CLSA Bulletin

CLSA Hosts Congressman Tony Cárdenas For Life Sciences Roundtable & Company Tours
Congressman Cárdenas’ tour and visit exemplifies CLSA’s efforts to provide premier educational opportunities to policymakers and thought leaders in Washington, Sacramento and locally.  | READ MORE »
What’s Next? Federal Legislative Outlook For The Rest Of 2017  | READ MORE »

Numerous Bills Of Note Poised To Move Quickly As The California Legislature Returns | READ MORE »

Governor Brown Signs CLSA-Sponsored Bill Into Law To Protect Diabetes Patients | READ MORE »

New City And County Legislative Efforts On Polystyrene | READ MORE »

Hogan Lovells combines with Collora, adding Boston office
The addition of Collora enhances Hogan Lovells’ capabilities to serve clients in one of the most dynamic and growing markets in the US. | READ MORE »
Fortune Magazine – Guardant Health CEO and President on This Year’s “40 under 40” List | READ MORE »
New ShareVault White Paper: “What’s the role of Non-Immuno Oncology in an Immuno Oncology World?” | READ MORE »
Introducing the Fall 2017 FAST Companies | READ MORE »
FAST & Fellows Round-Up | READ MORE »
Recent News from Powered by CARB-X | READ MORE »

NexGeneGirls Bootcamp and Summer Academy 



California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


California’s Life Sciences Community Celebration Overflows at CLSA’s Statewide Open Houses

August 24, 2017

As the statewide advocacy and business leadership trade association representing life sciences in California – the global leader for life sciences innovation and the sixth largest economy in the world – the work CLSA does connects and strengthens the entire life sciences community across our great state. With boots on the ground in Washington DC, Sacramento, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego, CLSA takes every opportunity to work with industry, government, academia, patients and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy.

The last week of July and the first week of August saw more than 700 members of CLSA and the California life sciences community gather to celebrate CLSA’s Annual Anniversary & Open House celebrations in South San Francisco and San Diego. The open houses allowed CLSA to celebrate the 40 year legacy from BayBio/CHI merger, highlight the many benefits available to CLSA members, and provide an opportunity for the California life sciences community to connect.

On July 26, attendees flocked to CLSA’s expansive South San Francisco Open House to network, enjoy local wine and beer, sample food truck delicacies, learn more about valuable purchasing programs – from partners like VWR, the CLSA Employee Benefits Trust, UPS, ShareVault and others – and win fabulous raffle prizes supplied by our member benefit partners. Click here to check out photos from the South San Francisco open house.


One week later, CLSA hosted hundreds of attendees for our tropical-themed Open House in San Diego at the beautiful facility of CLSA member JLABS. CLSA kicked off the event by hosting a tour of San Diego life sciences companies and an innovation roundtable between Congressman Tony Cárdenas and local life sciences executives. Interested members took tours of the JLABS facility while Open House attendees mingled with other members of the community, sampled our local food, beer and wine and enjoyed the live band, met with members of our Advocacy team and visited each of the member benefit booths. Click here to check out photos from the San Diego open house.

Did you miss the opportunity to celebrate with CLSA? To view the full roster of upcoming CLSA events, explore our event calendar here.  To become a member, or contact us learn more about CLSA Membership here.


Pantheon 2017, CLSA Speaks at Atlantic Innovation Pipeline Program, CLSA Convenes San Diego Life Sciences Tour & Roundtable with Congressman Cárdenas, CLSA Welcomes 12 New CLSA Members, CLSI FAST Companies & CARB-X Funding, Don’t Miss the MedTech Conference or the 2017 BIO Investor Forum, and CLSA Expansion

RETBy: Sara Radcliffe
CLSA President & CEO
CLSA – California Life Sciences Association

August 24, 2017 


pantheon websiteSecure Your Pantheon Sponsorship Today

On November 10, the California life sciences community will celebrate another year of leadership, innovation, and overall excellence at CLSA’s signature event – the 14th Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards. Don’t miss your chance to participate in this extraordinary event! Limited sponsorships and tables are still available. Contact us to attend or learn more here.


