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Executive Team

Edward W. Holmes, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer

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.

Dr. Holmes holds a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Louis Coffman, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Louis (“Louie”) Coffman is the Chief Operating Officer of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Louie began his career in public accounting and commercial finance. Thirty years ago, he transitioned to the nonprofit sector. Since then, he has helped to organize and operate several independent research institutes which include the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (La Jolla, CA), the Institute for Systems Biology (Seattle, WA), the Center for Infectious Disease Research (“Center”) (Seattle, WA) and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, which now serves as the Chief Operating Officer

He and his wife of 35 years, Kathy, live on Bainbridge Island, WA with two Olde English Sheep dogs; are Mom and Dad to two sons, Ian, and Taylor. He enjoys music and reads a lot. He used to run and cycle…a lot, he completed the LA Marathon and the bicycle Team Race Across America…20 years ago. Since then, he has ‘lost’ ‘some’ fitness. But ‘relentlessly curious’, continues to look for it every day!

Kim Witmer, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Kim Witmer is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Salk Institute. She oversees all financial activities of the Salk, including financial reporting and treasury functions, research accounting, annual budgets, procurement, grants administration and endowment/investment management.  Prior to joining the Salk, Ms. Witmer worked for the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche.

Ms. Witmer also acts as past President of AIRI, the Association of Independent Research Institutes, as well as serving on AIRI’s Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee. AIRI brings together nearly 100 independent, not-for-profit biomedical and behavioral research institutes whose mission is to enhance the ability of its members to improve human health and advance knowledge.

Ms. Witmer is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.S. in business administration from San Diego State University.

Robin Samit, Vice President & Secretary

Robin Samit is the Associate Dean of Health Sciences at UC San Diego overseeing
affiliate and industry affairs for the School of Medicine, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the UC San Diego Health System. Ms. Samit has also served as founding Chair of the Law & Medicine Section of the San Diego County Bar Association, and as a board member or officer of several San Diego nonprofit organizations. Ms. Samit holds a B.A. from UCLA, a J.D. from California Western School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in California.