USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Vasiliki Anest, PhD

Chief Innovation Officer

Dr. Anest serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for USC Norris. She leads the development of innovation strategies and builds high‐value industry collaborations and strategic partnerships throughout USC and externally. 

Dr. Anest also serves as Senior Director of Business Development and Industry Relations at the MESH Academy and Business Director of the Rosalie and Harold Rae Brown Center for Cancer Drug Development at USC Norris. She has forged collaborative relationships and formulated unique partnering strategies with university, government, and industry partners. Dr. Anest joined USC in 2013 from Life Technologies Corporation, where she held positions of growing responsibility in R&D (epigenetics), global market development (oncology), and global external R&D (collaborations and strategic alliances). This collective experience spanned functional and divisional boundaries to identify, evaluate, and execute on project- and alliance-based business models to drive organizational profitability. Dr. Anest is a long-time champion of innovation and collaboration, participating in USC-wide efforts such as the Innovation Council as well as external bioscience ecosystem initiatives. Dr. Anest was recently elected to the Board and Strategic Steering Committee for the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and the Steering Committee for the Heal.LA Bioscience Accelerator. She brings over 15 years of experience in research and development, academic-industry relations, strategic partnerships, business development, and innovation management.

Dr. Anest earned a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego; a PhD in genetics and molecular biology in Dr. Albert Baldwin’s lab at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina; and was a postdoctoral fellow focusing on epigenetics with Dr. C. David Allis at The Rockefeller University.