CONNECT and Xconomy announced this week that Napoleone Ferrara, molecular biologist, senior deputy director for Basic Sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, former Genentech fellow and recipient of numerous awards including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013), The Economist Innovation Award in Bioscience (2012), the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award (2010), will join the Rock Stars of Innovation Summit on April 12 as the closing keynote speaker.
Ferrara was recently honored as one of the first winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Award – a $3 million prize founded by Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri Milner, which recognizes excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. He was also awarded the 2012 Innovation Award for Biosciences by The Economist. After 24 years at Genentech (where his research earned a Lasker Award in 2010), Ferrara joined UC San Diego as a distinguished professor of pathology and as senior deputy director for basic sciences at the Moores Cancer Center.
Ferrara, who is credited with helping decipher how tumors grow and whose research in angiogenesis paved the way for the development of therapies for cancer and eye diseases, will present the Summit closing keynote to an audience consisting of academic leaders and life science and technology executives, leading venture capitalists, corporate venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers.
The opening keynote speaker at this year’s Summit will be Chris Anderson, former WIRED editor-in-chief, CEO of 3D Robotics, and author of best-selling book The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business is Selling Less of More and Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Other speakers include: Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Life, Inc.; Scott Lippman, director, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Mark Stevenson, president and COO, Life Technologies Corporation; Cyrus Mirsaidi, CEO, Molecular Response, LLC; Ben Cravatt, chairman of the department of chemical physiology, The Scripps Research Institute; Jerel Davis, investment professional, Versant Ventures, Inc.; Peppi Prasit, founder and CEO, Inception Sciences, Inc.; David Cremin, founder and managing director, DFJ Frontier; Paul Santinelli, partner, North Bridge Venture Partners; Melissa Fitzgerald, head, Strategic Research Partnerships, Pfizer Inc.; Amir Nashat, general partner, Polaris Venture Partners; and Lisa Suennen, managing member, Psilos Group.
The Rock Stars of Innovation Summit (previously the La Jolla Research & Innovation Summit) is the premier life sciences and technology industry conference in Southern California for bridging the gap between scientific research and venture capital and will take place on April 11-12 at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. In its fifth year, the Summit is expected to draw over 250 leading venture capitalists, corporate venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, academic leaders and life sciences and technology executives.