San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic: a Recap
In August, San Diego: Life. Changing., a program of San Diego Regional EDC, wrapped up a series of virtual events highlighting the innovation economy and spirit of collaboration that exist in San Diego. The series looked at how the life sciences industry is playing a role in shaping the pandemic, and life after the pandemic, for our region.
The series kicked off in May through a partnership with Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., featuring a research institution searching for a vaccine, a therapeutics company working on a treatment, and a med-tech company developing ventilators and other devices to aid in COVID-19 treatment. The expert panel included Dr. Sumit Chanda, professor and director at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; Joseph E. Payne, president and CEO of Arcturus Therapeutics; and John Stevens, VP of IT at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
San Diego: where collaboration happens.
The scientists that participated in the first webinar agreed that the collaborative spirit of San Diego is what makes the life-changing work that happens here possible. Dr. Chanda stated:
“I don’t know if it’s the weather or the synergy, but the partnerships that happen here don’t happen anywhere else. We are working with Scripps, UC San Diego, and a number of local companies across different disciplines.”
Stevens agreed, in saying: “The partnerships are really important – different companies with everyone working together is truly how we’re going to combat this going forward.”[Thermo Fisher] has leveraged a lot of great relationships in the San Diego area. New partnerships come in every day, and I think it’s important to keep working together as one team.”
Then, in June, EDC partnered with investor Illumina to have genomics experts weigh in on the pandemic. We were joined by Gary Schroth, distinguished scientist and Vice President at Illumina, and James Lu, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Helix. Gary and James helped us untangle the complicated world of DNA and understand how next-generation genome sequencing is helping scientists understand the intricacies of COVID-19.
In July, we took a break from the scientists and heard from some of San Diego’s top hiring professionals as they shared pro tips for finding new career opportunities during the global pandemic. Jessica Serrano, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition and Talent Systems at Lytx; Chris Shoemaker, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at MindTouch; and Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement for Sony North America shared their recommendations for finding and starting a new job while navigating this new remote-first environment. All three of these companies, and so many others, are still hiring for positions that could lead to a meaningful career in San Diego.
Stay inspired, San Diego.
Finally, with the help of trusted investor West Health, we wrapped the San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic webinar series up with a look at what he region is doing to ensure our senior population is receiving the care they deserve in a safe and accessible way as they continue to be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Moderated by Dr. Zia Agha, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of West Health, the conversation hit on the most important topics from food security for older adults, to dental care, to healthcare policies that will ensure long term success…as well as what WE can do to help the seniors in our community.
If you were able to tune in to our series, we hope that it provided you with some insight on the ongoing and impactful efforts of some of San Diego’s brightest, in a time in our world when we need it most. As always, San Diego steps up to change lives.