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SD2 expands its prestigious board

SD2 would like to give a warm welcome and introduction to our two new board members, Dr. Esther Martinborough and Carlos Ramirez! Dr. Martinborough is Senior Vice-President of Research at Escient Pharmaceuticals and has been an ally of SD2 from the beginning. Carlos Ramirez is a senior associate at Cooley LLP in San Diego, whose drive and compassion make him a perfect addition to the SD2 team. We are proud to collaborate with such accomplished individuals who are just as passionate about diversity and inclusion.








Dr. Esther Martinborough and Carlos Ramirez!


Media Contact: H. Puentes



San Diego Squared Expands Its Prestigious Board


SAN DIEGO – STEM nonprofit SD2 adds two new members to their industry leading board, the organization announced Thursday.


Dr. Esther Martinborough joins as a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Martinborough is the Senior Vice President of Research at Escient Pharmaceuticals and has served in this role since 2018. Previously, she was Executive Director of Research at Receptos-Celgene, where she headed the chemistry, biology, and pharmacokinetics efforts focused on the selection of strategic new drug discovery programs in neurology and metabolic diseases.


During her tenure leading chemistry efforts at Receptos from 2008 to 2015, she oversaw the discovery of ozanimod for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel diseases. This effort supported the development and regulatory approval of ozanimod which today is marketed as Zeposia® by Bristol Myers Squibb.


Dr. Martinborough has also held positions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Ligand, developing novel approaches to pain management and hormonal dysfunctions, respectively. She holds a doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology, Zurich, and performed her post-doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign.


She’s excited to join the board because “SD2 has the ability to open the eyes of students to the vast opportunities in STEM, focusing on those who have been underrepresented, and providing this talented pool of young people the guidance, support and mentorship that is critical for success in science and technology.”


Carlos Ramirez joins the board as an Ex-Officio member. A senior associate at Cooley LLP, he represents private and public companies in corporate and securities matters, including private financings, public offerings, M&A, corporate governance matters, and Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and compliance.


As an immigrant and first-generation professional, Ramirez is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and plans to share this passion while on the board at SD2. “SD2 is making incredible contributions to the San Diego community,” said Ramirez. “I am honored to join such an accomplished team and look forward to contributing to the advancement of SD2’s mission.”


He also serves as a member of Cooley’s firm-wide Diversity Committee and is actively engaged in the firm’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. He is an attorney mentor at LEAP (Legal Education Access Pipeline), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to diversify the legal profession by preparing underrepresented students to become law school applicants, lawyers, and agents of social change.


Ramirez also maintains an active pro bono practice and routinely counsels nonprofit clients throughout San Diego. He was honored with a Top Lawyers Under 40 Award by the Hispanic National Bar Association in 2020. He holds a B.B.A. and B.S.A. from Loyola Marymount University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.


“The vision and mission of SD2 are advanced by the additions of Esther and Carlos. Each of them provides role models for students from underserved communities who might become curious and committed to STEM or to disciplines that support our STEM-driven companies in San Diego.” said San Diego Squared Founder, Bill Rastetter, long-time San Diego biotech entrepreneur, scientist, philanthropist and venture capitalist currently serving as chair of the board of Neurocrine Biosciences, Fate Therapeutics, and Daré Bioscience, Inc. He is former chair of Illumina and is a founding board member and investor in Grail, Inc. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the Biotechnology Heritage Award, and is a member of the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.


About San Diego Squared (SD2)


San Diego Squared (SD2) is a San Diego STEM-focused non-profit established in summer 2020 to connect underrepresented students to the power of STEM by providing access to education, mentorship, and the resources they need to lead the talent pipeline. Our vision is to give students their best shot at the brightest future. Our mission is to build a community of leaders and mentors that inspire a new path, and a new model for success. Our network of advocates, mentors, and community leaders will guide students as they begin and develop their STEM careers. To learn more, support, and get involved, please visit


Empowering tomorrow’s STEM leaders today