CLSA at The Atlantic Innovation Pipeline Event

On August 1, I had the pleasure of speaking about the life sciences industry and the legislative environment at The Atlantic’s Innovation Pipeline event. Attendees also got to hear from Dr. Robert Califf, Former FDA Commissioner and current Verily Life Sciences advisor, who discussed the role of big data in biotech and how researchers, clinicians and tech companies can collaborate to innovate our health systems.

Venture capital leaders Leon Cheon (OrbiMed), Carol Gallagher (New Enterprise Associates) and Andrew Schiff (Aisling Capital) explored the talent pipeline trends and other issues at the forefront for investors. Helix CEO Robin Thurston looked at developments in the personal genomics market – and how consumer demand and the FDA play into the industry’s future – and Cary Gunn (Genalyte), Sean Harper (Amgen), Gabe Otte (Freenome) and Lynn Seely (Myovant Sciences) discussed how therapeutic and diagnostic companies can collaborate to find better treatments for patients. I was so pleased to represent our state’s life sciences innovators alongside these extraordinary panelists and encourage you to learn more and watch the whole event here.


CLSA Arranges Tours & Roundtable with Congressman Cárdenas

Over three days in early August, our CLSA team arranged for Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) and his Washington DC-based staff to tour multiple life sciences sector companies and research institutions across the San Diego region, culminating in an innovation roundtable at JLABS with representatives from the life sciences community across San Diego. In addition to the JLABS facility, Team Cárdenas and our CLSA Federal Government Relations team visited and toured local CLSA member companies including BD, Celgene, Dexcom, JLABS and the prospective member of Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).  Read here for more information.


CLSA Welcome 12 New Members in July

Please join us in welcoming the 12 new CLSA members who joined us in the last month:

BioBlocksBonneville Labs (previously BioDojo), Carbosynth, eResearchTechnology (ERT), MicrobeDx, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, Neuralink, Peregrine Biotechnology, PharmaCyte Biotech Inc., Precision Diagnostics, Seqmatic and Zenobia Therapeutics. Our membership portfolio grows ever more robust with the addition of these organizations, which add significantly to the expertise and resources available in the CLSA network.


CLSI Introduces Fall 2017 FAST Companies

We are pleased to introduce the Fall 2017 FAST Companies: BioAmp Diagnostics, developing diagnostic tools that decrease the time-to-results for identification of bacterial infections from 3 days to 30 minutes using an innovative amplification technology; Device Farm, developing a gas-based treatment to treat nail fungal infections; Inflammatix, developing a statistically rigorous, extensively validated diagnostic method that ‘reads’ the immune system; Oomni, developing a small molecule targeting bladder cancer that simultaneously addresses both the cancer and resultant pain; Pheronym, an Ag-biotech company that develops green solutions for agricultural pest control; Phi Therapeutics, developing a platform technology to enhance natural phage with payloads to improve bacterial targeting and neutralization; Siolta, altering the therapeutic landscape of inflammatory diseases through the development of live biotherapeutic products (LBP) using an ecosystems approach; and STATegics, developing small molecule agonists of the tissue-protective receptor for treatment of CNS and rare diseases.


CARB-X Round 2 Funding Awarded
CARB-X, one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships focused on combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR), recently announced its second round of funding, injecting an additional $17.6M to accelerate products for combatting antibiotic resistance.  The consortium – which includes the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), the Wellcome Trust, BARDA, RTI International, NIAID, and MassBio, and is administered by Boston University – provides strategic business support to companies with promising early-stage technologies to develop a portfolio of innovative products to address this critical threat to global health. Learn more about CLSI’s CARB-X accelerator here.


