the institute.
Lockyer, Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Controller John Chiang are each entitled to nominate a candidate for the chairmanship. The 29-member board of UC professors, investors and biomedical company executives are expected to choose the new chairman from the nominees at its June meeting.
Thomas, a founding partner at Saybrook Capital, has previously served on the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners and Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. He's also worked in the White House's legal department.
Earlier this week, Newsom nominated former Genentech executive vice president Stephen Juelsgaard to a spot on the board reserved for someone tied to a "California life science commercial entity."
Newsom and Chiang have yet to announce their nominee for the chairmanship.