Speaker Profile

Senior Director of Research and Innovation, UCLA Health and David Geffen School of Medicine

In 2017, Desert Horse-Grant helped faculty entrepreneurs by advocating the need to support the funding gap between academic research and commercialization. Desert and her colleagues collaborated with the Technology Development Group, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering & Applied Science and the College’s Divisions of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences to present the first campus-wide biomedical competition in order to advance novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies. Desert previously directed Strategy & Ops for Seattle Translational Tumor Research, a multi-institute initiative centered at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and across UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Desert was instrumental in driving cooperative scientific ventures and partnering with faculty and research teams to identify and advance new research to be translated to patients. In 2015, Desert was named a Life Science Innovation Northwest Women to Watch by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association and was named one of 15 Women to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. Desert’s team created a novel biotool, Oncoscape, which was chosen as one of two social impact projects by GitHub during their 2016 global conference. Prior to Fred Hutch, Desert spent 13 years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, helping create their first Brain Tumor Center and Dept. of Neurosurgery. Concurrently, she was the Administrator and Education Director of a multi-million dollar U54 NIH grant to create a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and the Director of Education for a T32 NIH training grant that facilitated the development of researchers in computational and cancer biology. Desert’s career has been dedicated to supporting cutting-edge faculty research, in order to help technologies move from academia into everyday clinical use benefiting patients and transforming patient care.

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