Bio-Tech Leader Shares Start-Up Story

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Charles Dunlop
Charles Dunlop

Laguna Beach resident Charles Dunlop, who recently sold the genetic-testing lab he founded, speaks with UC Irvine biological sciences dean in a 4 p.m. lecture Thursday, March 1, at the student center.

Dean Frank LaFerla chats with Dunlop about “Insight, Courage and Inspiration.”

Dunlop shares his backstory, a transformation from fun-loving surfer and physics aficionado to biotech entrepreneur. After college, Dunlop’s work in molecular biology took inspiration from the Human Genome Project. Aiming to help people with genetic disorders, Dunlop in 1999 founded the laboratory Ambry Genetics to develop diagnostic genetic tests. What started in a small office over a Harley-Davidson store grew to a company of 800 employees in Aliso Viejo.

Along the way, Dunlop founded the Laguna Beach-based Mauli Ola Foundation, tapping pro surfers to teach kids with cystic fibrosis to experience the ocean.

After two decades in genetic test research and surviving prostate cancer, Dunlop sold Ambry to Japan’s Konica Minolta for nearly $1 billion last October.

Register for Dunlop’s talk at

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