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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.

Current Members

  • EJ Brandreth
    EJ Brandreth, ’89, Senior Vice President, Quality Assurance at INOVIO. Mr. Brandreth is responsible for all quality and compliance functions across clinical development, manufacturing and other operational areas that support INOVIO’s broad pipeline of DNA medicines. With over 30 years in life sciences including small molecules, devices and a wide variety of pivotal biotechnology products, Mr. Brandreth is a key member of the senior leadership team with a track record of moving pipeline candidates such as Rituxan®, Zevalin®, Aldurazyme® and Naglazyme® to commercialization. Mr. Brandreth will play a critical role as INOVIO ramps up its DNA medicines into late-stage clinical trials. Prior to joining INOVIO, Mr. Brandreth had a successful career transitioning start-up clinical biotech operations into successful commercial entities at IDEC, Biomarin and Althea; he contributed to the success of these biopharmaceutical companies through his strong leadership of the quality and compliance areas. He holds an MBA from UOP and a B.A. in Biology from UCSD.
  • Kate E. Broderick
    Kate E. Broderick, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D at INOVIO. Dr. Kate E. Broderick has a broad background in the product development and device development DNA therapeutic and drug delivery field, with specific expertise in in vivo DNA animal studies and product development in relation to DNA delivery. Her particular area of focus is infectious diseases with an emphasis on emerging targets and those from a bio-threat potential. On the bio-engineering side, Dr. Broderick leads the device design efforts specifically pertaining to tissue delivery and she has been central to the development of Inovio novel prototypes and designs. Dr. Broderick leads a diverse team of researchers which encompasses early discovery work through to IND enabling studies and she is subsequently involved in the clinical and regulatory development of these products. Most recently, Dr. Broderick is responsible for driving the development of a DNA vaccine for COVID-19. She also led the teams that brought the first in human Lassa fever vaccine into the clinic as well as advanced the development of a DNA vaccine for the MERS virus. Over the course of her career, Dr. Broderick has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, and her team regularly publishes and presents their findings in leading scientific publications and at conferences worldwide. Dr. Broderick has participated by invitation at advisory meetings convened by the World Health Organization to discuss DNA vaccines and their delivery. She is a co-inventor on multiple patents related to DNA vaccine delivery and has served as a principal investigator on grants, awards, and contracts from leading government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Small Business Innovation Research program, and including a $56M award from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). In 2018, Dr. Broderick was named Businesswomen of the Year by San Diego Business Journal. 2020 saw Dr Broderick named an In Vivo Rising Leader and in 2021 was recognized as a Women of Influence in Life Sciences by the SDBJ. Dr. Broderick received her Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. She joined INOVIO in 2006, where she currently leads a diverse research group focused on enhanced delivery techniques for gene-based therapeutics as the Senior Vice President, R&D.
  • Julia Brown
    Julia R Brown is an executive from the life science industry. She has served as a member of the boards of directors of numerous drug development companies. Brown is a member of the board and past chair of Corporate Directors Forum, and member of the board of Cleantech San Diego. Brown is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Brown is actively engaged in the San Diego community. She serves on the board of UC San Diego Foundation and is past chair. She serves on the Director’s Council at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is also a member of the board of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and past member of the board of Girl Scouts San Diego. Julia received the Hugh Friedman Award for Director of the Year in 2016. In 2012, she received UC San Diego Chancellor’s Medal. In 2014, the UC San Diego Alumni Association honored Julia as Honorary Alumna of the Year. In 2010, Julia received CONNECT’s award for "Distinguished Contribution to the Life Science Innovation." She won San Diego Business Journal’s "Women Who Mean Business" award in 2006. In 2005, Girl Scouts San Diego named Julia one of San Diego’s ten Cool Women. Julia holds a B.S. from Louisiana Tech University and a M.L.A. from Harvard.
  • Erik Engelson
    Erik Engelson '82 & '84, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lucira Health, was previously CEO of Medina Medical, which he sold to Medtronic. Previous associations include Partner at The Foundry, a medical device incubator, CEO of two Foundry companies, CFO of Fluidigm Corporation, and Venture Partner at Versant Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners. Earlier, Mr. Engelson spent 13 years in various operating roles at Target Therapeutics where he led the early start-up into the then nascent field of Interventional Neuroradiology, developed its first products, helped take the company public and became its General Manager. He is the inventor of 50+ medical device patents. Mr. Engelson holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in Microbiology and Bioengineering from UC San Diego, and an Executive MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • 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, Chemistry. UCSD Outstanding Alumnus of the Year 1996.
