Biocom Names Winners of Second Annual Life Science Catalyst Awards

15 recipients under the age of 40 recognized for significant contributions to San Diego and Los Angeles life science industries

Francie Barron, Ph.D., vice president, biology & regulatory affairs, Nanomedical Diagnostics (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN DIEGO & LOS ANGELES--()--Biocom, the association representing the California life science community, today announced the winners of its 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.

“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.

About Biocom

Biocom is the largest, most experienced leader and advocate for California’s life science sector. We work on behalf of more than 950 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.

Founded in 1995 in San Diego, Biocom provides the strongest public voice to research institutions and companies that fuel the local and state-wide economy. Our goal is simple: to help our members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. In addition to its San Diego headquarters, Biocom operates a core office serving the Los Angeles market, satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, and has a continuous staff presence in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. Our broad membership benefits apply to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and diagnostics companies of all sizes, as well as to research universities and institutes, clinical research organizations, investors and service providers.

For more information on Biocom, please visit our website at Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (@BIOCOMCA).


Biocom Media Contact:
Canale Communications
Carolyn Hawley
(619) 849-5382


Biocom Media Contact:
Canale Communications
Carolyn Hawley
(619) 849-5382