December 19, 2023

Government Official of the Year

On Thursday, November 16, members of the life science community gathered to celebrate the industry and those who have made it so successful at the annual Biocom California Celebration of Life Gala. An important part of the gala is the announcement of one of Biocom California’s highest honors, the Government Official of the Year Award. This recognition is not given every year, but only when a government official has demonstrated an appreciation, understanding, and strong support for the life science industry.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Julianne McCall, Governor Gavin Newsom’s Director of Precision Medicine in his Office of Planning & Research. Earlier this year, she spearheaded California’s response to the Biden Administration’s ARPA-H call to develop a nationwide health innovation network, entailing convening and coordinating key stakeholders including recruiting Biocom California as the industry convener and liaison to Congress.

Dr. McCall tirelessly took on this challenge alongside key partners and within one month developed and led a 180-member cross-sector consortium spanning all fifty states plus U.S. territories, bringing together leaders across business, academia, communities, nonprofits, healthcare, and government committed to re-envisioning research partnerships and advancing equitable health solutions. Because of her exemplary work, California is better connected within and beyond state borders to leverage the nation’s diverse community of R&D innovators.

In very moving acceptance remarks, Dr. McCall called the award an “honor of her career” and emphasized the industry’s importance to California and Biocom California’s role in that ecosystem. She also shared how the life science industry has intersected her own family’s life in important ways, and paid tribute to her parents.

California is fortunate to have a talented and energetic scientist who is dedicated to advancing health equity and elevating policy solutions leading our precision medicine efforts. We believe Dr. McCall’s work will anchor our state’s leadership position in many promising fields, including cell and gene therapy, and look forward to working with her to advance that leadership.