  • Garret Hampton
    Garret Hampton, Ph.D., President, Clinical Sequencing and Oncology at ThermoFisher Scientific, Garret Hampton, PhD., is currently President, Clinical Sequencing and Oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific, responsible for leading the company’s clinical next generation sequencing strategy. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Garret was Senior Vice President, Clinical Genomics, at Illumina, responsible for the development of sequencing-based solutions in oncology, reproductive health and whole genome sequencing for the diagnosis of rare disease. Before joining Illumina, Garret held a variety of leadership positions at Genentech / Roche, Celgene, and The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, focused on drug target discovery, drug development and precision medicine. Prior to moving into industry, Garret was Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSD, San Diego after a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He received his PhD from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) under Sir Walter Bodmer. He has authored over 150 peer reviewed articles and reviews, with 10,000 lifetime citations.
  • Molly He
    Molly He, PhD co-founded Element Biosciences and has served as Chief Executive Officer since its inception. She has more than 20 years of experience in technology innovation and management in biotechnology and healthcare industries. Molly was previously a Venture Partner at Foresite Capital, investing in some of the most exciting and innovative companies in healthcare. Before then, she was Senior Director at Illumina, responsible for Illumina’s global protein reagent innovation and improvements, and for leading global scientific and technical teams. She and her team have won twice the Innovation Award, the highest award for innovations with significant revenue impact at Illumina. Prior to Illumina, Molly was the Head of Protein Sciences at Pacific Biosciences, where she was responsible for protein reagent development for their single-molecule real-time sequencing chemistry. She also has years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Molly holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in protein biophysics.ancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) under Sir Walter Bodmer. He has authored over 150 peer reviewed articles and reviews, with 10,000 lifetime citations.
  • Kenneth Jenkins
    Kenneth Jenkins, PhD, Member, Mintz is a seasoned intellectual property attorney well-regarded for his patent prosecution and counselling work in the life sciences area. Ken has been repeatedly recognized among Southern California’s leading attorneys by a variety of publications including Chambers USA, the San Diego Business Journal ("Best of the Bar"), Super Lawyers, the San Diego Daily Transcript ("Transcript 10"), Managing Intellectual Property ("Patent Star") and by IAM Patent 1000 as a top patent practitioner with "superlative technical expertise" and as among the IAM Patent 1000 World’s Leading Patent Practitioners. He represents a wide variety of life sciences entities including innovative life sciences companies, from start-ups to the largest biotech companies, as well as world leading research institutions. Ken has represented the Regents of the University of California since 2002 and currently works with eight UC campuses. Mr. Jenkins holds a JD from the University of California - Hastings College of the Law, PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry from University of Colorado, and received his BS degree in Biochemistry from University of Texas.
  • Lily Kim
    Lily Kim, PhD is a Partner and Chief Scientist at OS Fund. She has been contributing to the technology commercialization ecosystem for over two decades. After an SB in electrical engineering from MIT, a PhD in biomedical engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and a Hertz Fellowship, she transitioned to business roles where she has advised some of the world’s leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies at Decision Resources Group, helped research groups at the Wyss Institute at Harvard commercialize their work, established a community forum for microfluidics commercialization in New England, served on the board of directors of the Hertz Foundation, helped neurotechnology company Kernel get its start, and worked with multiple funders and investors.
  • Daniel P Kolk
    Daniel P Kolk, Ph.D., Senior Medical Diagnostics Advisor, Supporting BARDA Diagnostics, received his B.A. in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from UCSD in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1992. His Ph.D thesis focused on gene regulation of the immune response by cytokines. He did his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the UCSD Department of Medicine/VA Medical Center where he studied transcriptional control of retrovirus transformation of T-cells. In 1995, he was hired by Gen-Probe Inc. to work on an NHLBI request for proposal to develop a molecular diagnostic assay to detect HIV-1 and HCV in blood donations. Dan and the other development team members at Gen-Probe received the William W. Otterson Award from San Diego’s CONNECT organization for most innovative product in 2011 for this assay. Gen-Probe also received the National Medal of Science for this product. Gen-Probe was subsequently bought by Hologic Inc. where Dan led the development of three novel fully automated respiratory virus diagnostic assays that run on the Hologic’s automated Panther Fusion platform. Subsequently, Dan was the Vice President of Clinical Development at XCR Diagnostics where he led development of a rapid, point-of-care molecular diagnostic platform. Since the beginning of 2020, Dan has worked as a contractor supporting Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Diagnostics division in response to the COVID pandemic.
