......... June 21st 2017
Launching at BIO 2017

IMPACT will showcase exceptional and compelling San Diego researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovation partners to an audience of investors, foundations, family offices, and corporations. The format will rotate between impact talks by scientists making life changing discoveries; panel discussions on trends in commercialization; and crossfire conversations with research and industry collaborators.

Join us and our partners - La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, The Salk Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and UC San Diego for the kick off of IMPACT!


  • Joint Presentation: Nicholas Cosford, Ph.D., Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, & Reuben Shaw, Ph.D., Salk Institute
  • Stephen P. Schoenberger, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, San Diego Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, and Human Longevity, Inc.
  • Valentino Gantz, Ph.D., UC San Diego


Nicholas Cosford, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Translational Research, NCI-Designated Cancer Center
Professor, Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Nicholas Cosford has spent more than 25 years assembling small molecules into disease-fighting chemical compounds. Dr. Cosford, who is Director of Translational Research in the Institute’s NCI-designated Cancer Center, has a distinguished record of drug development that includes more than 40 issued patents and more than 40 additional patent applications pending. His SBP research team probes the interactions of drug candidates with proteins and cellular signaling pathways that play a role in cancer, neurological disorders, and infectious diseases.

Valentino Gantz, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
UC San Diego

Valentino Gantz is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Section of Cell & Developmental Biology at UC San Diego. During his time as a graduate student, Valentino conceived and tested a new application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The resulting technology, the mutagenic chain reaction or MCR, sprouted the novel research field of “Active Genetics” the fundamental property of which is the super-Mendelian inheritance of desired traits. Valentino is also a co-founder of Synbal, Inc. “The Active Genetics Company” which aims to commercialize this platform technology with applications in drug discovery, human therapy, and agriculture. Valentino obtained his Biotechnology Bachelor's degree in 2006 from the University of Bologna,Italy. He continued with his Master’s degree in “Industrial biotechnologies” at the same university and finished his studies there in 2008. During this period, he worked as an exchange student at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, CA) studying the biology of the telomeres in yeast, before joining the Bier laboratory at UCSD as a graduate student, and then later as a postdoc.

Reuben Shaw, Ph.D.
Director, Salk NCI-Designated Cancer Center
Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

After receiving his Ph.D. at MIT in 1999 in Dr. Tyler Jacks lab and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in Dr. Lewis Cantley’s lab, Reuben Shaw started at the Salk Institute as an Assistant Professor in 2006.  He was the recipient of several young investigator awards including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist Award.  In 2014 he was promoted to Full Professor and in January 2016, he succeeded Tony Hunter to become the Director of the Salk NCI-Designated Basic Cancer Center.  Research in the Shaw lab at the Salk Institute focuses on the LKB1-AMPK pathway, a central energy-sensing pathway in all eukaryotic cells that reprograms metabolism in low nutrient conditions, which is altered in a large percentage of lung cancer.  Metformin the most widely used diabetes therapeutic in the world and activation of LKB1-AMPK is critical for its therapeutic action.  Decoding this cellular starvation pathway has led to many new therapeutic targets in cancer and metabolic disease.  

Stephen P. Schoenberger, Ph.D.
Professor, Laboratory of Cellular Immunology
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Director of Translational Science
San Diego Center for Cancer Immunotherapy

Head of Cancer Vaccines
Human Longevity, Inc.

Dr. Schoenberger is a Professor in the Laboratory of Cellular Immunology and Co-Director of the San Diego Center for Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy, as well as Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from UCLA in 1993 and completed postdoctoral training in Immunohematology and Tumor Immunology at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. Dr. Schoenberger was appointed to LIAI’s faculty in 1998 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002, gained Tenure in 2005, and became a Professor in 2007. He is a recipient of Scholar Awards from both the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.


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