San Diego Business Journal

Alan Lewis, CEO of the privately held stem cell engineering company Novocell, has been named president and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He will begin his new career at the New York City-based nonprofit on Jan. 1.

"Alan has contributed significantly to building Novocell into the leading innovator in the development of stem cell technologies for the treatment of diabetes," said Fred Middleton, chairman of the Novocell board of directors and managing director of Sanderling Ventures, in a statement. "It seems a wise and logical choice for JDRF to tap Alan for this job as a way for them to access the frontiers of the most promising research initiatives being developed for diabetes therapy."

Lewis, who joined Novocell in February 2006 as CEO, guided the company through significant research milestones.

In February, Novocell announced that it had discovered a way to coax human embryonic stem cells to evolve into insulin-producing cells to control blood-sugar levels in mice with diabetes. Novocell researchers are now looking to test their stem cell treatment in humans.

"I look forward to joining JDRF to continue the same mission as Novocell's: to develop a cure for Type 1 diabetes , a mission closely tied to our work at Novocell," Lewis said.

, Heather Chambers