CLSA Events

Medtech conference

Don’t Miss Out – Register for the 2017 MedTech Conference
September 25-27 – San Jose, CA

Join CLSA and more than 2,500 attendees at The MedTech Conference powered by AdvaMed to network, gain access to capital and share insights in San Jose, CA from September 25-27. The conference features world-class plenary speakers, networking, and business development opportunities. CLSA Members may contact us today to take advantage of our exclusive 10% CLSA discount and claim your spot for The MedTech Conference! Register or learn more here.


What Can You Expect at the 2017 BIO Investor Forum?

The 16th annual BIO Investor Forum (Oct. 17-18 in San Francisco) is the most influential independent investor event for early-stage biotechs seeking new funding sources. This year’s event will host more than 175 healthcare venture capital and public market investors and more than 600 business development executives from leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  CLSA Fellows members, contact us before September 29 to access your discounted pricing! Register or learn more here.


CLSA Is Still Growing

We’re excited to announce the continued strategic expansion of our CLSA team with the addition of two new employees this month:

Joe Teevan, Controller

Joe Teevan consulted with CLSA earlier this year through Signature Analytics and joins us as Controller. He will be based in the San Diego office and will be responsible for accounting and finance-related activities. Joe received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Accounting from Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Prior to CLSA, Joe was an auditor with BDO and worked at Western Union in Colorado. Click here to learn more.

Lilia Stone

Lilia Stone, Associate, State Government Relations

Based in CLSA’s Sacramento Office, Lilia Stone will participate in the implementation of strategy, member relationship development and overall advancement of initiatives with key state and local policy makers, and manage administration for the Sacramento office. Lilia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a focus on Political Science from UC San Diego. She joins CLSA after serving as Legislative Aide and Scheduler for Assembly member Marie Waldron (R-Escondido). Click here to learn more.



Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO
California Life Sciences Association

PS – Do you have newsworthy items to submit for consideration for our monthly CLSA Bulletin? Feel free to send those tips to Elizabeth Gibson (, CLSA’s Senior Director of Marketing & Programs.



CLSA Successfully Leads Effort to Defeat Bill Restricting Doctor-Industry Interactions

Sept. 19, 2017

On Sept. 11, Senate Bill 790 (McGuire) was placed on the inactive file, meaning that, while the bill is dead for this year, it will be eligible to be heard again once the legislature reconvenes in early January 2018.

SB 790 would have restricted all “gifts,” as defined, from manufacturers to physicians unless it fell under one of many, often confusing, exceptions. For instance, meals were either permitted or restricted in an education context depending on various circumstances, while “coffee or other snacks or refreshments” served at a booth were broadly exempt. Furthermore, while many expenses associated with “research projects” or clinical trials were permitted, questions remained around the status of many more associated activities, such as equipment loans and allowing free use of lab space. It was also unclear the extent to which activities performed under a “Compassionate Use” Investigational New Drug (IND) application would be permitted.

CLSA served as the lead for our industry on advocating against SB 790, and, in addition to lobbying in the Capitol, CLSA spearheaded an aggressive letter-writing campaign that resulted in over 450 letters from constituents to members of the legislature, urging opposition to the measure.

We anticipate the bill will return next year, though it is unclear how similar that bill will be to the final version of SB 790 on the record, though substantial amendments beyond that version of the bill were discussed prior to the close of the legislative session.

CLSA will continue to aggressively oppose this legislation and coordinate with fellow stakeholders both within and outside of the industry in doing so. Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (

Bill Mandating State Reporting by Drug Makers Heads to Governor

Sept. 18, 2017

Despite the best efforts of CLSA and its partner trade associations, Senate Bill 17 (Hernandez) has reached the Governor’s desk. Gov. Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill for it to become law. If it’s signed, the advance notice requirements, as discussed below, would become effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

SB 17 would require, among many other things, industry to provide a 60-day advance notice of any price increase on a drug to all California public agency purchasers, health insurers, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) if that drug’s price has increased 16 percent or more cumulatively over the previous two calendar years, including the current year’s increase. In other words, if a company has increased the price of a 6 percent in 2016 and 7 percent in 2017, then it would have to provide a 60-day advance notice on any 2018 price increase that would account for the additional 3 percent needed to reach the 16 percent reporting threshold.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, on the effective date of any price increase triggering the advance notice, the drug’s manufacturer would have to submit a host of information to the state, though the bill would allow the manufacture to withhold any information not “otherwise in the public domain or publicly available.” The information reported would then be posted publicly by the state in a manner that allows for identification of the individual drugs.

