San Diego Chapter


OBR made its maiden transatlantic expansion to San Diego in early 2012. San Diego is home to one of the largest concentration of biotechnology companies in the world, and also to a myriad of world-class research institutes in the Torrey Pines Mesa, such as the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, J. Craig Venter Institute, and University of California, San Diego. Our presence in this biotech cluster puts us in an exclusive environment to forge relationships with both academia and industry, and we look forward to expanding our outreach. Please contact the chapter president Zhaleh Amini for enquiries regarding industry partnerships and joining the OBR-San Diego team.

Chapter President, OBR-San Diego

Zhaleh Amini

Zhaleh is a PhD candidate in the Biochemistry program at the University of California, San Diego, and previously received her B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University. Currently, her research focuses on RNA catalysis for uses in therapy and as tools in research. Zhaleh is excited to contribute to the growth of OBR and further a connection between academia and industry.

Olivia Ryder
Events Lead, OBR-San Diego

Olivia Ryder

Olivia is a PhD candidate in Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and previously received her B.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine. Her research currently focuses on understanding how biological reactivity in oceans can affect the ability of sea spray particles to react with pollutants and oxidants in the atmosphere.

Astrid Stoker
Outreach and Marketing Lead, OBR-San Diego

Astrid Stoker

Astrid is a postdoctoral fellow funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program to work on the identification of a novel target in the treatment of nicotine dependence at the University of California, San Diego. She is passionate about her scientific research, science outreach and science communication. Astrid aspires to build strong and meaningful relationships between academia and industry in the San Diego area through her position as the Outreach and Marketing lead at OBR.

Monika Schneider
Consulting Project Manager, OBR-San Diego

Monika Schneider

Monika is a postdoctoral research associate at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research aims to better understand how host innate immune signaling restricts viral infection, with the ultimate goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets. Monika is excited to foster interactions between San Diego’s academic and biotech communities through productive consulting collaborations.

Co-Founder and CEO of Molecular Assemblies, Inc

Curt Becker

After a stint in the Marv Caruthers Lab at UC Boulder, Curt became a founding member of Applied Biosystems. Curt’s career spans many years of involvement in development of some of the key tools which have led to our understanding of molecular biology, including various generations of DNA synthesis and DNA sequencing, PCR and QPCR. His experience spans a wide array of positions from R&D to product management with global P&L responsibilities to sales and sales management, European marketing and North American customer support management. Curt is a pro-bono advisor with the San Diego Connect Springboard program which helps the San Diego innovation community launch technology businesses and participates in a number of programs that help students get excited about science, technology and business.

CEO, Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Jiwu Wang

Dr. Jiwu Wang earned his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology at the University of SouthernCalifornia. He received a NIH postdoctoral fellowship and did his postdoc training in RNA-related fields at UCSD. With a passion for working on cutting edge technologies, he started Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals in1999 after postdoc and serves as the CEO of the company. He later founded The Scintillon Institute with a focus on bioimaging and photobiology and has been leading its faculty recruitment and fund-raising campaigns. He received more than a dozen NIH grants and contracts, and was an inventor of many patents in RNAi, imaging,diagnostics, skin protection, and stem cells.

Wednesday, 16th April 2014 @ 6:00pm

San Diego Chapter: Genetic Privacy: Who has Access to Your Code?

Building 12 Auditorium, Sanford Burnham Medical Institute , Building 12 Auditorium, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute: 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121, 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121
Wednesday, 19th February 2014 @ 5:30pm

San Diego Chapter: The Art of Scientific Writing in Biotech

Pacific Hall 4500, University of California, San Diego, Pacific Hall, University of California, San Diego
Thursday, 7th November 2013 @ 5:30pm

San Diego Chapter: The Commercial Potential of Big Data in Biotech & OneStart Americas Competition Launch

Building 12 Auditorium, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute: 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121, 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121
Thursday, 4th April 2013 @ 5:15pm

San Diego Chapter: Personalized Medicine: Road to New Opportunities

BCC1 - W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater, 10550 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Morrison Foerster

Morrison & Foerster is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 offices in key technology and financial centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. Their clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, and Fortune 100, technology and life science companies. Morrison & Foerster has been included on The American Lawyer’s A-List for 10 straight years, and Chambers Global named MoFo its 2013 USA Law Firm of the Year. Their lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger.


TriLink BioTechnologies

TriLink manufactures custom oligonucleotides, modified nucleoside triphosphates and CleanAmp™ PCR products for the diagnostic and OEM markets. In addition, custom chemistry, long RNA and mRNA synthesis, contract research services and ISO/QSR compliant GMP production facilities are offered. TriLink’s solutions help advance drug discovery and biomedical research. Founded in 1996, TriLink is a privately held firm based in San Diego, California and employs approximately 50 scientists and other professionals. For more information about the firm and products, visit their web site at

Former Chapter President, OBR-San Diego (12-13)

Rachel Tsui

Rachel is a PhD candidate at UCSD and a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow. She is currently studying the signal transduction pathway of NFκB activation. Rachel previously graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Chemistry.

Former Chapter Correspondent, OBR-San Diego (12-13)

Sandeep Pingle

Sandeep Pingle is a neuro-scientist and a clinically trained physician who enjoys science writing. He is currently working in neuro-oncology at Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego where he focuses on signaling pathways in cancer and treatment-associated neurotoxicity.

Chan_Kelvin_bio photo_03-2012
Former Chapter President, OBR-San Diego (11-12)

Kelvin Chan

Kelvin is a PhD candidate at The Scripps Research Institute, USA, and a pre-doctoral fellow of A*STAR, Singapore. He received his B.A.(Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, and he currently discovers, develops and optimizes new synthetic methods to functionalize drug molecules.

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