Bay area: at the crossroads of scientific innovation and business

  • Science
  • San Francisco
  • Fri, December 10, 2021
  • 4:30 pm — 8:00 pm
Bay area: at the crossroads of scientific innovation and business

The Embassy of Spain in the United States together with ECUSA organize a round table with high-level Spanish scientists located in California to analyze the role of Innovation and Scientific Research in the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area, which includes Silicon Valley, has become over the last few decades the world’s hub when it comes to technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This success is the result of a collaborative relationship between the universities of the region and the technology companies, which combined with venture capital and the great public investment have produced an unparalleled record in catalyzing revolutionary change on the commercialization of technology and science throughout the world.

Parallel to the development of technology and science as the engine of innovation, companies in this area have transformed their network-based business models interconnected between them and the universities of the area. In this context, a panel discussion entitled Putting together Science and Industry: “Bay area: at the crossroads of scientific innovation and business” will be held in San Francisco, in collaboration with ECUSA, and headed by Dr. Eva Nogales.


  • 4.30 pm–4.50 pm: Welcome
  • 5 pm–6 pm: Keynote speaker Eva Nogales – “Seeing is believing: learning about the building blocks of life by visualizing using Electron Microscopes”
  • 6 pm–7 pm: Panel discussion – “Life Sciences in Bay Area, at the cross-roads of scientific innovation and business”
  • 7 pm–8 pm: Networking.


  • Moderated by Doina Stratu-Strelet, Science Diplomacy Fellow at the Embassy of Spain, and Iratxe Zuazo-Gaztelu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at Genentech Inc.
  • Keynote speaker: Eva Nogales, PhD, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Profesor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Juan Lama, PhD, Founder and CSO at RetroVirox Inc.
  • Raul Garcia-Gonzalez, Manager, Veterinary Services at Genentech Inc.
  • Ernesto Criado-Hidalgo, PhD, Posdoctoral Scholar at Caltech.

Eva Nogales carried out her bachelor studies in Physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. During her graduate work at the Synchrotron Radiation Source in the UK, she used SAXS and cryo-EM to investigate the assembly of tubulin polymers. Her postdoctoral work in the lab of Ken Downing at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab produced the first atomic structure of tubulin using electron crystallography. She joined the Molecular and Cell Biology faculty at UC Berkeley in 1998. Since 2000 she is an HHMI Investigator. Presently she is a Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and a Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology in the MCB department at UC Berkeley and served as Head of that division from 2015 until 2020. Eva Nogales is the recipient of several awards, among them the Dorothy Hodgkin Award from the Protein Society, the Mildred Cohn Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Porter Lecture Award of the American Society for Cell Biology, the Biophysics Lecture Award from the Biophysical Society and the Grimwade Medal by the University of Melbourne. She is a fellow of the AAAS, the Biophysical Society, and the American Society for Cell Biology and served as President of the latter in 2020. Nogales is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Real Academia de Ciencias de España, and a foreign Associate of the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Juan Lama is a Ph.D. from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid with more that 25 years of virology experience working in renowned institutions in the US (Salk Institute, University of California San Diego) and abroad (Pasteur Institute, Paris; Center for Molecular Biology, Madrid). Currently he is the Founder and CSO of RetroVirox Inc. The company has large experience in public-private collaboration as beneficiary of seven NIH grant awards totaling over $5M to fund the company’s R&D projects. He also implemented the contract research organization (CRO) unit at RetroVirox offering antiviral testing to companies worldwide during the COVID pandemic.

Raul Garcia-Gonzalez graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1991. He joined the company Kubus S.A. In 1993 as a veterinary specialist in pig reproduction and artificial insemination. In the mid-2000s, he moved to San Francisco to start working in the field of biotechnology, firstly working for a start-up where he ran the cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization laboratory for knockout mouse strains. In early 2003, he joined Genentech-Roche, where he has held various roles within the Laboratory Animal Resources department, and currently manages the veterinary services. Raul has a master’s degree in laboratory animal science from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in photography and visual Arts from the City College of San Francisco, as well as several certifications from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences (AALAS).

Ernesto Criado Hidalgo obtained the title of Senior Aeronautical Engineer from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2008, receiving several awards, including the honor of being the first Spanish winner in the European Pegasus competition, which brings together the best PFCs from all European aeronautical schools. In February 2009 and after a brief stay at Industria de Turbopropulsores (ITP) he joins the R&D department of the SME SEADM, where he worked on vapor analysis applied to the detection of explosives in charge aerial, early diagnosis of diseases and biometric identification. From 2011 to the end of 2012, he worked as a visiting researcher at Yale University in New Haven, CT, focusing his research on the analysis of large biomolecules by combined technique of electric mobility analysis and mass spectrometry, which intensifies his interest in a scientific career in the United States. Consequently, and thanks to a scholarship from the La Caixa Foundation, in 2013 he began a doctoral program in biomedical engineering at the University of California San Diego. In 2020 he gets the scholarship postdoctoral fellow James Boswell of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he works as postdoctoral researcher developing new technologies to facilitate function control in the nervous system non-invasively by ultrasound.


Venue map

Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110



Organized by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with ECUSA, California-Spain Chamber of Commerce, and Fundación Ramón Areces.



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