Though the bill appeared to stall after initially being put up for a vote in the Assembly, the bill quickly reached the 41 votes needed when being put back up for a vote, passing off the Assembly floor by a vote of 66-9. In a breach of Assembly decorum, its passage was accompanied by applause and several cheers from the Assembly floor. On Senate concurrence for the most recent amendments, the bill was sent to the Governor by a vote of 32-8.

CLSA continues to oppose the bill and has submitted a request to the Governor that the bill be vetoed, but we are anticipating that he will sign the bill into law. We also plan to organize a letter-writing effort for small company members. Visit to see how patients, small businesses and life science innovators are speaking out against SB 17.

Finally, we are continuing to analyze the potential impacts of implementation of the bill on our industry, and any members who would like further information on this or anything else related to SB 17 are encourage to reach out to Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs ( or Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Affairs (

CLSA Joins the Rally for Medical Research to Support Biomedical Research Funding

Sept. 15, 2017

Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President, Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development & Adam Lotspoke, CLSA’s Associate Director, Federal Government Relations, join other biomedical research advocates in meeting with Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) during the 4th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day.

This September, CLSA participated in the 4th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. The rally, comprised of over 300 organizational partners, brings together a broad coalition of stakeholders, including medical researchers, scientists, innovators, and patient advocates from all over the country. This year’s rally consisted of over 350 participants from over 40 states meeting with a total of 243 Members of Congress and their staff.  CLSA has been proud to have been a part of the Rally since its inception.

The goal of the Rally for Medical Research is to convey the importance of protecting, supporting, and supplementing funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and to continue efforts to make funding biomedical research a national priority. The current FY 2018 appropriations package includes an additional $2 billion for NIH, bringing the total funding to $36.1 billion. Rally participants asked Congress to ensure this funding is included in the final bill.

CLSA’s DC office led groups of advocates to meet with the offices of Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) & Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley), Darrell Issa (R-Vista ), Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco ), Scott Peters (D-San Diego) & Jackie Speier (D-Menlo Park). Earlier this year, CLSA was instrumental in securing a total of 35 members of the California delegation (32 Democrats and 3 Republicans) as cosigners of  a bipartisan House letter in support of $36 billion for NIH in the FY18 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill. We will continue to engage the delegation on the importance of robust, predictable and sustained funding for NIH, and continued investment to spur innovation and save more lives.

Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development (

Sonoma County Takes on Take Back

Sept. 14, 2017

On Sept. 12, the Sonoma Board of Supervisors held a new hearing on take back ordinance options for the County. At the Board’s last hearing on the subject in October of 2016, it had directed staff to begin drafting an ordinance for drug take back while also researching the potential need and possibility of including the disposal of sharps into the legislation.

The County staff then toured every locality throughout 2017 to promote extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the County’s pursuit of an ordinance. At the end of that process, staff determined there was unanimous support for overall drug take back legislation and a strong consensus for the inclusion of sharps. Of note, while all Cities in the County supported an ordinance on drug disposal generally, the City Council of Santa Rosa took a strong position against the possible addition of sharps disposal in any legislation.

During this month’s hearing before the Board, County Health Officer Karen Milman gave an update on the drafting process and an overview of the community discussions. She then sought direction on next steps for staff from the Board while providing a recommendation for the pursuit of take back legislation which included sharps.

While no formal vote was taken at the Board meeting, the Board gave its direction through a straw poll of its Members. This straw poll of 3-2 directed staff to move forward in drafting an ordinance and to include both the disposal of drugs and sharps. Of the 2 minority votes, both were interested in a drug take back ordinance, while one was interested in supporting the sharps inclusion but asked for more data to support the sharps inclusion. The staff stated they would bring more data and a draft ordinance including both drugs and sharps to the Board in the near future.

