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The Biological Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council

The Dean’s Leadership Council is the Division of Biological Sciences preeminent volunteer group that plays a key role in advancing Biological Sciences by providing key leadership and sage counsel, and by helping the Division acquire the resources essential to our growth and progress in the 21st century global economy.

Richard Atkinson
Richard Atkinson, PhD, president emeritus of the University of California and professor emeritus of cognitive science and psychology at the University of California, San Diego, served as president of the UC system from 1995 to 2003. Before becoming president he served for fifteen years as chancellor of UC San Diego. He is a former director of the National Science Foundation and was a long-term member of the faculty at Stanford University.
Bob Balderas
Bob Balderas, UCSD Parent, VP of Research & Development, BD Biosciences, is responsible for developing and driving R&D programs for BD Biosciences. As a corporate scientist, site manager, collaboration builder and marketer in the field of biotechnology, he has contributed to the growth of BD Biosciences and Pharmingen. He has more than three decades in leadership positions in both academia and the biotechnology industry. Mr. Balderas holds a MBA from the University of San Diego and received his BS degree in Microbiology from San Diego State University.
Julia Brown
Julia R Brown, UCSD Parent and an executive from the life science industry, is a member of the board of directors of three companies involved in drug development. From 2000-2003, Brown was executive vice president of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as advisor to the CEO until 2008. Prior to joining Amylin, she was executive vice president of Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Julia spent over 25 years with Eli Lilly and Company in progressively more senior roles. Brown is vice chair of Corporate Directors Forum, and a member of National Association of Corporate Directors and Women Corporate Directors. She is a member of the boards of CONNECT and CleanTECH San Diego. Brown is a trustee and chair emerita of the board of trustees of the UC San Diego Foundation.
Abbie Celniker
Abbie Celniker, '80 and UCSD Parent, CEO, Eleven Biotherapeutics, has been building biologics-focused businesses for more than two decades. Prior to joining Eleven Bio Dr. Celniker was at the helm of biotech startup Taligen, and previous to this she was Global Head of Biologics at Novartis where she built and managed the infrastructure and strategy for the late-stage discovery and development of novel protein therapeutics. Previously, she held senior research and development position leadership roles with successful startups: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth BioPharma (Genetics Institute) and Genentech. She earned her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Arizona and her BS in biology from UCSD.
Gary Curtis
Gary Curtis '69, CEO, URSA Technologies, is a serial biomedical entrepreneur who has launched, built and managed and/or sold 8 companies over the span of decades, including Concentric Medical, a global leader in ischemic stroke therapies and Radio Therapeutics Corporation, which was sold to Boston Scientific in 2002. Prior, he built ValleyLab and Advanced Cardiovascular Systems each into multi hundred million dollar businesses. In 1992, he established one the first alumni endowed scholarships at UCSD in memory of his father, Thomas Curtis. Revelle College, '69. 2009 Distinguished Service Award, UCSD Alumni Association.
Tyler Dylan
Tyler Dylan-Hyde '89, PhD, Chief Business Officer & General Counsel, Cardium Therapeutics, is focused on the development of novel biologics and devices for cardiovascular and ischemic diseases. Prior to Cardium, he served as General Counsel and EVP of Collateral Therapeutics and has advised both privately-held and publicly-traded companies that are developing, partnering or commercializing technology-based products. He was also a partner and of counsel with the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster. Dylan-Hyde received his PhD in Biology from UCSD, his JD from UC Berkeley and BS in Molecular Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Erik Engelson
Erik Engelson '82 & '84, is Partner at Foundry, LLC, a premier medical device company incubator. Since its inception in 1998, the Foundry has founded/financed over a dozen medical device companies which have generated in excess of $1B. Engelson is the former CFO of Fluidigm Corporation and CEO at Cierra, Inc. He holds patents on more than 45 medical devices, several which have helped define the practice of non invasive brain surgery and non interventional neuro-radiology. Muir College '82, microbiology, M.S. '84, engineering science. Jacobs School Alum of the Year 1999.
