California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) Adds Leaders from AbbVie, Merck and Lasana Partners to Board of Directors

Nov. 20, 2019 14:30 UTC



SAN FRANCISCO & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences sector, today announced the expansion of its board of directors, adding three new members. Joining the board are:

  • Mohit Trikha, Ph.D., Vice President, Head of Oncology Early Development & AbbVie Bay Area Site Head
  • Lesley Stolz, Ph.D., Managing Director, Lasana Partners
  • Grace Han McMahon, Head of Transactions, Pacific Innovation Hub, Business Development & Licensing, Merck Research Laboratories

“I’m pleased to welcome Mohit Trikha of AbbVie, Lesley Stolz of Lasana Partners and Grace Han McMahon of Merck Research Laboratories to the board of California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). The leadership and experience of these new members will further our collaboration with officials in Congress, Sacramento and throughout California to enhance the growth and strength of the state’s life sciences economy,” said Mike Guerra, President & CEO of California Life Sciences Association. “As we prepare to enter a new decade, the guidance of our knowledgeable board will be critical in CLSA’s efforts to drive continued momentum that benefits patients and sustains life sciences research, investment and innovation statewide.”

About Mohit Trikha, Ph.D., Vice President, Head of Oncology Early Development & AbbVie Bay Area Site Head

Dr. Trikha is the vice president and head of Oncology Early Development at AbbVie and responsible for advancing the oncology pipeline from candidate selection through clinical proof of concept. At AbbVie, he chairs the Early Development Advisory Council and is a member of multiple cross functional committees. He is a core member of AbbVie’s Oncology Licensing Committee and chairs multiple external collaborations. Dr. Trikha is also the Bay Area Site Head, responsible for defining and driving the mission and vision for AbbVie in the Bay Area and our future home in South San Francisco. Prior to AbbVie he was President and Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Triphase Accelerator, Board member of Triphase and EnCycle Therapeutics. Over his 20 years of oncology drug discovery and development experience, Dr. Trikha helped discover three now approved cancer medicines and contributed to advancing more than 20 oncology programs to clinical proof of concept while he was at Centocor/Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, Ambit, and Triphase Accelerator. Dr. Trikha continues to focus his science interests in advancing first or best in class oncology medicines, cell signaling, tumor immunology, apoptosis, protein homeostasis, CMC, PKPD, and biomarkers for predicting clinical response and toxicity. He received his B.S. from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from University of Southern California, and was an Assistant Professor of Research at Wayne State University prior to joining industry. View full biography.

About Lesley Stolz, Ph.D., Managing Director, Lasana Partners

Dr. Stolz has spent more than 15 years in executive positions in business and corporate development and operations in both large and small biopharmaceutical companies. Most recently she was Chief Business Officer at Annexon Biosciences, and prior to that she spent five years at Johnson & Johnson Innovation negotiating transactions and running the West coast JLABS business. She has over 25 years of industry experience working for companies that have been both technology platform and therapeutics focused. She has also held executive positions with BioTime, Inc., Sutro Biopharma, Inc., and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for corporate strategy, fundraising and all aspects of partnering. Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Director, Business Development for Aerovance, Inc., GPC Biotech AG in Munich, Germany, and several other companies. Dr. Stolz received her Ph.D. in chemistry and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. View full biography.

About Grace Han McMahon, Head of Transactions, Pacific Innovation Hub, Business Development & Licensing, Merck Research Laboratories

Grace serves as Head of Transactions for Merck’s BD&L Pacific Innovation Hub, which encompasses the North American West Coast and Asia Pacific. Her team is responsible for structuring and negotiating partnerships with companies that offer differentiated early-stage therapeutic opportunities. Grace re-joined Merck after five years at Genentech, where she led a team of transactional attorneys and negotiated collaboration, licensing, M&A and manufacturing transactions. Prior to Genentech, Grace was an in-house lawyer at Merck headquarters for 10 years, where she was the lead attorney on numerous early-stage, clinical and commercial transactions with biotech and biopharma companies in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, India and southeast Asia. In addition, Grace has experience working in Europe, where she helped launch U.S. internet companies and prior to that, in New York City, where she represented biotech and high technology companies as a law firm associate for Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Grace holds a M.B.A. from INSEAD in France and Singapore, a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. View full biography.

Learn more about CLSA’s board of directors. For high resolution headshots, contact Will Zasadny, CLSA’s Director of Communications (

  • Learn More about the California life sciences sector
  • View CLSA’s Legislative Action Center
  • Watch CLSA’s Faces of California Biomedical Innovation Web Series
  • View CLSA’s Advocacy Priorities
  • View upcoming CLSA events
  • Meet the CLSA Board of Directors

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
Will Zasadny | Director, Communications | 619-961-8848


Source: California Life Sciences Association

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