LA County Partners with Sports Legends to Build World-Class Athletic and Academic Complex for Underserved Youth in South LA

(Left to Right) Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Doug Kimmelman, Tiger Woods, and Chris Evert

Teaming up with some of the biggest names in sports, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved building the Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus, envisioned as one of the largest sports and education complexes for underserved youth and families in the South Bay, South LA, and surrounding communities.

The Kimmelman Campus will be constructed on approximately 80 acres of County-owned real estate currently occupied by the underperforming Victoria Golf Course in Carson. It will include 52 tennis courts, five soccer and multi-purpose fields, and an approximately 25,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art learning center with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Groundbreaking is scheduled this winter.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Foundation, the LA Galaxy Foundation, and the TGR Foundation – founded by golf legend Tiger Woods and his late father, Earl Woods – will offer programs at the Kimmelman Campus at little or no cost to underserved local youth and families.

“With the Kimmelman Campus, our youth will have an amazing opportunity to unlock both their academic and athletic potential, and to learn about perseverance, teamwork, fair play, and other valuable life lessons both on and off the court,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I am thrilled to work with Doug Kimmelman of the Kimmelman Foundation, Tiger Woods of the TGR Foundation, Chris Evert of the USTA Foundation, and others on this incredible public-private partnership.”

“Thanks to Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ leadership, we are a giant step closer to bringing a world-class athletic and academic campus to Los Angeles,” Tiger Woods said. “TGR Foundation is excited to be part of the Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus, where we can continue to spread our mission of empowering students to pursue their passions through education.”

“This is the most significant undertaking by the USTA Foundation on the West Coast supporting our mission of combining tennis and education together to change lives,” said Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion who chairs the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors. “By making high-quality tennis and educational opportunities available to all local children, regardless of income, this campus will provide a transformative experience for thousands of young people that inspires them to succeed both on and off the court.”

The project is being built in honor of the late Carol Kimmelman, a member of the 1983 national champion USC women’s tennis team and former elementary school teacher in South L.A. who believed fervently in the power of tennis and other sports to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds. When she succumbed to cancer in 2017, her husband and four children vowed to carry on her mission to make sports and education more equitable.

Doug Kimmelman, her husband and President of the Kimmelman Family Foundation, said, “Carol was passionate about the potential for children to learn important life lessons both in the classroom and on the tennis court or sports field. This exceptional, cutting-edge complex will be a safe place for young people throughout the region to experience these lessons firsthand, helping them achieve their full potential and opening doors throughout their lives.”

The USTA Foundation foresees establishing the West Coast hub of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) program at the Kimmelman Campus. NJTL offers tennis programs, youth services and college scholarships to more than 200,000 underserved youth around the country each year.

The USTA Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) also intends to move their headquarters to the campus. Meanwhile, USTA’s Player Development division, which works to develop world-class American players, expects to make the campus its West Coast center of operations.

Dynamic tennis programming for children of all ages and abilities will be offered by both the SCTA and the USTA Foundation’s NJTL program on tennis courts spanning 29 acres, allowing more students throughout Los Angeles to grow and learn life lessons through the sport.

On the academic side, TGR Foundation will oversee the Kimmelman Campus’ expansive 25,000 square foot learning center, which will be equipped with high-tech labs, classrooms, and interactive stations that encourage innovative and hands-on STEM learning.

The project will also include two basketball courts; a sprint track; and training turf to promote active and healthy lifestyles for the entire community.

ABC 7: Project Underway to Bring Clean Water Back to Compton and Willowbrook

By Carlos Granda

Residents of Compton and Willowbrook will hopefully be able to drink clear water again. That’s because the water supply will be piped in from a different source.

Nearly 7,000 customers who live in the old Sativa Water District complained for months about murky brown water with a foul odor coming from their pipes.

The work to get the area clean water has been going on for months as crews clean up the existing infrastructure. Los Angeles County, which now has control of the water district, is taking old wells offline and connecting them to a neighboring water company.

Residents in the area are very excited.

“They are working very hard with the community so that they can have clean water,” said resident Elizabeth Hicks.

The brown water was due to manganese from old pipes, but engineers say the system’s wells were also part of the problem.

They will now take the wells offline and connect to a neighboring water company.

Traces of lingering brown water could still be seen during the transition as crews flush the system out.

