Rebecca is a successful biotech entrepreneur now, but the journey wasn't easy. A native Virginian who went to Chesterfield County Public Schools, she payed for college with numerous academic scholarships and worked odd jobs through VCU undergraduate and MCV grad school, earning her PhD in 1998. With no biotech jobs in VA to be found back then, she moved to Silicon Valley and began a biotech career focused on building startups around cutting-edge science and new technologies, vowing to eventually return to VA and grow the biotechnology sector in her home state.
In 2015, Rebecca was working as Entreprneur in Residence at VCU when she came upon a technology that would revolutionize drug development for diabetes and liver diseases. She sold her Subaru, cashed in her retirement, and used those funds to found Sanyal Bio and spin it out of VCU. In 2016 she moved the company to VA Beach, and today her team has built a thriving contract research business that grew 1,600% YOY in 2017, creating jobs in Virginia Beach. She takes pride in paying 100% of the health insurance costs for her employees and their families, because she and her partners see healthcare as a right rather than a privilege.
Mayor Sessoms is always saying VA Beach is the greatest city in the world, and Rebecca's family agrees. They settled in Red Mill, just a few minutes from Sandbridge. She and her husband Jonathon enjoy getting up before dawn and drinking their coffee on the beach while they watch the sunrise and the dolphins leaping just offshore. Her son Oliver is in 2nd grade in VA Beach public schools, and her son Dylan attends university in England. She looks forward to meeting you, hearing your story, and working with you to #FlipVABeachBlue.