Sanford Burnham Prebys strengthens executive leadership team

Amar Duvvur, Christine Dittmer, and Sonali Fonseca
Left to right: Amar Duvvur, Christine Dittmer, and Sonali Fonseca, Ph.D.

Sanford Burnham Prebys is pleased to announce several new appointments to its executive leadership team, fortifying the Institute’s position as a world leader in nonprofit biomedical research.

The new team members include Amar Duvvur as chief financial officer, Christine Dittmer as chief development officer, and Sonali Fonseca, Ph.D., as vice president of strategic initiatives.

“This is an exciting time at Sanford Burnham Prebys. The addition of these executives further strengthens our ability to achieve our mission—conducting groundbreaking research, translating those discoveries into cures for human disease andpreparing the next generation of scientists to have impactful careers in medicine,” says Chief Executive Officer C. Randal Mills, Ph.D. “I’m very excited to welcome Amar, Christine, and Sonali to the team as we continue to create a legacy for all stakeholders of solving unmet medical needs.”

Chief Financial Officer Amar Duvvur
As chief financial officer, Duvvur will oversee the financial health of the Institute and guide the overall financial strategy. Duvvur comes to Sanford Burnham Prebys after nine years at AbbVie, a $230 billion biopharmaceutical company that markets the world’s best selling drug Humira. At AbbVie, he held the positions of vice president, finance; and vice president, treasurer. Previously, he has also held finance leadership positions at CareFusion, Tyco International, Lucent Technologies and General Motors.
Duvvur holds a master of management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a master’s in engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Chief Development Officer Christine Dittmer
As chief development officer, Dittmer will lead the Institute in its strategic fundraising initiatives, identifying new donors and maintaining existing relationships. She joins Sanford Burnham Prebys after three years as national vice president, major gifts, for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Prior to PanCAN, Dittmer spent more than 30 years with the American Heart Association (AHA) in senior development roles at the national and regional levels.

At the AHA, Dittmer received numerous honors, including the National Major Gifts Excellence Award, the National Total Growth in Outright Gifts Award, the National Impact Award, and the Distinguished Performance During a Campaign Award. She holds bachelor’s degrees in communications/advertising and American studies from California State University, Fullerton; and started her career in national accounts for a boutique marketing agency in Orange County, California.

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Sonali Fonseca, Ph.D.
As vice president of strategic initiatives, Fonseca will lead the implementation of new programs to help the Institute better achieve its mission of finding cures for human disease. Prior to joining Sanford Burnham Prebys, she led the commercial strategy and execution for Elsevier’s ClinicalPath business, an oncology healthcare technology solution. Fonseca also led the portfolio strategy for Elsevier’s Clinical Solutions business, a comprehensive suite of evidence-based solutions focused on improving patient outcomes.

Before ClinicalPath, Fonseca was a consultant at Deloitte and PwC, where she provided strategic advice for life science, biopharma and healthcare companies. She holds a Ph.D. in drug design from the University of Toronto; and has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

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