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Hosted by BioscienceLA, you are invited to a panel discussion about “The Next 25 Years of Innovation and Collaboration” moderated by Dave Whelan, CEO of BioscienceLA with Machine Bio, City of Hope, and Larta Institute.
Chief Executive Officer, BioscienceLA
David J. Whelan serves as Chief Executive Officer of BioscienceLA. Having spent 20 years in Los Angeles, he is passionate about leading the growth of a vibrant ecosystem that will create new opportunities for all stakeholders.
Whelan is a seasoned strategy, business development, and general management executive, building businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, health, and wellness. His experience spans genomics, wearables, digital health, consumer health services, wellness and nutrition, enterprise health services, and healthcare providers, among other areas.
He was an integral part of the creation of New York Genome Center, a unique not-for-profit scientific research institute, where he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer. Recent engagements include incubating a digital health and media start-up, steering a multi-year strategic and financial plan for a leading synthetic biology organization, launching a cancer diagnostic spinoff from a leading hospital, and developing a market assessment and strategic plan for an innovative integrative healthcare research institute.
Whelan has spent many years as a start-up advisor, mentor, and judge with organizations like Larta Institute, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, and Women Founders Network. His experience also includes product management and channel strategy for a division of 24 Hour Fitness, where he helped to launch one of the first fitness wearables. Earlier in his career, he spent over six years as a retained executive search consultant. Whelan began his career with a biotechnology incubator in San Francisco.
He holds an MBA with Honors from the UCLA Anderson School and a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. He remains very involved in alumni activities with both schools. He also studied at London Business School and Carnegie Mellon University. He has held a Top Secret Security Clearance.
Rohit Shukla is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Larta Institute, an internationally-recognized technology accelerator he founded in 1993 to focus on transforming ideas into enterprises that “feed the world, fuel the world and heal the world.” An internationally-recognized thought leader on innovation, commercialization, and enterprise-and technology-led economic development, he has written extensively on venture capital, sector-led innovation in wireless, telecommunications, and the life sciences, and on entrepreneurship, research-based enterprises, commercialization, and government policy.
In 2014, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship which advises the U.S. Department of Commerce on issues related to accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurship, and developing a globally competitive workforce. Shukla formed and helped draft legislation that in 1993 established the California Technology Investment Partnership (CalTIP), an innovation and entrepreneurship initiative supporting the state’s “new economy.” He also created and managed the first “defense adjustment” program based on policy advice he provided the Clinton Administration in the early 1990s. He was one of the first to promote policies supporting the development of “bundled” intellectual property (IP) between research institutions and universities. His efforts led to Larta Institute’s collaboration in 2006 with the Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. National Science Foundation to address issues concerning university-derived IP involving multiple institutions. Shukla’s Los Angeles-based organization has helped more than 10,000 companies commercialize their innovations in science and technology, particularly in agriculture and the life sciences. Larta Institute has exclusive contracts with the NIH, NSF, and USDA.
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Head of Scientific Development, Machine Bio
David Marash, MS ’19, is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Machine Bio, a biotechnology startup leveraging a next-gen protein production platform to revolutionize the landscape of protein innovation and commercialization.
Marash graduated from Claremont McKenna College with dual degrees in Biology and Government. He then spent three years in a variety of technical roles at Stanford School of Medicine, NASA, and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. Inspired by the promise of synthetic biology and driven by his lifelong entrepreneurial dreams, Marash spent nights and weekends tinkering with his earliest technology concepts and iterating on his outside-the-box approach to the design of biological systems for unmet needs.
He subsequently returned to Claremont to obtain a Master of Science in Applied Life Sciences (MS) at KGI. During this time, he worked on projects with industry-leading pharmaceutical companies such as Sutro Biopharma. Immediately upon graduation, Marash and his co-founders launched Machine Bio and initiated their proof-of-concept experiments in the KGI lab space, where their R&D operation remains headquartered today. Marash’s perspective on the biotech industry and its ecosystems has been heavily informed by countless conversations with Machine Bio customers – other biotech companies – carried out in advance of Machine Bio’s imminent service launch in the first half of next year.
Director of Strategy, Commercial R&D, Associate Professor at the Center for RNA Biology & Therapeutics, City of Hope
Daniela Castanotto is the Director of Strategy, Commercial R&D, and an Associate Professor at the Center for RNA Biology & Therapeutics at the City of Hope. Dr. Castanotto currently supports the President of Strategy and New Ventures in the expansion of R&D strategic initiatives and partnerships aimed to facilitate and accelerate drug development. The city of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, focused on cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
Dr. Castanotto received her doctoral degree cum laude from the University of Messina, Italy. She joined the City of Hope after securing a prestigious National Italian grant for collaborative HIV research abroad. In 1994, she was offered a position as Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy, Loma Linda University. Two years later, Dr. Castanotto returned to the City of Hope, where she continued to work on small RNA-based strategies to cure HIV/AIDS. Dr. Castanotto was one of the Principal Investigators on the NIH SPIRAT-funded study for the first in-human RNA-based gene therapy clinical trial for HIV patients. Prior to her current position, she accepted an appointment as a full Research Professor in Medical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics, during which she focused her studies on the development of oligonucleotide-based therapies for the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Castanotto has authored and co-authored more than sixty publications and book chapters and has been invited to present her work at several national and international symposia. She has served as a reviewer for numerous international journals and is currently an associate editor of Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids. Dr. Castanotto is also a faculty member at the City of Hope, Irell, and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences.
Celebrating 25 years of innovation! 25.kgi.edu.