CBF Celebrates Hispanics and Latinos in Science During National Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
As we reflect on the deep history of Latin and Hispanic nations, this year and always, CBF celebrates the achievements of Hispanic and Latino individuals who have eliminated barriers and have led the way in some of the biggest milestones in the sciences, medicine, and biotechnology—here’s a list of important scientific innovators you should know.
- Victor Bulto is head of U.S. Pharmaceuticals for Novartis and President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, US, where he leads the company’s portfolio of pharmaceuticals including expected upcoming launches of new, transformative medicines in the U.S. The Spanish executive has worked across many therapeutic areas of the company, including U.S. Immunology, Hepatology, and Dermatology. Previously, he was Head of the U.S. Alcon Pharmaceuticals business as well as Head of Neuroscience in Europe.
- Grace E. Colón is the President and Chief Executive Officer of InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. who brings years of experience in biopharma, genomics, healthcare, and industrial biotechnology. In her tenure as President and CEO of InCarda Therapuetics, Inc., the company is in the process of developing InRhythm™ for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation.
- Richard A. Gonzalez is the Chairman and CEO of global pharmaceutical company AbbVie. During his tenure at the helm of AbbVie, the company has been conducting important work through a strategic collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to develop a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiator compound.
- Dr. Antonia Novello made history when she was appointed U.S. Surgeon General as both the first Hispanic person and the first woman to serve in the role. Novello was a Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Prior to her appointment as U.S. Surgeon General, Novello spent much of her career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), joining in 1978 and ultimately becoming the deputy director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 1986. After leaving the role of U.S. Surgeon General, Novello became a representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), continuing her work in public health advocacy.
- Diana Ramos, MD is California’s new Surgeon General and the first Latina to hold the position. Dr. Ramos has more than three decades of cross-cutting experience and expertise with a focus on health equity and reproductive health. Previously, she served at the California Department of Public Health’s Center for Healthy Communities, where she oversaw the state’s public health and prevention programs.
- Dr. Helen Rodríguez Tríaswas a public health expert and women’s rights activist. She pioneered the standards of care that became the nationwide model for HIV/AIDS treatment. Besides her U.S.-based work, she advocates for patients’ rights and public health around the world. Rodríguez-Trías became the first Hispanic woman to lead the American Public Health Association.
- Dr. Nora Volkow– Thanks in large part to Volkow, addiction is now understood to be a disease of the brain. Her revolutionary work has made the use of brain imaging common in developing a better understanding of the addictive properties of abusable drugs. Beyond drug addiction, Volkow’s groundbreaking work has led to a better understanding of ADHD, aging, and the neurobiology of obesity. She has been the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health since 2003.
- Willie Zuniga – has more than four decades of experience in the healthcare sector. Most recently he served as president of Grifols Biologicals, located in Los Angeles, CA between 2003 and 2022, where he oversaw more than 900 employees working in manufacturing, quality, facilities, finance and compliance training operations. He is a champion for education and workforce development in the County of Los Angeles. Mr. Zuniga previously served on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board with the mayor and the city council to develop strategic initiatives, encourage regional training investments and coordinate development efforts in the area. He currently serves on the board of the Biocom California Institute.
For more information, contact Patty Cooper with the California Biotechnology Foundation at 916-764-2434 or [email protected].