LA BioMed Names Three New Members to its Board – Appointees Bring a Diversity of Experience to the Institute’s Governing Body


LOS ANGELES – (May 29, 2013) – Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center(LA BioMed) has named three new members to its board of directors.

The new members are Alex Popa, a vice president at The Capital Group in Los Angeles; H. Michael Smith, the national science and technology practice leader for HKS, Inc.; and Sussan Sharifian, president of Packair Airfreight, Inc and Packair Customs Brokers, Inc.

In their new capacity, Popa, Smith and Sharifian will assist in LA BioMed’s fundraising initiatives and in raising awareness of the institute’s mission in the Southern California and the research community at large. LA BioMed is one of the country’s leading nonprofit biomedical research institutes and its legacy of innovation spans more than half a century.

“We’re delighted to welcome Alex, Michael, and Sussan to the board,” said David I. Meyer, PhD, LA BioMed’s president and CEO. “Each one of them brings to the organization a diversity of experience and a track record of success, and together they will provide the advice and counsel needed to move LA BioMed forward.”

Alex Popa is a vice president of Capital Research and Management Company, with research and investment responsibilities for money center banks, trust and custody banks, investment banks and brokers, and railroads. Popa received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where he was a Henry Ford II Scholar and the valedictorian of Stanford’s School of Engineering. He graduated in 2002, and for the next three years worked for the Romanian government, first as the Prime-Minister’s advisor for economic affairs, and then as Secretary of State for foreign investments.

H. Michael Smith has held senior leadership positions at some of the nation’s largest architectural firms, and he is responsible for the development of many notable science buildings. They include the Wallis Annenberg Research Center at the House Research Institute in Los Angeles; the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology Building at the City of Hope National Medical Center; the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology at the University of San Diego; and the Dana & David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center the University of Southern California.

Sussan Sharifian has been president of Packair since 2006. She is responsible for the strategy and operations of a company that facilitates the international movement of goods for Hollywood movie production studios and major corporations, like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Edwards Laboratories, Sony Pictures and California Institutes of Technology. Sharifian joined Packair as an accounting manager in 1986. She became its chief financial officer in 2000 and served in that capacity until being named president six years later.