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Board of Directors

Malin Burnham – Chair

As of January 2008, Malin Burnham is the retired chairman of John Burnham & Company Insurance and Burnham Real Estate and has been involved with these organizations since 1949. In addition to his involvement with the Burnham Companies, he has been active as a board member of several major corporations and 16 firms, in total. His present involvements include Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation Chairman’s Competitiveness Council, the San Diego Hall of Champions Foundation, UCSD Foundation and Rady School of Management. Burnham has chaired nine major non-profits and has co-founded 14 organizations in his career, most providing direct benefit to San Diego and the nation. He is a native San Diegan who graduated from Stanford University in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

T. Denny Sanford – Co-Chair

T. Denny Sanford is the chairman and CEO of United National Corp. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Mr. Sanford’s career as a businessman has been complemented by his extraordinary generosity as a philanthropist. Included among the numerous recipients of Mr. Sanford’s gifts, that total more than one billion dollars, are: the Edith Sanford Foundation for Breast Cancer that was created in 2012 by a gift of $100 million in honor of Mr. Sanford’s mother who died of breast cancer when he was four years old; the Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, which renamed itself Sanford Health in 2007, in recognition of a $400 million gift; a $125 million gift in 2014 to establish Sanford Imagenetics, a program that will integrate genomic medicine into primary care for adults; the University of California San Diego which received a $100 million gift for the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center in 2013 to accelerate the translation of stem cell research discoveries by advancing clinical trials and patient therapies; the Burnham Institute for Medical Research that received a $50 million gift in 2010, and recognized its appreciation for both this and a 2008 gift of $20 million to the Sanford Center for Childhood Disease research at Burnham by then changing its name to Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute; a $70 million gift to establish a particle physics laboratory named the Sanford Underground Research Facility; and the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine which received a gift of $30 million in 2008 and expressed its gratitude by renaming itself the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

Richard C. Atkinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Atkinson is president emeritus of the University of California and professor emeritus of cognitive science and psychology at the University of California, San Diego. He served as president of the UC system from 1995 to 2003, and before becoming president served for fifteen years as chancellor of UC San Diego. He is a former director of the National Science Foundation and was a long-term member of the faculty at Stanford University.

Dr. Atkinson’s scientific contributions have resulted in election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society. He is past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, former chair of the Association of American Universities, fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, and a mountain in Antarctica has been named in his honor.

Rusty Gage, Ph.D.

Rusty Gage is President of the Salk Institute. In addition, Gage is a professor and Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases in the Laboratory of Genetics. His work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. Gage’s efforts may lead to methods of replacing or enhancing brain and spinal cord tissues lost or damaged due to neurodegenerative disease or trauma. Dr. Gage earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and completed post-doctoral work at Lund University in Sweden, under the direction of cell transplantation pioneer Anders Bjorklund.

Gage has been elected to the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is also the past President of the Society for Neuroscience and recipient of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Neuroscience Award, the IPSEN Prize in Neuronal Plasticity, the Ameritec Award, the Metropolitan Life Award, the Charles A. Dana Award for Research in Aging, the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award, the Max-Planck Research Award, the Met-Life Award for Medical Research, the Klaus Joachim Zulch-Preis through the Max-Planck Society and the Gregory Pincus Award, and has been honored with the Christopher Reeve Research Medal.

Edward W. Holmes, M.D.

Edward W. Holmes, M.D., is a Distinguished Professor of the University of California and Vice Chancellor/Dean Emeritus of Health Sciences at UC San Diego. He is also Executive Deputy Chairman of the Biomedical Research Council and Chairman of the National Medical Research Council, Singapore.

Holmes has served on numerous advisory boards including the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health, the Board of Directors of Tularik, and the Scientific Advisory Board of GlaxoSmithKline which he chairs. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

He holds a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Pradeep K. Khosla, Ph.D.

Pradeep K. Khosla, an internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer, is the eighth Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, and a Distinguished Professor. At UC San Diego, he has initiated a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategic planning process to develop a vision and shared goals for the future of the campus. Before his current appointment, Dr. Khosla served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. There, he set the strategic direction for undergraduate and graduate education and research, and initiated undergraduate curriculum reform, successful diversity efforts, multidisciplinary research centers and graduate offerings, and international programs.

Dr. Khosla spent the majority of his career at Carnegie Mellon, rising through the ranks from his first position as Assistant Professor in 1986 to his appointment as Dean in 2004. From 1994 to 1996, he also served as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Program Manager in the Software and Intelligent Systems Technology Office, Defense Sciences Office and Tactical Technology Office, where he managed advanced research and development programs.

Dr. Khosla received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1980, and his MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering in 1984 and 1986 at Carnegie Mellon.

Peter G. Schultz, Ph.D.

Dr. Schultz is CEO of Scripps Research and Scripps Family Chair Professor of Chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology; was a postdoctoral scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; was Professor of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley; was a Principal Investigator at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; was founder and Institute Director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and the California Institute for Biomedical Research (CALIBR); and a founder of Affymax Research Institute, Syrrx, Kalypsys, Phenomix, SymyxTherapeutics, Ilypsa, Ambrx, Ardelyx, and Wildcat Technologies, pioneers in the application of diversity based approaches to problems in chemistry, materials science and medicine.

Dr. Schultz’ awards include the Waterman Award of the National Science Foundation, membership in the National Academy of Sciences and National Institute of Medicine, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Paul Ehrlich Prize, the Arthur C. Cope Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Solvay Prize. He has coauthored 500 scientific publications and trained over 300+ graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are on the faculties of major research institutions around the world.

