Today we’d like to introduce you to Dina Lozofsky.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Dina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m an Angeleno by birth and the first person in my family to be born in the US. Most of my journey has been in Los Angeles, though I had an eye-opening six years in Boston. I attended MIT and worked at the Space Engineering Research Center there for a couple of years after graduating, where I was able to help design and build experiments that went up in the space shuttle. I am adventurous and have embraced serendipity and hard work as the twin pillars of my career journey. This philosophy has served me well.
It ultimately led to my starting out as an Aerospace Engineer, then spending time in the environmental remediation department of ARCO, working in USC’s Office of Technology Transfer (now known as the Steven’s Center for Innovation) while working on my MBA, as well as spending time working for UCLA and a solar startup that spun out of UCLA. Today, I am the Executive Director for Biocom’s Los Angeles office and it is a great fit for my background, experience, and passions. I came to Biocom after a long and exciting road that included both successes and setbacks. Whenever someone gave me the opportunity to try something completely new and ability-stretching, I always said yes; it’s the adventure-seeker in me.
I came to Biocom in 2016 – I was working at UC Santa Barbara and still living in Encino. I was part of the office that managed new technologies coming out of the university and led a program to mentor startup companies. I learned that Biocom, the renown advocate for the California life science industry, was looking to open an office in Los Angeles. I was intrigued – I’d always known that LA has a strong life science industry and it has always fired me up that it is not better recognized. For such a high-profile group to recognize what LA had to offer was very exciting to me. I sought them out and, luckily, they chose me to open the office.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I mentioned before that I like to try new things – well, you can’t do that without risking failure. We can’t expand our knowledge base and abilities without risk, so of course, there have been bumps in the road. I look back on them sometimes and I don’t regret them at all – I learned so much from my most difficult experiences.
One example for you – I joined a startup company in 2008 that spun out of UCLA. As with the majority of startups, the path was not smooth at all and when they were experiencing funding issues, I had to leave. I learned a lot from the startup experience – you can read all the articles you want, but there is no substitute for trying it out yourself, particularly when it comes to fundraising. I use everything I learned from that experience daily, both to help mentor companies and to support all of our smaller Biocom members.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Biocom is the largest, most experienced leader and advocates for California’s life science sector. We work on behalf of more than 1,000 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.
Founded in 1995 in San Diego, Biocom provides the strongest public voice to research institutions and companies that fuel the local and statewide economy. Our goal is simple: to help our members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. In addition to its San Diego headquarters and the LA office, Biocom operates satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, and has a continuous staff presence in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. Our broad membership benefits apply to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and diagnostics companies of all sizes, as well as to research universities and institutes, clinical research organizations, investors and service providers.
As I mentioned before, I was thrilled to open our LA office. I think that our industry sector is not well recognized in LA and I want to change that. We get asked all the time, “Why Los Angeles?”. It’s my favorite question because Los Angeles has so much to offer. It is often overlooked as a driver of life science innovation despite generating an estimated $40.3 billion in economic activity, according to Biocom’s 2017 Economic Impact Report. In addition, Los Angeles’ nearly 600 life science companies and leading academic/medical research centers, capture almost $1B in NIH funding annually. Yes, that IS more than the Bay Area!
The roots of our efforts in Los Angeles began to take shape in 2014 when the L.A. County Board of Supervisors commissioned the Battelle Memorial Institute to study the local life science cluster. Their report, like the region’s impressive economic numbers, indicated that the local bioscience industry had the potential to grow into a national life science powerhouse. As a result of this study, the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and Biocom were chosen to catapult the local life science industry to national prominence, which directly resulted in Biocom opening its office in the spring of 2016.
The office quickly grew to a staff of 5 employees with a focus on leveraging the resources, programs, and initiatives that drove San Diego’s success as a global life science player. Biocom’s Los Angeles programs are tailored to accelerate member success with targeted programs and customized services that reflect the many unique aspects of the life science industry in the greater L.A. region.
It is not just Biocom, LAEDC and the County that are excited about promoting this industry in Los Angeles. We are working closely with Mayor Garcetti’s office on several initiatives to support the growing industry here and also helping to train and prepare other Angelinos for this exciting industry sector. I am proud to serve on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, to be involved in the steering committee for the City of STEM science festival which will be held in April and work with our partners at Cal State LA on LA Biostart, an entrepreneurs boot camp.
- Address: 444 S. Flower St, Suite 1780
Los Angeles, CA 90071
- Website: biocom.org
- Phone: 213-943-2920
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