Gigi McMillan is the Program Administrator for the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University, designing curriculum for the undergraduate and graduate academic programs and facilitating community collaboration. She completed her Master’s Degree in Bioethics at LMU and will finish doctoral studies at Loyola Chicago in 2019. Mrs. McMillan has extensive experience as a Patient/Subject Advocate on local and national Institutional Review Boards, was a member of the Subpart A Subcommittee for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protection, and is a patient representative on the FDA’s Pediatric Oncology Drug Advisory Committee. She was a Board Member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities in 2017, has been a faculty member at PRIM&R (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research) since 2004, and is the Director of Community Engagement for the academic journal, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was created in 2004 after 59% of California voters approved California Proposition 71, which allocated $3 billion to fund stem cell research in California.
Stem cells are biological cells that can differentiate into other types of cells and can divide to produce more of the same type of stem cells. They are found in multicellular organisms.
Research is underway to develop various sources for stem cells, and to apply stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. Research is also underway in generating organoids using stem cells, which would allow for further understanding of human development, organogenesis, and modeling of human diseases.
Recently, Gigi McMillan gave a series of talks to members of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) from the perspective of a Patient/Research Subject Advocate. Her comments centered on the importance of an ethical partnership between patients and their physicians, and between research subjects and scientists. This spring and summer, she spoke to researchers at UCLA’s Alpha Stem Cell Clinic Symposium, the Board of Directors at CIRM in their Oakland headquarters and at a City of Hope conference for critical care nurses who work with stem cell therapies. Read Gigi's presentation here.
Image: Gigi McMillan
Image: CIRM Flier
Image: Stem Cell