  • Wendy W. Kwok
    Wendy W. Kwok, JD, '99, Founder, Sunstate Development LLC, is active in business ventures. Prior to this, Ms. Kwok was appointed to the California Legislative Counsel Bureau. Being an advocate for environmental conservation and ecological preservation, she is a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Leadership Council. She is a volunteer scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a naturalist for the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Ms. Kwok established the Springboard Eureka! Research Scholarship Endowment to promote undergraduate research at UCSD. She is a trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation, and co-chair of the UC San Diego Bay Area Regional Campaign Cabinet. Ms. Kwok received her BS in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from UCSD, Revelle College.
  • Elaine Lea-Chou
    Elaine Lea-Chou, Ph.D. '99, is a biotech consultant for precision oncology biologics and therapeutics and immuno-oncology. Her current clients are precision oncology early-stage biopharma companies. Ms. Lea-Chou's expertise is in scientific technology and competitive assessment in life sciences and medicine. She was most recently Director for Corporate Development at OncoNano, a biotech start-up using nanoparticles to image cancers, deliver drugs, and treat cancer using immunomodulatory vaccines. Her life science career began at the lab bench with an NIH summer internship when she was 15 years old. She spent the next decades in R&D developing GFP and protein expression vectors at BD Clontech before moving to marketing launches of Agilent microarrays and HPLC platforms. As a consultant, Ms. Lea-Chou has advised biotech and pharmaceutical companies like Genentech and Onyx. She has served on the UCSD Silicon Valley Alumni Chapter Board for 6+ years and is the current President. A passionate STEM advocate and mentor, she judged 10 years for the Intel and Santa Clara County Science Fairs, Commissioner and Executive Board Member (6 years) for the NorCal Junior Lacrosse Association, and currently is an interpretive guide and ranger for the Don Edwards San Francisco U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
  • Mark L. Lewis
    Mark L. Lewis, Board Director and Advisor, has participated in the life sciences industry for over 40 years developing and commercializing platforms and technologies for DNA sequencing, genotyping, flow cytometry, molecular biology, PCR, high content screening and confocal imaging. He has held research and development, commercial, and general management roles at leading organizations including Illumina, BD Biosciences, Swift Biosciences, Molecular Dynamics, Nycomed-Amersham, and Beckman Instruments. Currently, Mark is on the board of Directors for Miroculus, a digital microfluidic company, and Prime Genomics, developing breast cancer detection, diagnosis and management systems and an advisor for S2 Genomics, a single cell and nuclei isolation company. In his most recent full-time role, Mark served in an interim CEO role at Swift Biosciences in 2017 & 2018 and as a board member until Swift’s acquisition by Danaher early in 2021. Previously, Mark held Senior Vice President roles at Illumina, a leading supplier of systems for genetic analysis, in Product Development, General Management, and Customer Support. Mark directed the development of the HiSeq TM and MiSeq TM next-generation sequencing platforms and supporting reagents. Mark is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council for Biological Sciences at University of California at San Diego. Mark has served as a volunteer co-instructor for Professional Pathways Courses for life science graduate students and post-docs at UCSD. Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from UC San Diego.
  • Magda Marquet
    Magda Marquet, Ph.D. Dr. Magda Marquet is a life sciences serial entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of AltheaDx, a commercial stage, precision medicine company with the world’s leading pharmacogenomics test for anxiety and depression, and ALMA Life Sciences, LLC, an early stage investment firm creating and growing innovative healthcare companies. Dr. Marquet co-founded Althea Technologies and, as its co-CEO with full P&L responsibility, led the company to become a leader in the field and a highly profitable, commercial company. As a result, she guided Althea to a successful acquisition by Ajinomoto, a global Japanese company and leader in amino acid technology. Prior to starting Althea Technologies, Dr. Marquet held several positions in pharmaceutical development in companies such as Vical and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Arcturus Therapeutics (ARCT) and AnaptysBio (ANAB). She also served on the Board of Pfenex (PFNX) until its acquisition by Ligand Pharmaceuticals. In addition, she is the Chairman of the Board of Micronoma, Matrisys Biosciences and ProciseDx. She serves on the UCSD Biological Sciences Leadership Council and is the former Chairman of the Board of BIOCOM and UCSD Moores Cancer Center. She also serves on the Board of Overseers of Scripps Research Institute. As a former founder and CEO, Dr Marquet has broad operational, fund raising expertise including venture, private equity and venture debt. She also brings expertise in M&A, global commercial development, regulatory strategies and building a winning culture of innovation and strategic growth. Dr. Marquet holds a Ph.D in Biochemical Engineering from INSA/University of Toulouse, France. She has received numerous prestigious awards throughout her career including the 2005 Regional Ernst&Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Life Sciences category, the Athena Pinnacle award, the Director of the Year award (Corporate Governance) from the Corporate Directors Forum and has been inducted into the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • Joe Panetta
    Joe Panetta, Biocom California, President & CEO. Since 1999, Joseph Panetta has been President & CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Biocom California, the state’s largest and most-experienced leader and advocate for the life science industry. Biocom California works on behalf of over 1,500 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital development, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs. Mr. Panetta works with an experienced professional staff of 70, with offices located in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. Together with a very engaged Board of Directors and Board of Governors, he leads initiatives that help members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. Mr. Panetta is co-founder of the Biocom Political Action Committee; the Biocom Institute for education and workforce development; and the California Biotechnology Foundation, a joint initiative to inform legislators and the media about the life science industry in the state, of which he is Chairman. Since 2014, Mr. Panetta has been a member of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, which serves as the governing and oversight board for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and is responsible for providing grant funding under the $5.5 billion California Stem Cell Initiative.
