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BioCommunique Article

Biocom recognizes life science trailblazers who have made significant achievements before reaching their 40th birthdays.

Biocom’s 15 Winners of the 2017 Life Science Catalyst Awards!

  • 2017-09-21T18:53:00.000+0000
  • San Diego
  • Author: Lauren Panetta

Biocom is very pleased to announce this year's winners of the second annual Life Science Catalyst Awards! The program celebrates up-and-coming entrepreneurs, academics, investors, corporate leaders and business advisers who are making a lasting and positive mark on Southern California’s life science industry prior to reaching their 40th birthday. Please join us in celebrating these trailblazers and the innovative spirit that lies within each of them.

“The recipients of this year’s Life Science Catalyst Awards are shaping the future of the biotechnology industry with original and innovative thinking,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom. “Biocom applauds these outstanding honorees for their commitment to
furthering the life sciences in San Diego, Los Angeles and beyond.”

Biocom selected the 15 winners from an impressive pool of nominees that included professionals from a wide range of life science organizations, spanning startups, publicly held biotech companies, universities and consultancies. The nominees were vetted by a committee that took
into account factors including innovation, leadership and vision.

In alphabetical order, the San Diego Biocom Life Science Catalyst Award winners are:

  • Francie Barron, Ph.D., vice president, biology & regulatory affairs, Nanomedical Diagnostics
  • Karen Christman, Ph.D., professor of bioengineering, University of California, San Diego; scientific co-founder, Ventrix Inc.
  • Brendan Eckelman, Ph.D., chief operating officer and vice president of biotherapeutics, Inhibrx LP
  • Dov Fox, J.D., professor of law, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Todd Harris, Ph.D., head of corporate development, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals
  • Zachary Hornby, M.S., MBA, chief operating officer, Ignyta Inc.
  • Patrick Mercier, Ph.D., assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of California, San Diego
  • David Nelles, Ph.D., chief technology officer & co-founder, Locana Inc.
  • Ryan Taft, Ph.D., senior director, scientific research, Illumina Inc.
  • Matt Tremblay, Ph.D., vice president, business development, The Scripps Research Institute; chief operating officer, California Institute for Biomedical Research
In alphabetical order, the Los Angeles Biocom Life Science Catalyst Award winners are:
  • Thomas Lipkin, Ph.D., head of new ventures, University of California, Los Angeles Technology Development Group
  • Yan Liu, Ph.D., associate professor, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor at University of California, Los Angeles; professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Tanya Petrossian, Ph.D., chief executive officer, EndoCyclic Therapeutics; principal, Building Blocks Advisory Group
  • Marie Rippen, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Lab Launch
“These winners are defining innovation and sparking change, representing the many facets of our dynamic life science industry,” says Dina Lozofsky, executive director of Biocom’s Los Angeles office. “Each of our 2017 Catalyst honorees give us great excitement for what lies ahead in
biotech and more broadly, for human health.”

“These dedicated young life science leaders are continuing Southern California’s history of excellence in the biotech industry,” said Mike Krenn, president of the San Diego Venture Group, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting San Diego’s innovation economy whose members were involved in San Diego adjudication. “Without the continued interest from young people, we could not have the vibrant life sciences community that thrives here. It is an honor to be involved in the Catalyst Awards for the second year in a row.”

The award winners will be featured in the fall edition of Biocom’s LifeLines magazine and honored during the December Biocom Board of Directors of meeting.