CLSA testified before the Board on behalf of our industry’s perspective and to clear up several misstatements made by the County.

CLSA will continue to be at the forefront in Sonoma County and anywhere these local discussions occur. For more information, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations (

Hogan Lovells combines with Collora, adding Boston office

Strategically bolstering the firm’s life sciences capabilities throughout the Northeastern U.S. and globally.

Global law firm Hogan Lovells announced today that it will combine with Collora, a Boston-based litigation/investigations firm with a strong focus in life sciences and healthcare, as well as financial services and technology. The combination became effective on September 1st, at which time all partners, lawyers, and business services members of Collora will join Hogan Lovells.

The addition of Collora enhances Hogan Lovells’ capabilities to serve clients in one of the most dynamic and growing markets in the US. Boston is home to global leaders in technology, life sciences, healthcare, and financial services. The area boasts elite academic and research institutions and world-class medical facilities. Economic development in the Boston metropolitan area is fuelled by an active financial services and investment community.

The new office will be focused on litigation and investigations with a particular emphasis on the life sciences and healthcare sectors; over time, Hogan Lovells expects to add regulatory, corporate transactions, and IP capabilities.

“The Boston region is a key strategic market in the United States.  Although we have worked closely with clients in the area for years, it more recently became clear to us that there was a need for an office that had strong roots in the community,” said Hogan Lovells CEO Steve Immelt. “Collora is a firm that shares our values, our culture and our approach. We have worked with them for many clients over the years. It has highly regarded practices in litigation and investigations, with a particular focus in life sciences, which fits very well with our own practices. We also intend to focus on the financial services, technology industries and education sectors, where we already have strong practices in other markets. We are delighted to welcome the Collora team and look forward to working with them for the benefit of our clients.”

The combination provides Collora and its clients with access to a network of services and practitioners that seamlessly work to provide a cohesive client experience globally. Hogan Lovells is recognized as a global leader in life sciences and healthcare, with specialists in areas such as regulatory, intellectual property, transactions, and disputes. Together, the two firms have more than 500 lawyers practicing in the life sciences and healthcare industry.

Collora, which comprises 25 lawyers, including 15 partners, has several well-known trial advocates who represent both companies and individuals in government investigations, complex civil litigation, professional licensing and discipline matters and other litigation matters, with a particular focus on financial services, technology and the life sciences industry. The firm includes former federal and state prosecutors, judicial law clerks, law professors and a former chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

“Hogan Lovells has a strong global reputation and offers us depth and reach that brings a new and exciting dimension to what we are able to offer our clients,” said Bill Lovett, currently the Managing Partner of Collora, and who will serve as the Office Managing Partner of the Hogan Lovells Boston office. “We looked very hard at making sure that the business and cultural fit would be right for us – for nearly thirty years our firm has been committed to serving our clients and contributing to our community. Based on many years of working together for some of the same clients, we know Hogan Lovells brings those qualities to the table across the entire firm. No other Boston firm has Hogan Lovells’ global reach. We look forward to making these skills available to our clients and to new Boston-area clients as well.”

Read the full coverage here.

Fortune Magazine – Guardant Health CEO and President on This Year’s “40 under 40” List

Guardant Health CEO, Helmy Eltoukhy and COO, AmirAli Talasaz, join the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Emmanuel Macron, and Serena Williams on this year’s “40 under 40” Fortune Magazine list. They join other dynamic duos over the years (e.g. Sergey Brin / Larry Page, John Zimmer / Logan Green, and Jerry Yang / David Filo) on the list of the world’s most influential young business leaders, and their honor brings great worldwide recognition for Guardant Health’s critical mission.

Read the full coverage here.

New ShareVault White Paper: ” What’s the role of Non-Immuno Oncology in an Immuno Oncology World?”

This white paper discusses the role of non-immuno-oncology therapies for cancer in a world where immuno-oncology is playing a greater role.

