La Jolla Institute Board of Directors elects outstanding community leader

LA JOLLA, CA – The La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) is pleased to announce that Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., attorney Kris Charton, has been elected to its Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to welcome Kris Charton to our board,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute president and chief scientific officer. “Over the past two decades, Kris has made a number of remarkable contributions to humanitarian and social causes in Orange County and San Diego County, both as a working lawyer and as a passionate and active community volunteer and philanthropist.”

Charton said she is looking forward to serving on the Institute board.

“The research at La Jolla Institute isn’t just cutting edge, it’s potentially historic,” Charton said. “The scientists there are learning how to use the body’s own immune system to develop vaccines and actual cures for many types of diseases that have been virtually impossible to treat effectively, including infectious and inflammatory disease, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which both my mother and grandmother suffered from. I’m thrilled to be involved with such a positive organization that has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of millions around the world.”

A native of Nebraska, Charton spent most of her early life in Orange County. She graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in dance and performed and taught for five years before obtaining her J.D at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Kris Charton

Charton’s involvement with those in need came in her first job out of law school. She was hired by the Orange County Counsel’s office to work in juvenile dependency court with children who had been removed from their homes. Charton next worked for two years at a private law firm, but returned to public service at an Orange County public interest law center where she assisted the indigent, including helping terminally ill AIDS patients with draft wills, guardianship agreements and other end-of-life legal issues.

Charton has also served on the boards, worked as a volunteer, and donated or raised money for a number of non-profit and community service organizations in both Orange County and San Diego County. They include the Upper Newport Bay Conservancy, H.O.M.E.S. (Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success), CSU Long Beach Department of Social Work Advisory Board; Orange County Indigent Health Care Task Force, United Way Health Care Task Force.

Since moving to Rancho Santa Fe in 2007 with her husband Steve, Charton has become deeply involved with TERI, a San Marcos non-profit organization dedicated to serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families, and the San Pasqual Academy, the first residential education campus for foster youth in the nation.

Charton is co-owner with her husband in Chartwell Management Corp., which owns and manages commercial real estate and investments in a variety of branded food manufacturing and restaurant companies.

“I’m excited about my involvement with the La Jolla Institute because it provides me with an opportunity to help people in a completely new and fascinating way,” Charton said. “One of my goals as a board member is to significantly expand awareness of the amazing things the Institute is involved in scientifically.”

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology
The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.