Dave Goeddel
Dave Goeddel '72, PhD, is Managing Partner at The Column Group, a leading venture capital firm dedicated to creating the next generation of biotechnology companies. Goeddel co-founded Tularik in November 1991, served both as VP of R&D then CEO, when Tularik was acquired by Amgen. He served as Amgen's first Senior Scientific VP. Prior, he was the first scientist hired by Genentech from 1978 to 1993 served in various positions, including Fellow, Staff Scientist and Director of Molecular Biology. His pioneering work in the fields of gene cloning and expression of human proteins has been the basis for five significant marketed therapeutics including human insulin, human growth hormone, interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma and tissue plasminogen activator. Revelle College '72, biochemistry Outstanding Alumnus 1996.
Tracy Johnson
Tracy Johnson '91, PhD, Associate Professor and Maria Rowena Ross Chair of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2014-) UCLA Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Adjunct Associate Professor UCSD Division of Biological Sciences, joined the UCLA faculty in 2013 where her lab focuses on understanding gene regulation.  Before moving to UCLA, Dr. Johnson was on the faculty at UCSD in the Division of Biological Sciences. Dr. Johnson sits on a number of scientific boards and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Johnson is also recognized for her commitment to undergraduate education.  In 2013, she was the recipient of the Chancellor's Associates Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  For her combined scholarship and commitment to education, she was recently named one of the Top 20 Women Professors in California.  She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley and her BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD.
Mark L. Lewis
Mark L. Lewis, '75, is SVP, Product Development at Illumina, a leading supplier of tools for genetic analysis including systems for genotyping and sequencing. Mark has been involved with the development and marketing of tools for life sciences research for over three decades. Prior to joining Illumina in 2008, Mark held several general management and business development positions at BD Biosciences, managing molecular biology, high content imaging, and custom flow cytometer businesses. Prior to joining BD Biosciences, Mark held senior management positions in product development, marketing and sales at Molecular Dynamics, later acquired by Nycomed Amersham. Previously, Mark held positions in development and marketing at Beckman Instruments. Mark earned a BA in biology from UCSD.
Magda Marquet
Magda Marquet, Founder and co-CEO of ALMA LifeSciences, LLC, is also the co-Chairman and co-Founder of Althea. She was co-President and CEO of Althea Technologies for ten years prior to the company’s acquisition by Ajinomoto. Dr. Marquet is also co-founder and Director of Althea Dx, a spin-off of Althea Technologies focusing in personalized medicine, companion diagnostics development and pharmacogenomics. Dr. Marquet has over twenty five years of experience in the biotechnology industry in the United States and Europe. Prior to starting Althea, she held management positions at Vical Inc., Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Protein Polymer Technologies, Syntro Corporation and Transgene. Dr. Marquet was Chairman of BIOCOM (2013-2014) and is Chair Elect of the Board of Directors of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. She is also a member of the UCSD Biological Sciences Dean Leadership Council. Dr. Marquet is an active angel investor, having provided early stage funding and advice for over twenty companies. She serves as a Board member for Sente, Independa and Portable Genomics. She is also co-Chairman of the Advisory Board of MD Revolution. Dr. Marquet holds a Ph.D in Biochemical Engineering from INSA/University of Toulouse, France. Dr. Marquet has received numerous awards throughout her career. She was the winner of the 2005 Regional Ernst&Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Life Sciences category, the Athena Pinnacle award , the Most Admired CEO award from the San Diego Business Journal and while leading Althea Technologies, received several Best Companies to Work For awards from the San Diego Business Journal.