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Kristiina Vuori is President of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Professor, and Pauline & Stanley Foster Presidential Chair. She earned her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Oulu, Finland. She received postdoctoral training at SBP in 1992-1995. Dr. Vuori was appointed to SB faculty in 1996. She was appointed Deputy Director of the Institute’s NCI-designated Cancer Center in 2003, and served as Director of the Cancer Center in 2005-2013. Dr. Vuori has been President of the Institute since 2010. She was appointed interim CEO in January, 2013.

Dr. Vuori has received numerous research grants and awards from NIH, NCI, DoD, and is an investigator of the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team. She serves on numerous advisory capacities to NCI and other cancer organizations. She has served on several NIH and DoD study sections, and serves on Board of Directors for American Association for Cancer Research and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She also serves on numerous editorial boards, scientific advisory boards, and as a consultant for pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, she is co-founder of three biotechnology companies. Orally bioavailable drugs to combat chemotherapy-induced anemia that have been developed based on Dr. Vuori’s discoveries are currently
in phase II trials.

Steven Garfin, MD

Steven Garfin, MD, is interim dean of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. In this role, he directs the school’s educational mission, including the evolution of its curriculum, and provides oversight for all academic and clinical departments and research units. He has a leadership role in all School of Medicine councils and collaborates with medical school deans across the five University of California medical campuses.

An internationally recognized leader in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Garfin joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty in 1981 and has served as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery since 1997. Under his oversight, the department received more than $21 million in annual grant funding and ranked nationally for research output.

Dr. Garfin is well established as a forward-thinking leader, having been involved in designing and assessing surgical techniques and instrumentation to treat spinal disorders. At UC San Diego Health, he was the first to articulate the need for a world-class ambulatory building to support Jacobs Medical Center, a vision that resulted in the opening of the Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion.

In his clinical practice, Dr. Garfin specializes in complex reconstructive spine surgery, but also provides treatment for all types of spine conditions, including adult scoliosis, disc herniation and spinal cord injury. He has received many awards for teaching, research, and clinical care, including work that has contributed to current international standards for spine surgery.

Dr. Garfin earned his medical degree at the University of Minnesota and completed both an internship in surgery and an orthopedic surgery residency at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in adult spine disorders at Pennsylvania Hospital.

He is a member or has served in leadership roles for several national and international spine societies, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS), the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the Lumbar Spine Research Society. He is a past president of the North American Spine Society (NASS), the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, and the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS). Dr. Garfin also serves on the Executive Governing Board for UC San Diego Health.

Among his many achievements, Dr. Garfin was named one of the top twenty-eight surgeons in the U.S. by Orthopedics This Week in 2012. In 2013, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine, and by NASS with both the Wiltse Award and the Selby Award.

Dr. Garfin has edited twenty-one books, authored more than 145 book chapters, and published over three hundred peer-reviewed articles. He is deputy editor of the Spine Journal, which has the highest impact factor of orthopedic specialty journals, and reviewer for a number of other orthopedic and spine peer-reviewed journals. His research awards include two Volvo Awards from ISSLS, multiple awards from NASS and CSRS, and the Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Recognition Award.

He was the director of all American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spine courses from 1990 to 1998, including the spine section of their instructional course lectures at annual meetings. He has also led or co-led a number of research grants supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, and industry. Additionally, Dr. Garfin has served as the national principal investigator for a number of clinical trials for innovative new technologies in Phase I testing or through clinical trials leading to FDA and Medicare approvals.

Richard Heyman, Ph.D.

Richard Heyman, Ph.D., is a founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Metacrine, Inc. He previously was founder and CEO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biotech company developing Selective Estrogen Receptor Degraders (SERDs) targeting estrogen dependent cancers. In August 2014, Genentech/Roche acquired Seragon. Prior to Seragon, Dr. Heyman co-founded and was CEO of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which developed next generation therapeutics for hormone dependent cancers based on new insights into molecular mechanisms of resistance. Johnson & Johnson purchased Aragon in August 2013 and simultaneous with this acquisition, Seragon Pharmaceuticals was spun out and created. Previously, he co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics, a company that developed compounds targeting nuclear receptors for the treatment of metabolic diseases, which was acquired by Exelixis in 2004. Prior to X-Ceptor, Dr. Heyman held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Research, where he served as project leader leading to the successful identification and development of Panretin® and Targretin®, retinoids approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents.

Dr. Heyman serves on the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and is a board member of Organovo Inc., and BIOCOM. He is also a member of the Therapeutic Advisory Board for aTyr Pharma and serves on the Executive Committee of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at the Salk Institute, working with Dr. Ronald Evans.

He received a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., is President & Chief Executive Officer of and a Professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Bundibugyo, and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses.

Prof. Saphire is currently leading a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported consortium to evaluate antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent and treat COVID-19. This consortium, CoVIC ( analyzes the world’s leading therapeutic candidates side-by-side, and uses LJI’s powerful pair of Titan Krios microscopes for high-resolution analysis of the antibody interactions.

She was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is directing this NIAID-supported organization. This consortium, Center of Excellence in Translational Research, unites forty-four previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, and other viruses. A recent discovery from Instructor Kathryn Hastie revealed why neutralizing antibodies had been so difficult to elicit against Lassa virus and provided not only the templates for the needed vaccine, but the molecule itself: a Lassa surface glycoprotein engineered to remain in the right conformation to inspire the needed antibody response. This molecule is the basis for international vaccine efforts against Lassa. Other work in their lab reveals how these and other viruses replicate and assemble using a variety of biophysical, biochemical, and immunological methods.

Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations using cryoelectron microscopy to further global health.