Tom Cohen

Tom is an entrepreneur and scientist focused in the molecular diagnostic industry. He is his currently CEO of Nanopore Diagnostics, a biotechnology startup developing a rapid test for diagnosing bacterial infections.  Tom has lead Nanopore Diagnostics from early-stage idea into a seed-funded company currently developing their product in Saint Louis, MO. Prior to Nanopore Tom completed a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from UC San Diego, and then conducted postdoctoral work in diagnostic technology development at Washington University in Saint Louis. He was involved in non-profits promoting entrepreneurship throughout his academic career serving as CEO of The UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, which hosts a business plan competition for student-lead ventures, and then helping co-found The BALSA Foundation, a non-profit that offers grants and resources to first time entrepreneurs from under-represented backgrounds.

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Rajesh Grover

Dr. Grover is a Scientist Entrepreneur, and Innovator. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and Visiting Investigator in the Synthetic Biology and Bio-energy Group at J Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla. He is a co-founder of a material science company. He is a former leader of the Entrepreneur Challenge and over the years has contributed tremendously to the growth of the organization. To inspire others and empowering them to turn their idea into startups, he has co-directed and co-produced a documentary film name “Risking Aspirations,” which explores people's passions that drive them to face the challenges of entrepreneurship, and to succeed. 



Dany Kitishian

As CEO for the Entrepreneur Challenge from 2008-2009, Dany was able to take his business connections through the Rady MBA program and integrate it with a robust workshop series. He was able to get key sponsors such as DLA Piper and The Jacobs Family and raise over $100,000 for the Entrepreneur Challenge.


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John Yamauchi

John was the CEO for the Entrepreneur Challenge from 2007-2008 and graduate as a PhD from UCSD. He is a Life-Science Entrepreneur focused on the commercialization and tech transfer of innovative medical technologies. His current role at Natera, Inc interfaces with large hospital networks and reference labs in the Central States for logistics and contracting. He is also a co-founder for ChemoTactics which sells modified chemokine proteins for research purposes.