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Biocom California Institute Appoints New Members to Its Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO & LOS ANGELES & SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–()–Biocom California Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports life science innovation by strengthening the workforce and leaders of tomorrow, announced that it has added Susie Harborth, executive vice president of business operations at Breakthrough Properties; Stacy Solorio, vice president of human resources at Karius; Deborah Wafer, medical scientist at Gilead and Willie Zuniga, president of Grifols Biologicals to its board of directors. They join current members Steve Mento, serial entrepreneur; Paul Negulescu, senior vice president and site head, San Diego research of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Joe Panetta, chief executive officer and president of Biocom California and David Webb, chief executive officer of Synbal.

“The next several years promise to be exciting ones for the Biocom California Institute,” said Karmin Noar, executive director of Biocom California Institute. “With the continued growth of the California life science industry, a talented, trained, diverse and educated workforce is needed. At Biocom California Institute, we are committed to growing the life science talent pipeline, and the board of directors will play a central role in this important work. We are thrilled to welcome members with diverse and extensive industry knowledge to help us further our mission to prepare and diversify the life sciences workforce.”

Ms. Harborth is the executive vice president of business operations at Breakthrough Properties, a life science real estate development company that leverages cross-sector collaboration to deliver environments that foster innovation and scientific breakthroughs. She has nearly 20 years of strategy and operations experience working with biotech and tech startups, including as an entrepreneur and investor. Prior to joining Breakthrough, where she oversees a global property operations platform, Ms. Harborth was co-founder and chief operations officer of BioLabs, and partner and chief financial officer of Mission BioCapital.

Ms. Solorio is a strategic, versatile and business-focused human resources leader leveraging a wealth of experience developing and delivering on HR strategies for organizations undergoing rapid growth and change. As a Biocom California member for the last five years, Ms. Solorio has been actively involved by serving as a trustee on the beyond benefits trust, chairing the planning committee and speaking at the HR Biocom California Conference and most recently brought together the HR Biotech Group and Biocom California Institute to provide another value add to Biocom California’s members.

Ms. Wafer currently works on HIV prevention at Gilead Sciences, where she provides education to healthcare providers on PEP, PrEP and other prevention modalities. She is an accomplished marketing professional with demonstrated experience in developing innovative programming and tools designed to engage healthcare provider’s staff, patients and communities. Previously, Ms. Wafer was a clinician at UCLA Medical Center in the Clinical AIDS Education and Research Center (CARE Center), and she has worked at the King/Drew Medical Center in the Department of Family Medicine, Community Medicine and Ob/GYN.

Mr. Zuniga has been the president of Grifols Biologicals since 2003 and is responsible for overseeing 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.

About Biocom California Institute

Biocom California Institute is a 501(c)(3) that accelerates the growth of California’s life science ecosystem through innovative workforce development and life science education programs and strategies. We identify solutions to address employers’ workforce needs, conduct research and support the current and emerging life sciences workforce through professional development and outreach. With a goal to build a highly skilled and diverse talent pipeline and promote lifelong learning, Biocom California Institute supports life science innovation and success state-wide and in our local communities. Biocom California Institute is an affiliate of Biocom California, the largest and most experienced advocate for California’s life science sector. For more information on Biocom California Institute, please visit our website at and connect with us on Twitter (@BiocomInstitute).


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