Tim Scott
Tim Scott, ’87, Co-founder and President, Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Scott serves on the boards of Avelas Biosciences and TEGA Therapeutics. He is a member of the board of BIOCOM and CONNECT, non-profit organizations supporting the needs of bio/pharma and technology companies in Southern California. In the community, Mr. Scott serves as a trustee for the La Jolla Playhouse, and on the executive committee of the Foundation of La Jolla High School. He founded and chairs the Pharmatek Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages and supports sponsored volunteerism in the San Diego community. Mr. Scott earned his B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego and is a member of the California Bar.
Mel Simon
Mel Simon, PhD, Founder, Agouron Pharmaceuticals and serves as a Director of Agouron Institute. He has been a Professor in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology since 1982, where he is the Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences. From 1965 to 1982, Simon was a member of the faculty in the Department at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Simon served as a Director of Diversa Corp. since May 1994 until March 12, 2008 and as a Director of Verenium Corporation from May 1994 to March 12, 2008. He received a B.S. from the City College of New York and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University.
Jeffrey Stein
Jeffrey Stein '91, PhD, was CEO of Trius Therapeutics from its founding in 2007 until its acquisition by Cubist Pharmaceuticals in September of 2013. He was also Chairman and President of the Antibiotics Working Group, an industry lead 501(c)(6) organization, from 2012 to 2013. Previously, he was a Venture Partner and Kauffman Fellow with Sofinnova Ventures and opened the firm's San Diego office in 2005. He was also Director of Venture Development for UC San Diego from 2005 to 2006. Prior to joining Sofinnova Dr. Stein was co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Quorex Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 2005. He has also served as a Principal Scientist with Diversa Corporation and the Agouron Institute. Dr. Stein conducted his postdoctoral research as an Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology and his graduate work as a NASA Graduate Student Researcher Fellow at UCSD.
Cynthia (C.J.) Warner
Cynthia (C.J.) Warner, Chairman and CEO, Sapphire Energy, brings more than 30 years of experience in the energy, refining and transportation industries.  At Sapphire Energy, Ms. Warner is leading the company's ongoing technology development and transition into commercial-scale biomass and crude oil operations. During Ms. Warner's tenure at Sapphire Energy, she has played an integral role in government financing, Sapphire Energy's series C investment funding, and the successful design, construction, and startup of the IABR.  A chemical engineer by training and one of few senior level women in the oil and gas industry, Ms. Warner served as an executive with energy industry giants British Petroleum, Amoco Oil Company, and UOP.  Prior to joining Sapphire, she most recently served as Group Vice President, Global Refining for BP where she was instrumental in turning around BP's US refining business and achieving record performance in International refining.  Ms. Warner is currently a member of the National Petroleum Council and is a Board Director at IDEX corporation. Ms. Warner has a BE in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology.
John Wehrli
John Wehrli, Partner at Latham Watkins LLP. Mr. Wehrli's practice focuses exclusively on the global representation of life science companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries and he has over 30 years life sciences industry experience. Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Wehrli was Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for Pharsight Corporation, a publicly held clinical development biotechnology company, and was chief legal officer at Trega Biosciences, a publically held San Diego combinatorial chemistry company. He is also co-founder of several biotech start-ups including NaviCyte, a computational pharmacokinetics company. Wehrli also worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and held numerous positions as a research chemist and in scientific computing management at a major multinational pharmaceutical company, Syntex Corporation, now part of the Roche Group. Although Mr. Wehrli spent much of his scientific career as a classical bench chemist, his scientific specialty is in the development of software and use of computational and mathematical tools in systems biology, chemistry, and computational and behavioral neuroscience. Mr. Wehrli holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Don Yeckel
Donald Yeckel, Trustee and Founding Chair, Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation. Mr. Yeckel is also President of the Torrey Pines – La Jolla Rotary Foundation, Past President of the Rotary Club of Torrey Pines, La Jolla, past Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee of the La Jolla Historical Society, and a member of the Friends of Balboa Park Advisory Council. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Yeckel served for seven years as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps before a long career as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch, retiring as a vice-president in 1999. Since his retirement, he has devoted himself to community service and tending his award-winning garden.