CBF Celebrates Life Science Trailblazers During Women’s History Month

Monthly Newsletter

CBF Celebrates Life Science Trailblazers During Women’s History Month


March 2023

In recognition of Women’s History Month, CBF is celebrating brilliant scientific minds and their contributions to the life sciences industry. These individuals are disrupting norms, setting precedents, leading next generation treatments — and also happen to be women. From life-changing discoveries to groundbreaking technologies, these women have changed the course of history for the better and are making history as we speak.

Amy Butler, PhD, a former developmental neuroscientist at the Salk Institute, is the President of San Diego-based Thermo Fisher Scientific where she leads a multi-billion-dollar business focused on delivering innovative products and services that support customers in cell and gene therapy, nucleic acid therapeutics, synthetic biology and gene expression profiling.

Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD was the scientific lead of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the U.S. National Institutes of Health where her research focused on coronavirus biology and vaccine development. Her research led to the groundbreaking discovery that a stabilized version of a spike protein, which is found on the surface of all coronaviruses, would be a key target for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. Her work continues to change the lives of people across the world.

Janet Franklin, MD is the Vice President of Global Development Biosimilars at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA. Janet’s professional journey began as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She then made the leap to Amgen where she is responsible for every aspect of clinical development programs in bringing cost-saving biosimilar treatments to market. She also leads the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) council in Amgen’s R&D organization.

Rachel Haurwitz, PhD is CEO of Berkeley-based Caribou Biosciences where she focuses on CRISPR-based technologies and has been featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40”.

Elizabeth Jeffords is the CEO and President of Iolyx Therapeutics, a Burlingame-based company which focuses on the prevention and treatment of ophthalmological, immunological, and inflammatory diseases and disorders.

Magda Marquet, PhD is the co-founder of ALMA Life Sciences, an early-stage investment firm in La Jolla, CA creating and growing innovative healthcare companies. In 1998, she started her first company, Althea Technologies, which became a leading provider of contract services to the biotech industry worldwide. She also co-founded a spinoff operation, AltheaDX, a molecular diagnostics company specializing in personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics to treat patients with anxiety and depression.  

Lisa Sellers, PhD is the CEO at Bay Area Vector Labs. a top innovator in immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and glycobiology products used for scientific discovery. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, she is an accomplished leader and mentor in life sciences.

Nancy Stagliano, PhD is the CEO at Neuron23 a South San Francisco life sciences company that combines cutting-edge data science and human genetics to create precision medicines that fight debilitating diseases. Holding degrees in neuroscience as well as biomedical and electrical engineering, Nancy has been the CEO of three successful life science companies.

Aetna Wun Trombley, PhD is the CEO of South San Francisco-based life science company Lycia which is developing therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune conditions.

Alice Zhang, PhD is the CEO and Co-founder of VergeGenomics, a South San Francisco life science company that uses artificial intelligence to develop better drugs, faster for diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease. She has been recognized for her work as a Fortune 40 Under 40 winner and as a recipient of Fierce Pharma’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences.

Learn more about other women leading the way and making history in life sciences:

2022 Fiercest Women in Life Sciences highlights women who are making strides not only in their scientific fields but also in leveling the metaphorical field to ensure even more women can follow in their footsteps in the decades to come.

Women In Bio is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for all women in the life sciences.

Association for Women in Science (AWIS) champions the interests of women in science across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, AWIS strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential.

Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this industry by visiting CABiotech.org

If you have any questions about hosting informational briefings for your colleagues serving in the legislature, contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].