Actress, Writer and Alzheimer's Activist Joins Stem Cell Agency Board

San Francisco, CA – Lauren Miller, an actress, screen writer and activist committed to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, has been appointed to the governing Board of California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Miller, who was appointed to the Board by Governor Jerry Brown, starred in the movies Superbad and 50/50 and co-wrote and starred in the movie “For a Good Time, Call….”. She is also the co-founder of the non-profit Hilarity for Charity.

“As the founder of Hilarity for Charity, an organization which raises awareness of Alzheimer's Disease among young people, I am truly thrilled to join the California stem cell agency Board as the Alzheimer's Patient Advocate,” Miller says. “To have the opportunity to learn about, and support the research for so many important diseases is such a great honor and responsibility and I look forward to starting.”

Miller’s commitment to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s comes from her family’s battle against the disease. Her grandfather died of Alzheimer’s and her mother was diagnosed with it when she was just 55 years old.

In an interview with NBC News Miller said: “Losing your memory to Alzheimer's means forgetting everything it means to be a person. You lose your mind, your dignity, yourself when you forget how to walk, how to talk, how to brush your teeth, use the toilet, pull up your pants, and eventually, you forget how to chew and swallow food. And all this can happen while your body is perfectly, physically healthy. And it can happen younger than you thought.”

“We are delighted to have Lauren joins us on the Board,” says Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., J.D., Chairman of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) the governing Board of the stem cell agency. “She brings a fresh perspective to the work that we do and her experience in raising awareness about a devastating disease will be an invaluable asset.”

The stem cell agency currently funds several projects focusing on Alzheimer’s including an almost $20 million award to StemCells Inc., which hopes to bring a therapy using human neural stem cells to treat the disease into clinical trials.

About CIRM: CIRM was established in November 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine