San Diego Innovation Council Board
About The Board
The Board is composed of volunteers including professionals from Regional Technology Transfer Offices and private and public organizations supporting the growth of research-based enterprises.
Rubén is an Associate Director of Licensing at the University of Southern California, a premier private research university in the United States. Rubén a is an energetic worldwide innovation agent and has extensive experience transforming early research into attractive business opportunities. Rubén has led leads teams working on commercialization and partnering programs in corporate and academic organizations. He is the co-founder, and current President of the San Diego Innovation Council. Rubén received his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He started his career in industry with roles in research and development, licensing, and business development at PharMingen (now Becton Dickinson), Biosite (now Abbott), Chemicon (now Millipore-SIGMA) and GenWay Biotech. As a technology transfer professional, Rubén has served as Vice President for Business Development at Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute (now The Lundquist Institute) and Director of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego before his current role at the University of Southern California.
Tari is a seasoned technology commercialization professional in the life sciences and Vice President of the Board of the San Diego Innovation Council (SDIC). She has served as Program Chair in the SDIC’s Innovation Showcase and helped steer the growth of the organization resulting in the rich diversity of its members. She is currently the Director for Search & Evaluation for Western US and Canada for Novo Nordisk, a Top 20 pharmaceutical company. She also has experience with the animal health industry when she was a part of the External Innovation team at Elanco, and spent over 15 years in the non-profit sector promoting and commercializing innovative opportunities from world-class research institutions such as the Salk Institute, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Tari has extensive experience in licensing, building and managing strategic alliances with industry and other academic institutions, and a well-rounded technical background in a variety of therapeutic areas resulting from her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from The Rockefeller University and an Honors B.A. from Swarthmore College. Tari is also a mother of two daughters and two dogs, loves kickboxing, yoga, beaches, and sea turtles.
Margaret is the Sr. Director of Technology Development at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology where she oversees all aspects of La Jolla Institute’s patent portfolio and technology agreements, and supports business development functions. Prior to joining the Institute, Margaret was an attorney with Smart & Biggar, Fetherstonhaugh, a leading intellectual property and technology law firm. She advised clients on patent prosecution matters with a focus in the area of biotechnology. Margaret obtained a Master of Science in Molecular & Medical Genetics and J.D. from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Dan brings over 20 years of biopharma industry experience, from start-up formation to acquisition and all phases between. Specializing in business development, corporate strategy, and finance, he presently serves as Executive Director of Business Development at Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, CA and as the Executive Director of the Scintillon Research Institute’s Office of Technology Transfer. As a board-member and treasurer of the San Diego Innovation Council, Dan is engaged with the innovation ecosystem throughout Southern California. Dan received doctoral training at Duke University and and holds an MBA from the University of Miami.
Jennifer Landress, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Biocom California
Jennifer Landress is a visionary leader who inspires great people to do great things. As Chief Operating Officer for Biocom California, she has a track record of supporting life science companies doing cutting edge research to grow, evolve, scale, secure funding and transfer their knowledge to the world. She leverages 20+ years of operational and management experience leading state-wide operations (offices in multiple cities) with a focus on the impact on future growth and influencing direction for the largest statewide life science association in the world.
In her role as COO, she is a well-connected leader within the life science industry. She has strong expertise in strategic planning, having led the development of the organizations last three multi-year strategic plans and building successful partnerships, she has negotiated and executed over 15 MOUs with different organizations. She oversees all operations including Finance, Conferences and Meetings, Capital Development and International development and partnerships. As a catalyst for change, she has led the development and creation of programs geared towards connecting life science companies to VCs and strategic partners which have generated over 900 introductions.
Jennifer is an active member of Orangetheory Fitness (completing 650+ classes), has traveled to all seven continents and is a wife and mother of three children and an adorable Corgi named Piper.
Donna Shaw is the Associate Director in the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and has substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry holding positions in large pharma, mid-sized, and start-up companies. Prior to joining UCSD, Donna held the position Director of Business Development for Attenuon, LLC, a pharmaceutical start-up located in Sorrento Valley focusing on discovery and development of new antiangiogenic agents for oncology. Prior to that, she was Director of Business Development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the creation and implementation of a new, in-house contract manufacturing business, a promotional marketing campaign, and developing potential out-sourcing clients. In large pharma, Donna spent 15 years at Abbott Laboratories, a multi-billion dollar global diversified health care company. At Abbott, she was Director, Technology Assessment, Corporate Licensing and Strategic Planning, and was responsible for the assessment, acquisition, and licensing of pharmaceutical and health care technology opportunities. She was an active participant in Technology Transfer Conferences and also served on the board of TTC. Donna also held positions in the Pharmaceutical Products Division including Research Information Scientist, Operations Manager for the Thrombolytic Venture, and Senior Project Manager, Research Management and Development where she was responsible for the planning, prioritizing and managing the development of new pharmaceutical products for worldwide marketing. Some of the ethical pharmaceutical products that Donna managed to bring to market include Hytrin®, Cefmenoxime, Abbokinase®, Depakote®, Calcijex®, Zemplar®, and Lupron®.
Jesse Gipe is the Pacific-South Regional Director for the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). Prior to joining NSIN, Jesse spent six years developing and executing regional initiatives to support aerospace, tech, cybersecurity, and defense sectors with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). His experience with the EDC includes creating and supervising the implementation of a three million dollar grant to increase defense resilience; collaboration with a wide variety of companies, military leaders, academic institutions, and government officials; program development and management; global marketing; and budget analysis.
Jesse also has experience in local government as a Deputy Campaign Manager and a District Representative where he gained experience in community outreach, data infrastructure, and legislative research.
Jesse received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from The University of California San Diego.
Mysty Rusk is the Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI). Having served 3 years as the Director of the Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego (USD), Rusk helped to establish USD’s role as a contributor in San Diego’s innovation ecosystem. Under her leadership, the Brink has served over 1,100 innovation-based companies, representing 15% of all startups in the San Diego region. Those companies have added jobs, increased sales, and taken on $111M in investments (angel, venture, grants, loans).
As part of this effort Rusk also founded the San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), which aims to activate new investors in a learn-by-doing series that invests at least $200,000 in the winning company each cycle. With a focus on supporting values-driven free enterprises, the FEI provides consulting services, access to angel and venture capital, and support for family-owned businesses with an eye on stewardship, as a path to the greater good.
Before coming to USD in 2017, Rusk served as the Associate State Director for Program Innovation and Technology Commercialization with the Central California SBDC. Supporting scalable innovation-based businesses has been her primary focus since 2004. Rusk comes to the FEI with experience in building innovation ecosystems, developing the human, physical and sustainable infrastructure needed to support growth-oriented entrepreneurship. From the first Start Up Weekend to the first community-led angel conference, she has been involved from idea to IPO on numerous startups.
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