Leadership

Lada Rasochova, PhD, MBA

Dr. Lada Rasochova is the Executive Director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID) at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, managing director of the Rady Venture Fund, founding director of StartR and mystartupXX accelerators, and CEO of Dermala Inc., an early stage biotech startup.  Dr. Rasochova has been involved in commercialization of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products for the past 25 years. She spent more than 15 years in pharma and biotech industry where she held various leadership positions, most recently as the Leader of Vaccine Technologies and Director of New Business Development in the Dowpharma division of the Dow Chemical Company. She built and managed the Human Vaccine division in Dow, led the development of novel vaccine and immunotherapeutic drug leads, and advanced several candidates into human clinical trials. Prior to Dow, she was with Mycogen, a San Diego biotechnology startup that was acquired by Dow Chemical in 1998. After joining the UC San Diego in 2009, Dr. Rasochova co-founded CIID that serves as the hub for innovation, entrepreneurial education and technology commercialization at UC San Diego. She started the Rady Venture Fund, a venture capital fund at the UC San Diego that invests in early stage technology ventures and provides hands-on education opportunities to UC San Diego students, StartR accelerator that provides support to emerging startup companies, and mystartupXX that supports the next generation of female founders and female-led technology startups. Dr. Rasochova serves as the advisor and board member of several startup companies, board member of the Center for Drug Discovery Innovation and NSF-supported Center for Aerosol Impact at UC San Diego and a judge for the Nokia XChallenge/XPrize, and Plug and Play competitions. She is the Astia Angels advisor. Dr. Rasochova is the faculty member at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. She teaches graduate level courses in Technology Commercialization and Venture Capital Management. Dr. Rasochova is a microbiologist/virologist by training; she received her Ph.D. in MCDB from ISU and MBA from UC San Diego. She is an inventor on several patents, author of a number of scientific publications, and recipient of numerous national and international awards, honors and recognitions.

Gwen Nero, PhD

Gwen recently completed a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Columbia University.  Her thesis work focused on military- and sport-related mild traumatic brain injuries, including seven peer-reviewed publications and sixteen conference abstracts.  Prior to her doctoral work, Gwen completed a bachelors in physics at Barnard College and two masters in biomedical engineering at Columbia University.  While completing her Ph.D., Gwen was heavily involved in creating the startup ecosystem and bridging laboratory benchwork to industry ventures in New York City.  Gwen served as Entrepreneurial Advisor for The Partnership Fund at the Partnership for New York City, a Fellow for Columbia Technology Ventures, Adjunct Teacher for the New York City Region National Science Foundation Innovation Corps, and Programs Manager for the early-stage technology incubator Harlem Biospace.  Gwen has extensive experience both in laboratory research as well as working with research scientists to create a business around early-stage technologies.   

Dennis Abremski

Dennis Abremski is the Executive Director of The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE). The Institute is a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management, dedicated to training global technology leaders and translating university discoveries to market. Abremski began his career as an engineer with the Department of Defense (DOD), which led to startup opportunities in the growing consumer WiFi market, and eventually to Qualcomm, where he collaborated with wireless carriers and industry partners to launch nationwide data services.   He then became a founder and startup executive, focusing on wireless technologies in markets ranging from consumer to enterprise, to Software as a Service (SAAS) and healthcare. Prior to joining the Jacobs School of Engineering, Abremski was the Vice President of SoCal EED, a non-profit organization focused on advancing early stage biomedical and personal health-related companies through accelerator and incubator programs.

Questions? Please contact Karen Jensen, CIID Program Manager, at khjensen@ucsd.edu