“We’re taking all types of mitigation measures to try to minimize that,” said the project’s lead manager, Russ Bryden. “So for example, this deep cleaning, this flushing that’s going to occur, we’re going to be doing that overnight, when people use the least amount of water so if there any is any disturbance, the hope is that it happens overnight, that we’re able to contain it.”

Bottled water will be available to residents during the transition.

Officials say the work on the water pipes should be finished by Sept. 15.

 Reposted with permission from ABC 7. 

Sativa customers are encouraged to sign up and receive project updates by phone or via text messages by visiting

Supervisor’s Statement on Abusive Strip Searches

Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas On the Legal Settlement Over Abusive Strip Searches

“It is inexcusable that women incarcerated at the Central Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) have been subjected to dehumanizing experiences, enduring humiliating and intrusive body cavity searches and other painful violations while in our custody.

“Almost half of the women at CRDF are still awaiting trial and have not been convicted of any crime. Often, when they are sentenced, it is for a nonviolent offense. Many have long histories of abuse and trauma.

“Over the last several years, the County has implemented a range of criminal justice reforms, including creating alternatives to incarceration. For those who must remain in custody, the County has adopted policies and programs intended to ensure their basic dignity, and to provide them with job training, family reunification programs, and a host of supportive services – even after their release.

“The County still has a long way to go. While the profoundly disturbing conditions detailed in this class action settlement have been remedied, we must remain vigilant to ensure that women in our custody are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and in a manner that does not further injure or traumatize them.”

Statement on the Passing of Nipsey Hussle

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

“Ermias Asghedom, known to us as the hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle, was a father, businessman, entertainer, and inspiration to many. We mourn his sudden and tragic passing and send his family our deepest condolences.

“As South Los Angeles’ representative on the Board of Supervisors, I urge calm and a period of reflection. Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated. Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found.

“I am in contact with law enforcement officials who will provide all the necessary assistance and I ask members of the public to come forward with any information related to this incident or any emerging retaliatory response.”

2018 Bioscience LA Summit

September 20, 2018
8:00am – 1:30pm

You are invited to join the 2018 Bioscience LA Summit. Los Angeles County is poised to become a world leader in bioscience development and commercialization, commensurate with its role in research and talent development. The “2018 Bioscience LA Summit” will highlight recent achievements and accomplishments, and present achievable solutions for realizing fully the potential the industry has to offer.

Registration and Breakfast – 8:00AM – 9:00AM
Program Outline
– 9:00AM – 12:45PM

Opening Remarks
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA County Board of Supervisors

Panel 1: LA’s Bioscience Ecosystem: As Los Angeles County becomes a more recognized bioscience hub, what are the gaps and strengths of the region? How has the picture changed over the last 5 years and what changes do we anticipate in the future? What is needed to retain companies in the region, especially more mature start-ups exiting incubators.

Dina Lozofsky, Biocom Los Angeles

Panel Members:
Peter Moglia, Alexandria RE Equities
Steve Kay, Convergent Biosciences USC
Susan Windham-Bannister, Biomedical Innovation Advisors
Caleb Smith, Salem Partners
Alice Jacobs, Third Rock Ventures; Caltech EIR

Panel 2: Nurturing Success: Incubation and Capital: Are LA start-ups getting the support they need to become successful; what resources are available and what more can or should be done to make sure local start-ups have access the resources they need to become successful companies.

David Meyer, LA BioMed

Panel Members:

David Piacquad, Amgen Business Development
Kara Bortone, JLABS San Diego
Paul Grand, MedTech Innovator
Rohi Shukla, LARTA Institute
Justin Ichida, USC Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine

Panel 3: Building a Trained Workforce to Support the Industry: What are the workforce needs of the industry now and for the foreseeable future; how best can local training dollars be deployed to meet those needs; what can be done to make sure LA has the entrepreneurial talent needed to ensure that start-ups grow into successful companies.

Carolyn Hull, LAEDC, Bioscience-Council

Panel Members:
Willie Zuniga, President, Grifols
Chris Beaty, Astrix Technology Group
Lisa Welker-Finney, Boston Scientific
J. Kim McNutt, Dean, CSU Dominguez Hills
Sarkis K. Mazmanian, Caltech

Panel 4: Bioscience Action Plan for Los Angeles County: The Panel Moderators will recap the Panel discussions and formulate a Bioscience Action Plan for the region with input from Summit participants, focused on identifying achievable goals and setting milestones for measuring progress.

