Merrilyn Datta, Ph.D.

Merrilyn Datta fell in love with science when she was 7 years old and first saw a cell under a microscope. From there she gained a passion for how science and technology can improve society. Merrilyn is a life sciences and technology executive with 20+ years experience the commercialization of technology. She has led businesses and crafted strategies across multiple markets from genomics to gene delivery to digital pathology. Merrilyn began her career by joining Invitrogen in 1997 where she had multiple positions in marketing and strategy before moving into mergers and acquistions. Next, Merrilyn moved into the digital space, taking over responsibility for delivering over $1B in eCommerce revenue and creating the first digital ecosystem for scientists. In 2013, Merrilyn joined Definiens as Chief Commercial Officer, with a focus on driving all aspects of commercialization of their cognitive compute platform for digital pathology. Merrilyn spent 3 years as Chief Commercial Officer and was an integral part of the sale of the company to AstraZeneca in 2014. Merrilyn is currently Head of Business Operations for Illumina. In this capacity, Merrilyn ensures Illumina is successfully executing on the key growth vectors for sequencing in life sciences and healthcare. Merrilyn has a passion for innovation and mentoring, volunteering with The Start-Up Leadership Program and foundering the Lean In Chapter at Illumina. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and an M.S. in Molecular Genetics from Harvard and an M.B.A. from University of California, Irvine. In her spare time, Merrilyn likes to read, try out new gadgets, or go to the beach with her family.

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