Dora Menchaca, age 45 of Santa Monica, died September 11, 2001 in the AA Flight 77 crash. The first in her San Antonio family to graduate from college, she led a drug research team at Amgen, the Thousand Oaks biotechnology firm. That mission took her to Washington, where she briefed Food and Drug Administration officials on a new prostate cancer drug before heading home Tuesday. She wanted to save lives.
She and her husband of 18 years, Earl Dorsey, had two children, Jaryd, 5, and Imani, 18, a University of Portland student and soccer player. She had flown to North Carolina to watch her teenage daughter play soccer and had gone on to Washington on business.
Amgen colleagues remembered Menchaca, who had a doctorate in epidemiology from UCLA, as an energetic researcher who worked through the night when necessary.
"Dora was always a champion for the patient," CEO Kevin Sharer and other top managers said in a company statement. "Her passion and belief in doing whatever it takes to help patients and advance science will have a lasting impact."
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