Brad Spellberg, LA County Bioscience Initiative, LAC+USC Chief Medical Officer

Panel Members:
Dina Lozofsky, Biocom Los Angeles
David Meyer, LA BioMed
Carolyn Hull, LAEDC, Bioscience-Council

Keynote Presentation:
Synthetic Biology – The New Industrial Revolution

Ryan Bethencourt, IndieBio

“Biology, it’s technology which builds our world, and we can harness it to shift humanity from a scarcity to an abundance economy.”

Synthetic Biology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology and engineering, converging molecular biology and systems biology with engineering to design biological systems and bio-factories with the aim to created improved biological functions to address current and future challenges.

Lunch and Networking Reception –

Program Partners –   12:45PM – 1:30PM

Featured Speakers and Panelists:


Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District

Since he was overwhelmingly elected in 2008, and reelected in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as an effective leader for more than two million Second District residents. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and LA Care, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan. Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate, where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, and while a member of the State Assembly, he chaired the Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy. Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making by virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 26-year initiative in neighborhood-based civic engagement.


Dr. Gary K. Michelson
Michelson Medical Research Foundation

Dr. Gary K. Michelson is a retired orthopedic spinal surgeon whose groundbreaking work has made him a pioneer in the treatment of millions of people afflicted with spinal ailments. He has developed implants, surgical procedures and instruments to enable surgeons to successfully cure a greater proportion of spinal conditions.

Dr. Michelson, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, attended Temple University and medical school at Hahnemann Medical College (Drexel University). During his third year in medical school, the young Michelson refused to perform unnecessary operations to remove healthy organs from living dogs. While under the threat of expulsion, the orthopedic student invented a surgery through which he was able to transplant a rib bone into a 10-year-old girl’s deformed leg, averting the need to amputate. He was allowed to remain in school.

His technological breakthroughs have made spinal surgery safer, faster and more effective and less expensive. Dr. Michelson holds more than 340 patents as an individual and more than 953 issued or pending applications throughout the world.

Dr. Michelson has founded, funded and directs three private foundations with endowments in excess of $100 million directed to medical research, animal welfare and education.

Dr. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, donated $50 million to the University of Southern California in 2014 to fund the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. The center will draw faculty and students from across disciplines to fast track the detection and cure of diseases.


William McKeon
Texas Medical Center

William “Bill” McKeon is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Medical Center. He is responsible for driving strategic, operational and programmatic initiatives across the Texas Medical Center’s member institutions to enhance its leadership position in the life sciences. McKeon joined the Texas Medical Center in 2013 as executive vice president, chief operating and strategy officer.

McKeon has served as an executive for some of the leading companies and institutions in the world, including DuPont, Stanford University Medical Center, Raytel, US Oncology and Medtronic. His experience as a President and CEO includes heading up industry-changing companies MicroPort Medical Co. in Shanghai and Cellnovo in London.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in legal studies from Roger Williams University and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco – School of Management.


Ryan Bethencourt

Ryan is a co-founder and CEO at Wild Earth, a biotech startup developing clean high-protein pet foods backed by some of the most successful investors in silicon valley and a Partner at Babel Ventures, a leading early stage biotech venture capital firm . Ryan has years of experience in leading, building and advising high-growth food and biotechnology companies.

Ryan is a biotech entrepreneur, investor, and one of the founders of the biohacker movement. He’s a co-founder, former Program Director, and Venture Partner at IndieBio and has invested in over 80 early stage biotech startups and served as the head of life sciences at the XPRIZE Foundation.

Ryan focuses on using biology as a technology to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems including the future of food, medicine, biological computation, consumer biotech and environmental challenges.

Some of the more notable and impactful companies Ryan has funded and backed include Future of Food (Ava Labs, New Wave Foods, Memphis Meats, Clara Foods, Geltor, Miraculex, Finless Foods, The NotCo, SugarLogix, Nipa Brew, California Dreamin’), Medicine (Orphidia, SyntheX, QIDNI labs, Neuroqore, Ravata, Venomyx Therapeutics, Scaled Biolabs, GEA enzymes,, Bioaesthetics, Proteorex,Prellis Biologics, DNAlite, QuantumCyte, Gene and Cell Technologies, Forever labs, CUE), Biological Computation (Koniku, Catalog Technologies), Consumer Biotech (NERD Skincare, Amino labs, Mycoworks, Animal Biome, Vitagene), Environmental (Pembient, Bioinspira, UBA Biologics).


