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Upcoming Event

WIB-Southern California: The Leap to Industry – Insights on Tech and Talent


UC San Diego Innovation Calendar



Listen in as experts discuss their experiences with founding companies and partnerships, and bring your questions to the Q&A.

Meet the Speakers:

Stephanie Allen, PhD, Moderator

Stephanie Allen, PhD, has over 20 years of experience as an industry scientist across drug discovery, medical devices, clinical and diagnostics research. Stephanie founded Canvas Health in 2018 and has been leading the translational science and strategic programs for the development of proprietary molecular diagnostics in population health and genomic medicine. Stephanie received her PhD in molecular pathology at the University of California, San Diego, was a post-doc at The Center for Regenerative Medicine, and visiting scientist at The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Stephanie is an industry leader in the development of evidence-based diagnostics and in building clinical value for molecular tests. Stephanie is an inventor on several patents currently being developed and has authored numerous publications.

Edny Inui, PhD, Director Of Business Development at Calico Life Sciences

Edny identifies innovative external therapeutic and technology platform opportunities in both industry and academia, focusing on age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration, oncology, metabolic dysfunction, and inflammation. After obtaining her doctoral degree in neuroscience, Edny went on to receive her MBA and hold various roles in business development, strategy, and investments in the biotech industry. Prior to joining Calico, she led business development at Caribou Biosciences, managing sourcing for a pipeline of allogeneic, “off-the-shelf,” CAR-T cell therapies for oncology, and licensing of CRISPR technologies. Previously, she worked in the business development and strategy team at Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

Lisa MendozaLisa Mendoza, PhD, Pharma Leader, Alliance Innovator, Biotech Advisor

Dr. Mendoza is also an expert in search and evaluation in the US for new therapies in Cardiology, Oncology, Gynecological Therapies, Hemostatic Disorders, drug discovery enabling technologies, and cell and gene therapy. She has supported Bayer’s CoLaborator incubator since its launch in San Francisco in 2012, the second-largest corporate incubator globally, to engage and cultivate start-up life sciences companies aligned with Bayer’s interests. She has been engaged in the San Francisco Bay area life science ecosystem, serving as an advisor for emerging biotech with California Life Science Institutes’ FAST program, the UCSF Entrepreneurship Center and QB3 since 2017.
Prior to her role in business development and alliance management, Lisa has had various leadership roles in both small molecule and biologic drug discovery in the field of autoimmunity, resulting in several peer-reviewed journal publications and one Investigational New Drug submission. Lisa spent the first part of her professional career at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Immunology Division of the Molecular Cell Biology Department and received her PhD from the University of California in San Diego.

Jeanne Loring, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Scripps Research. Founder, CSO, and Special Advisor of Aspen Neuroscience

Dr. Loring is a pioneer in human stem cell research, having generated human embryonic stem cells that were approved for NIH funding in 2001. She is currently Professor Emeritus at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, where she was founding director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine. She serves on scientific advisory boards for academic institutes and companies and is on the bioethics advisory panel for the pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA. She serves on editorial boards for several journals, including Stem Cells Translational Medicine and Stem Cells and Development. She is a member of honorary societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and AIMBE.
Over the 20 years that her team has worked with human hPSCs, they reported the first method for single-cell mRNA sequencing and the first whole methylome sequences of undifferentiated and differentiated hPSCs. They were also first to publish mRNA and microRNA expression profiles of hPSCs, recurrent genomic structural variations in hPSCs, and reactivation of imprinted regions and inactive X chromosomes in iPSCs. They developed PluriTest, the bioinformatic assay for pluripotency, and generated the first iPSCs from an endangered species.

Dr. Loring has founded two companies, Arcos Biosciences (1998), which is part of Viacyte, and Aspen Neuroscience (2018), which is focusing on autologous neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease. She is also involved in the development of cell therapy for multiple sclerosis and discovering the underlying causes of Fragile X syndrome. She collaborates with the San Diego Zoo to use iPSCs from endangered species to aid in their conservation and works with the International Space Station to study the effects of microgravity on neuroinflammation.

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