The clinical success of checkpoint inhibitors has made Immuno-Oncology an amazingly “hot” area for pharmaceutical and biotech deal making.  With checkpoint antibodies seen as backbones for combination therapy in cancer, many in Oncology are asking:

  • What is the role of non-IO in an IO world and can you partner a non-IO opportunity?
  • Is there still room for new anticancer agents that are not working in IO models?
  • Are drug candidates evaluated with the assumption that everything will eventually be used in combination with IO agents?  Or are there indications or mechanisms for which IO will never be important?  Should I pursue combinations with IO?
  • What kinds of mechanisms are attractive in non-IO?  What data and models will big pharma want to see?   Do I need to run experiments with their molecule?  Are there certain tumor types that are particularly attractive?
  • Is it too late to try to compete in the crowded space of combination with PD1 antibodies?  What other IO agents are likely to backbones of oncology franchises?
  • What will make my non-IO drug candidate compelling for partners and investors?

Download the white paper at this link.

CARB-XED, GARDP, ASM, and ESCMID hosted Antibiotic Bootcamps at ASM-ESCMID conference on antibiotic R&D

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and CARB-X hosted Antibiotic Bootcamps #1, #2, and #3 at the ASM-ESCMID conference September 5 – 8, 2017 in Boston, MA. Nearly 350 people registered for the full meetings with high attendance at each Bootcamp.

Bootcamp #1 included: “What makes a good hit? A good lead? How to determine structure/activity relationship (SAR) and why you should develop target product profiles (TPP) (and they should not be ‘dynamic’)” by authorities in the field, led by Lynn Silver.

Bootcamp #2 covered the challenges of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC), especially now that regulatory paths can be reduced by at least half with the GAIN Act, Orphan and Breakthrough designations and the recent Unmet Need guidelines – it can be a challenge for the CMC piece to keep up. Did you know that you can have CMC-focused engagement with FDA early on with the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality? Yes you can – and FDA invites you to do so. Amongst the presenters were Tim Keutzer and Evan Hecker of Powered By CARB-X company Spero Therapeutics.

Bootcamp #3 focused on the mysteries of antimicrobial susceptibility testing with practical, implementable suggestions and (painful) lessons learned about surveillance, microbiology clinical trial data and breakpoint NDA requirements from Kevin Krause of Powered By CARB-X company Achaogen. Just one example: whole genome sequencing (WGS) is now the standard for molecular characterization (vs PCR). But data interpretation methods are still in development, which can make evaluation of data challenging.

Access all valuable 2017 ESCMID/ASM slide decks:
Slides from Bootcamp #1 and #2 – here
Slides from Bootcamp #3 – here

Genentech Science Garage Ribbon-Cutting

Genentech CEO Bill Anderson at Science Garage ribbon-cutting

Genentech CEO Bill Anderson, South San Francisco Mayor Pradeep Gupta, SSFUSD school officials, Genentech volunteers, students and community supporters were on hand Tuesday September 5th at South San Francisco High School for the ribbon-cutting of the new Science Garage. The 6,900 square-foot state-of-the-art lab and classroom – part of a $7.8 million commitment from Genentech – will provide high school students with a multi-year hands-on biotech curriculum aimed at exposing students to biotech career and educational pathways.

Science Garage is part of Futurelab, a successful public-private partnership between Genentech and SSFUSD designed to build STEM competence and confidence for elementary through high school students in Genentech’s South San Francisco back yard. The program engages over 1,000 Genentech employees in providing mentoring, hands-on activities, science competition, school field trips and more for over 4,000 local students, as well as professional development for SSF high school teachers.

FAST & Fellows Round Up

August 2017

Read the latest in FAST and Fellows news:

  • CLSA Fellow Enable Biosciences wins Amgen Golden Ticket at QB3@953 | Read More
  • News about CLSA Fellow Meissa Vaccines:
    • $1.6m Fast Track SBIR grant for RSV vaccine candidate | Read More
    • Seed round investment from FundRx | Read More

To learn more about the CLSA Fellows program – the significantly discounted membership for life science startups – click here.