Chris Beaty
Managing Director, Astrix Technology Group

Chris leads the western region for Astrix, managing both scientific and clinical staffing as well as consulting and outsourced projects focused on laboratory projects and bioinformatics. He has more than nineteen years’ experience in staffing, recruitment, and consulting, and has held sales, recruiting, and leadership roles with staffing industry leaders specializing in IT, Scientific, Clinical and Engineering. Prior to Astrix, Chris was responsible for developing and executing national sales strategies, which resulted in the development and growth of national accounts that became top tier clients of a large staffing provider. He has developed and served a variety of clients across nearly all industry verticals, driving growth and strategy with both large national clients and a number of mid-sized market leaders.


Kara Bartone
JLABS San Diego

As Head of JLABS in San Diego, Kara is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational excellence, educational programming and P&L. She catalyzes and supports the translation of science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare sectors.

Kara joins Janssen R&D through Prescience International, where she was Director of Corporate Ventures, primarily focusing on the JLABS project. She has over 10 years experience in the European and the U.S. biotech sector. Prior to joining Prescience, Kara led the scientific communications and marketing for Belgian-based Galapagos NV at a period when the company grew from 60 to over 800 employees and completed its initial public offering on Euronext. She holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Texas.


Paul Grand
MedTech Innovator

Paul founded and has managed MedTech Innovator since it started as program within RCT Ventures in 2013. In 2016, with the financial support of RCT and other sponsors, Paul left to run MedTech Innovator as a stand-alone company. In his previous role as Managing Director for RCT Ventures, the investment arm of Research Corporation Technologies, Inc., Paul’s focus was on medical device investments and programs to encourage innovation and commercialization of early-stage technologies at institutions like UCLA, Stanford, USC, UCSF, UCSD, CU, Utah, and UW. Prior to joining RCT, Paul founded and operated eight high tech, medical device and biotechnology companies. In the life sciences, Grand was co-founder and VP of Operations of Imagine Pharmaceuticals and co-founder and CEO of MicroSurgeon in Los Angeles.


Carolyn Hull

Carolyn Hull is the Vice President of Industry Cluster Development at LAEDC. She oversees strategies, programs and staff to build capacity in the export-oriented industries in which L.A. County has productive and/or comparative advantages, such as: aerospace, advanced transportation, biosciences, entertainment/digital media, and trade and logistics. Focused development of industry clusters – as a key organizational unit for understanding and improving performance of regional economies – can unleash incredible growth potential when used as an approach that cuts across the traditional fields and tools of economic, community and workforce development, helping to enhance their effectiveness. When key industry clusters flourish, well-paying jobs are created and the increased economic activity generates greater opportunity and prosperity for all.

Previously at LAEDC, Ms. Hull was focused on partnering with the public sector in Los Angeles County to plan and implement real estate and financing transactions that attract investment and retain and grow Los Angeles County’s employment base, including projects such as Altasea Marine Research Park.

Before joining LAEDC, Ms. Hull was the Chief Financial Officer at Genesis LA. Genesis LA is a real estate based investor that directs its capital and strategic advisory services to projects located inner city communities throughout Los Angeles County. Prior to joining Genesis LA Ms. Hull was the South Los Angeles Regional Administrator for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). In this role, Ms. Hull managed all redevelopment programs, activities and staff for the South Los Angeles region. Prior to that, Ms. Hull served as the CRA/LA’s Manager of Capital Finance. In this capacity, she analyzed project-financing plans, and developed financing structures to optimize the utilization of public and private resources for all of CRA/LA’s priority projects. At the same time, Ms. Hull served as the co-founder and President of the Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF). Under her leadership, LADF received and managed a $75 million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation. In addition, Ms. Hull managed CRA/LA’s $700 million portfolio of conduit bonds.

Prior to joining CRA/LA Ms. Hull served as a Director at CB Richard Ellis Consulting (CBRE Consulting), based in Los Angeles. At CBRE Consulting she provided consulting services for a wide range of real estate development projects for corporate, institutional, nonprofit, and governmental clients in key service areas all over the United States, including economic development and redevelopment, development feasibility analysis, highest and best use studies, fiscal and economic impact analysis, policy analysis, transit-oriented development, and corporate location strategy.

