Distinguished IUP Alumna Anderson Visits with Biochemistry Faculty

Posted on 5/24/2012 4:50:11 PM

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) was recently honored to host Bonnie (Harbison) Anderson ’80 as one of its Distinguished Alumni.

Anderson is cofounder and chief executive officer of Veracyte, a molecular diagnostics start-up company. She met with Biochemistry faculty as part of her recently scheduled visit to IUP, which included meetings with faculty and students and tours of Biology and Biochemistry facilities prior to being presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Jana Villemain, Bonnie Anderson, and N. Bharathan
Jana Villemain, Bonnie Anderson, and N. Bharathan following a tour Bharathan’s research lab

After graduating from IUP in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology, Anderson worked for four years in hospital laboratories before being recruited into diagnostic equipment sales, where she built an impressive career in the healthcare diagnostics and life science markets. She has directed both early-stage businesses as well as mature, global enterprises. Prior to Veracyte, she provided strategic consulting services to venture capital firms and early-stage businesses. Anderson spent 18 years in executive leadership positions at Beckman Coulter, a global leader in healthcare. She led the company’s market-leading cellular analysis franchise in hematology and flow cytometry, and, as vice president of the intrapreneurial start-up Immunomics Operations, successfully positioned the company’s novel tetramer technology as a vehicle for drug and vaccine developers to monitor immune response.

Now, Anderson enjoys every minute of her role as CEO of Veracyte. “I’ve probably learned more in the past four years than the previous 14,” Anderson said, referring to her work in the start-up company. She loves the process and challenge of developing new products and techniques designed to transform the cytology market for early cancer diagnosis, which will help cancer patients avoid unnecessary, costly procedures and surgeries as well as promote significant cost savings in healthcare. “It’s very invigorating,” she said.

As part of her visit with Biochemistry faculty, topics such as changes and updates to CNSM Labs and facilities were discussed as well as the latest research being conducted by faculty. Anderson described various stages in her career and how it led to her newest venture with Veracyte. She noted how her experiences at IUP contributed to her success, and what kind of training is needed to work in her rapidly changing and developing field. Anderson says her selection as a 2012 Distinguished Alumni is a great honor.

She currently resides in in Half Moon Bay, California with her husband.