About FAST

The FAST (Fellows All-Star Team) Accelerator provides select entrepreneurs with intensive team review and coaching to perfect their business model, product development plans, and to build a compelling commercialization strategy. Experienced entrepreneurs, product and business experts (which may include clinical development, regulatory, reimbursement, and business development specialists) will advise selected Fellows during a ten-to-twelve week program, culminating in a Final FAST Showcase to a broad audience that includes potential investors and partners.

NexGeneGirls Bootcamp and Summer Science Academy Celebration

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and NexGeneGirl participants, staff and supporter.

The 2017 NexGeneGirls Bootcamp and Summer Science Academy concluded with a gala event and poster presentation at UCSF Mission Bay on July 27th.  In addition to congratulatory remarks by the Honorable Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, the program included a keynote address by Dr. Joy L. Hightower, from Genentech’s Innovation, Diversity & Inclusion team, and a panel with the program’s high school participants and their internship mentors. CLSI President & CEO, Lori Lindburg, gave an address and, along with NexGeneGirls Founder Marlena Jackson, presented the NexGeneGirls with program certificates signed by the Mayor. The girls demonstrated their scientific know-how in poster presentations following the program.

The Celebration marked the culmination of the 2017 program, which began in spring with a Bootcamp in which NexGeneGirl participants gained mastery of basic laboratory techniques, such as pipetting, general biosafety, DNA extraction, and cloning and plasmid maps that they would apply in research projects over the summer.

Over six weeks this summer, the NexGeneGirls interned three days a week in labs and focused on the following research projects:

  • Trinity Boykin – Srivastava Lab, Cardiovascular disease, The Gladstone Institutes: Study the molecular mechanism of how the heart forms during embryonic development with the application of single cell RNA-sequencing
  • Lizzeth Canche-Palomo – McCormick Lab, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, Mission Bay Campus: Examine the dependency of MAPK and phosphoinostide 3-kinese (PI3K) signaling on growth factors amongst the frequently mutated KRAS oncogenes in the absence of the other RAS proteins
  • Jaline Chan – Weiss Lab, Dept of Psychiatry and Institute of Human Genetics, UCSF, Parnassus Campus: Study known genes that causes autism and how autism affects the formation of the brain
  • Jade Despanie – Domingo Lab and Riggs Lab, Dept. of Biology, SFSU: Examine the role of intracellular membranes in mitotic events using the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, for in vivo cellular imaging and genetic analysis
  • Jashonna Jordan-Davis – Domingo Lab and Riggs Lab, Dept. of Biology, SFSU: Study how muscle cells form during embryogenesis using the African clawed frog to understand how an undifferentiated cell in the early embryo becomes a muscle cell at the right time and place in the tadpole
  • Eyuche Okorie – Domingo Lab and Riggs Lab, Dept. of Biology, SFSU: Examine the role of intracellular membranes in mitotic events using the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, for in vivo cellular imaging and genetic analysis

When asked why science matters, NexGeneGirl Lizzeth Chanche-Palomo remarked: “Science matters to me because it makes me feel empowered. It is a way for me to break down barriers that say women, specifically Latinas, can’t do science. Apart from that, with science I know I could potentially make the world a better place by making advancements that can benefit my community.”

One of the key elements of the program’s success was its incorporation of a multigenerational teaching model. During the spring Bootcamp, community college Stem Cell students taught laboratory techniques to the NexGeneGirl participants.  During the NexGeneGirls Summer Academy, when they were not in their internships, NexGeneGirls led hands-on science experiments with elementary- and middle-school females one day per week at the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club. In addition to reinforcing the learning and developing confidence of student “teachers,” the younger students were inspired to learn from high school females who looked like them. CLSI also brought in women professionals to lead workshops and to assist with poster presentations and college prep.

For more information on the NexGeneGirls program, contact Marlena Jackson (

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