Ms. Hull holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Science degree in Economics and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics, in addition to a Certificate in Real Estate Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Justin Ichida
USC Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine

Justin Ichida completed his Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Jack Szostak and did his postdoc with Kevin Eggan at Harvard University. Since 2013, he has been an Assistant Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Southern California, where his research focuses on defining the mechanisms that lead to neuronal loss in ALS, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ichida has won several awards including the New York Stem Cell Foundation-Robertson Innovator Award, the ALS Association Champion for a Cure Award, and the Mike Minchin Award for Alzheimer’s disease research. In 2017, Dr. Ichida co-founded AcuraStem, Inc, a startup that uses virtual nerve biopsy technology to develop treatments for ALS and dementia.


Dr. Alice Jacobs

Dr. Jacobs serves as EIR at Caltech and as an advisor to FiNC Technologies, Third Rock Ventures/MIT/Bob Langer, Biolabs, Greybird Ventures and Essex Management. Jacobs also served as an advisor to GE Healthcare Ventures. Advisory/investor roles include digital health/wellness especially artificial intelligence/machine learning/data analytics-driven applications, microbiome, clean energy, synthetic biology, genomics, liquid biopsy and other precision medicine technologies, drug discovery/development platforms and gene editing. This includes a platform technology in the top 10 recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on the cancer moonshot to speed progress in cancer. While still a student at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jacobs co-founded a health technology company along with Dr Boris Nikolic (Chief Science and Technology Advisor to Bill Gates and Managing Director, Biomatics Capital.)  The company became an industry leader globally in the development and manufacturing of molecular diagnostic tests, prior to exit. Dr. Jacobs holds multiple patents in personalized medicine and has received numerous awards including being recognized by Scientific American as one of the top 50 innovators and by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, a 40 under 40 award by the Boston Business Journal as well as for Healthcare Innovation in Clinical Diagnostics by Frost & Sullivan. She holds a BA in Art History, a BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford with Honors in Developmental Neurobiology and an MD from Harvard Medical School.


Dr. Steve Kay
USC Convergent Biosciences

Dr. Kay’s research involves the large-scale application of genomics technologies and systems approaches to understand complex regulatory networks in plant and animal cells. He has applied functional genomics screens and chemical biology approaches to elucidate the composition of the molecular circuitry underlying circadian rhythms. His group identified the first small molecule modulators of clock proteins. His recent interests lie at the interface between quantitative and experimental science, as well as continuing to apply high throughput technologies to the discovery of therapeutics. One of the world’s top experts on genes and circadian rhythms, he has published more than 200 papers and is named by ISI as a highly cited scientist. He  has been cited in Science magazine’s “Breakthroughs of the Year” three times since 1997.

Dr. Kay recently held the position as the President of The Scripps Research Institute, and previously at USC the 21st dean of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences where he held the Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair and professor of molecular and computational biology in USC Dornsife as well as professor of neurology, physiology and biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  As Dean of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego he held the Richard C. Atkinson Chair in Biological Sciences. He has also held faculty positions at The Rockefeller University, University of Virginia, and The Scripps Research Institute. He also served as the Director of Discovery Research at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), where he helped build research programs applying human genome science to biomedical research and drug discovery.

He has received numerous awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Dr. Kay has served on the advisory boards to Althea, Bayer AG, Monsanto, Novartis, Toyota Motor Corp and BP, amongst others. Dr. Kay is trained in genetics and genomics. He received his Ph.D. and was recently granted an honorary D.Sc. degree from the University of Bristol, UK.


Dina Lozofsky

As Executive Director of Biocom’s Los Angeles office, Dina leads Biocom’s programming and benefits efforts in the growing LA life science industry and helps raise awareness surrounding the regional cluster’s many research accomplishments. Biocom works on behalf of over 1000 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge workforce development and STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs. Dina’s experience includes leadership roles in academia, startups and established companies as well as board member seats at the LA Venture Association (LAVA), the LA Bioscience Hub, and the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board. She holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business and is a registered Patent Agent.