  • Karen Possemoto
    Karen Possemato ’89, is SVP, Marketing & Communications at Seer Inc, a global innovator in proteomics, where she is globally responsible for marketing and communications. Karen was formerly Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications for Illumina Inc., the market leader in DNA sequencing. In her role, Karen oversaw all areas of internal and external communications, marketing, philanthropy and community engagement over a 16 year period of rapid growth in the genomics market. Karen has pioneered multiple peer networks supporting women, and is a supporter of students in STEM and community engagement with industry. Karen was a founder of the Seer Women’s Network, the Illumina Women’s Leadership Network, the Illumina Foundation, and is board chair for the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. With nearly three decades in the life sciences industry, Karen has worked for industry-leading companies such as Qiagen and Invitrogen in multiple commercial and marketing leadership roles. She believes that the connection between education, industry and non-profit sectors is essential to innovation. Karen earned a B.A. in biochemistry and cell biology from UC San Diego.
  • Brian K. Roberts
    Brian K. Roberts, M.D. is Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development at Rezolute, Inc, a company he co-founded in 2017 and helped take public in 2020. Rezolute is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing medical therapies for rare and metabolic diseases. Previously, Dr. Roberts directed clinical development at Fibrogen, Inc. from 2012 to 2017, where he led the successful launch and execution of the global Phase 3 program and out-licensing partnership for roxadustat, a novel oral therapy for anemia associated with kidney disease, resulting in global NDA filings. From 2007 to 2012 he held clinical development positions of increasing responsibility at Cymabay, Inc. (formerly Metabolex, Inc), where he developed novel therapies for metabolic diseases such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, NASH, and gout. He is an inventor or author on more than 30 patents and publications in the fields of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Roberts received his B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and his medical degree Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology at Stanford University, where he also attends Endocrinology clinic and mentors trainees as a volunteer, in his capacity as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Endocrinology.
  • Tim Scott
    Tim Scott, CEO, TEGA Therapeutics. Mr. Scott is co-founder and CEO of TEGA Therapeutics, a glycobiology company focused on lysosomal storage disorders and recombinant heparan sulfates. He previously was co-founder and President of Pharmatek Laboratories, a contract development and manufacturing company (sold to Catalent Pharma Solutions in 2016). Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President at Active.com (IPO 2011). Mr. Scott serves on the Board of Avelas, a bioscience company working to create better outcomes for cancer patients with its activatable cell-penetrating peptide technology. He also serves on the board of DTx, a biotechnology company using fatty acid motifs to deliver RNA therapeutics. He previously served on the board of Zacharon Pharmaceuticals (sold to BioMarin 2014). Mr. Scott is Immediate Past Board Chair of CONNECT, a non-profit organization helping to create and scale innovation companies in San Diego. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of BIOCOM, a non-profit organization supporting the needs of bio/pharma companies in California. At UC San Diego, he serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for the Division of Biological Sciences. In the community, Mr. Scott is a trustee for the La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony-award winning regional theatre. And he serves on the board of Outside the Lens, a non-profit providing photography and digital media programs for underserved youth. 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.
  • 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.

Emeritus Members

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • John Wehrli
    John Wehrli, Life Sciences Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Mr. Wehrli's practice focuses exclusively on the global representation of companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries and he has over 35 years life sciences industry experience. Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Mr. Wehrli was a partner at Jones Day and spent over a decade as a partner at Latham & Watkins and previously spent 4 years at Cooley in their life science practice. He has served as Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for Pharsight Corporation, a publicly held clinical development biotechnology company, and was chief legal officer at Trega Biosciences, a publicly 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 and chemistry. Mr. Wehrli holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and is his Ph.D dissertation research focused on computational and behavioral neuroscience.