Los Angeles Chapter
OBR expanded to Los Angeles in the spring of 2013. The sprawling Greater Los Angeles Area boasts many world-class biomedical research powerhouses including Caltech, City of Hope, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Riverside, University of Southern California, etc. Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotechnology firm, is also located in LA. With the “Silicon Beach” tech scene emerging, we look forward to building a community to forge collaborations between academia and industry in LA. Please contact Kato Shum, President of OBR-Los Angeles, for enquiries regarding industry partnerships and joining the OBR-LA team.
Los Angeles Chapter Members
Kato is a postdoctoral fellow at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope working on the novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of HIV-1 and cancer. Kato previously graduated from University of Hong Kong with a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology. Outside the lab, he is broadly interested in helping technology commercialization and fostering communication between academia and industries.
Amar is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He previously graduated with a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently studying stroke recovery through computational modeling of neural networks. Amar is looking forward to helping to create a vibrant biotech community in LA that can connect academia and industry and push new ideas forward.
Ray is a PhD Candidate in the Neuroscience program at the University of Southern California, where he is studying how the auditory circuits of the brain process sound. He received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, where he ran a student newspaper focused on career development. Ray is interested in science, business and politics and how they shape our path to the future.
Monika D. Polewski is a CIRM (California Institute of Regenerative Medicine) predoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurosciences at City of Hope’s Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on novel therapeutics for the treatment of glioma as well as neuroprotective mechanisms in neural stem cells. She is also a graduate of the Bioscience Management Certificate Program at the Keck Graduate Institute where she acquired business, finance and management education tailored toward the necessary skills needed in the life science industry. Monika has prior experience working as an independent contractor and consultant in biotech and is eager to foster fruitful relationships between academia and industry for the OBR-LA chapter.
Zach is a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. He previously received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. His current research interests include protein engineering, synthetic biology, drug discovery, and biotechnology. As the outreach and marketing lead, Zach is interested in developing healthy partnerships between life science industry and academia that will translate into useful therapeutics and products.
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