Dr. Sarkis K. Mazmanian

Sarkis K. Mazmanian, PhD, is the Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and an Investigator of the Heritage Medical research Institute. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, where Dr. Mazmanian also received his PhD training in microbiology and immunology. He was awarded a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, and subsequently appointed assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in 2006, and later that year founded his own laboratory to Caltech. Dr. Mazmanian has won numerous awards including a Searle Scholar, Young Investigator of the Year at Harvard Medical School, Damon Runyon Innovation Award, was named by Discover Magazine as one of the “Best Brains in Science under 40”, “Life Science Superstar” by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, and recently received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award. His laboratory focuses on research into the human gut microbiome to understand the causes of various immunologic and neurologic disorders, with a specific focus on developing probiotic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, autism and Parkinson’s disease. He is a founder of 2 biotech companies, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations.


J. Kim McKnutt
CSU Dominguez Hills

J. Kim McNutt is currently in his 5th year as Dean of the College of Extended & International Education at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Kim leads the work of 45 academic and professional staff. The self-support college generates nearly $17M annually in tuition, delivering a portfolio of 50 online and classroom based education and training programs. He has launched several new programs at CSUDH including, Marketing with Social Media, and a master’s degree in Cyber Security. He has expanded South Bay access to education opening a new satellite classroom location in Redondo Beach offering professional development training programs. His college is also leading the way as the first CSU to offer alternative credentials and digital badges to students.

Kim has held myriad academic leadership positions over the last 25 years. His career encompasses working for both public and private universities in San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, and his hometown, Las Cruces, New Mexico. (Go Aggies!)

Kim is a first generation college graduate. This drives his passion to expand access to underserved populations, including adult, returning and non-traditional students.


Dr. David Meyer
LA BioMed

Dr. Meyer is Professor Emeritus at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has served as LA BioMed’s President and CEO since 2009. Prior positions in research administration include serving as EVP Research at the House Ear Institute (2008-09) and as Vice President for Research and Scientific Affairs at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (2004-2007). He has had an active and productive career in research, first at the University of Basel, Switzerland as an Instructor (1973-79), then at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg Germany (1979-1987), followed by appointment as Professor of Biological Chemistry at the UCLA School of Medicine (1987-2005). Aside from teaching and research, Dr. Meyer served as Associate Dean for Basic Science and then as Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at UCLA. Dr. Meyer’s research into the molecular mechanism of membrane biogenesis and secretion has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and reviews, including articles in Nature, Cell, and The Journal of Cell Biology. Dr Meyer is a native of Los Angeles, having graduated from Los Angeles High School and earning both his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at UCLA.


Peter M. Moglia
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Peter M. Moglia is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. He has served as Chief Investment Officer since January 2009 and assumed the role of Co-Chief Executive Officer on April 23, 2018. A 20-year Alexandria veteran, Mr. Moglia is a respected leader with extensive industry and market knowledge.

He jointly leads the company in his role as co-CEO, and as Chief Investment Officer Mr. Moglia oversees the company’s strategic growth through a focus on acquisitions and dispositions, development and redevelopment, leasing, and joint ventures. He also concurrently leads Alexandria’s real estate finance team, which provides critical support across a range of underwriting, due diligence, and financing activities.

Previously, Mr. Moglia served in many important capacities of increasing scope and responsibility, including managing the company’s Seattle asset base and operations from April 2003 through December 2008, during which time the region doubled its revenue.

Prior to joining Alexandria, Mr. Moglia served as an Analyst for Lennar Partners, Inc., a diversified real estate company, where his responsibilities included underwriting and structuring direct and joint venture real estate investments. Mr. Moglia began his real estate career in the Management Advisory Services group within the E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group, a subsidiary of Ernst & Young LLP, where he spent six years providing valuation, feasibility, financial modeling, and other analytical services to a number of real estate developers, financial institutions, pension funds, and government agencies.

Mr. Moglia received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.


David A. Piacquad

David A. Piacquad joined Amgen in 2010 and was named senior vice president, Business Development, in March 2014. He is responsible for business development across Amgen and leads the organization that combines the previously separate Corporate Development and External Research & Development groups. Prior to this role, Piacquad served as vice president, Strategy & Corporate Development, responsible for mergers and acquisitions, inbound and outbound Licensing, Amgen Ventures and Corporate Alliance Management.Prior to Amgen, Piacquad was senior vice president, Business Development & Licensing at Schering-Plough Corporation. Before joining Schering-Plough, Piacquad spent more than 20 years at Johnson & Johnson, where he held a series of leadership roles in finance and business development. Piacquad holds a BA degree from Colgate University and an MBA from the Wharton School.


Caleb Smith
Salem Partners, LLC

Mr. Smith joined Salem Partners in 2007 and is focused on sourcing, evaluating and structuring transactions in the healthcare & life sciences sectors. While at Salem, he has been directly involved with companies such as Exemplar Pharma (sold to Allergan), Femasys (private), Neos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NEOS), OncoNano Medicine (private), Sebacia (private) and ZS Pharma (sold to AstraZeneca). Before joining Salem, Mr. Smith was a director at Harvey & Company, a leading merchant banking firm based in Newport Beach. Prior to Harvey & Company, he was a consultant with Public Health Foundation Enterprises and performed clinical research at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Mr. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California.


Lisa Welker-Finney
Boston Scientific

Lisa Welker-Finney is the Vice President of Human Resources for Boston Scientific Neuromodulation and Boston Scientific Canada for all divisions.

As an experienced Human Resources and Organizational Development professional, she is responsible for human resources strategy and sits on the Global Human Resources Leadership Team. Her work involves all strategic aspects of human resources, talent development, executive coaching, succession planning, culture development and engagement. Lisa also sits on the divisional Management Board helping make key strategic and developmental decisions.

Lisa has worked for a variety of Fortune 35 plus companies including WellPoint/Anthem, TransAmerica, Aetna and Prudential. Her roles have included large scale organizational transformations, culture development, talent strategies and the design and management of a Talent Management and Succession Planning systems, one of which won the Catalyst Award for Excellence.

She is the creator of a nationally acclaimed program entitled “Bridge to the Future” which coaches black high schools students in STEM curriculum at Boston Scientific throughout high school to mentor and support their education and development.

In addition, she is a distinguished speaker, educator, and executive coach.


Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister
Biomedical Growth Strategies

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in biopharma innovation, market access and market optimization strategies. She has been recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech,” by Boston Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Boston” and is the incoming President of the National Board of Directors of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). Dr. Windham-Bannister is Managing Partner of Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC, which she founded with Dr. Harvey Lodish, co-founder of Genzyme, and member of the Whitehead Institute, MIT. She also serves as the President and CEO of Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC.

From 2008-2015 Dr. Windham-Bannister served as President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), an independent authority charged with administering a $1-billion Life Sciences investment fund created by Governor Deval Patrick. She is the first African American in the U.S. to lead a life sciences-focused innovation fund of this scale. The MLSC invests to catalyze innovation in all sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community – biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics/analytics.

Since completing her tenure as President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, Dr. Windham-Bannister has been an advisor to other city, state and regional life sciences initiatives in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Windham-Bannister has co-authored two books: Competitive Strategy for Health Care Organizations, and Medicaid and Other Experiments in State Health Policy. She also has written numerous articles on competition in today’s health care marketplace and is a frequent speaker at national and international life sciences conferences.

Dr. Windham-Bannister received a B.A. from Wellesley College, a Doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University, and a Doctor of Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (honoris causa). She completed her doctoral work at the Heller School under a fellowship from the Ford Foundation and was also a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School. Dr. Windham-Bannister also served as a Fellow in the Center for Science and Policy (CSAP) at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.


Willie Zuniga
Grifols Biologicals LLC

Since 2003, Willie Zuniga has been the President of Grifols Biologicals LLC, a biopharmaceutical company located in Los Angeles, California. Within his role, Willie is responsible for overseeing more than 900 employees working in Manufacturing, Quality, Facilities, Finance, and Compliance Training operations. He has served on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board working with the Mayor and the City Council to develop strategic initiatives, encourage regional training investments, and coordinate development efforts in the area. He continues to be a champion for Education and Workforce development in the County of Los Angeles supporting career pathways at local universities and colleges; the GO East LA, cradle to career program; youth empowerment efforts that promote STEM and post-secondary education; industry alliance boards to share trends and guide curriculum; and collaborations to create certificate programs promoting greater employment opportunities and keep the talent in the area. Willie’s career has spanned nearly 40 years in the bioscience industry. Today, he remains focused and committed to saving lives with the products manufactured by the dedicated employees of Grifols.

Program Partners:    

Image result for la county seal

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

Image result for labiomed logo

For additional information about the Los Angeles County’s bioscience initiative, click here.