AWIS Officers

Committee Chairs

Corporate Sponsorship Pilar Martinez Viedma, & Min Zong
Events Ray Seraydarian, Ksenya Cohen-Katsenlson, Adina Gerson-Gurwitz
Newsletter Corine Lau & Juliati Rahajeng
Outreach Varykina (Kina) Thackray 
Public Relations Sophie Muscat-King, Adriana Bankston  &  Aarti Narang
Scholarship Eileen Collyer , Eva Goellner & Risa Broyer
Strategy Sessions and Focus Sessions Sabrina Treadwell & Myan Do
Website Alex Clark & Tracy Duong
    
 

 

pilar Corporate Sponsorship Co-Chair: Pilar Martinez Viedma

M. Pilar Martinez Viedma, PhD is a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at J. Craig Venter Institute in the Bioinformatics Department. Her main project is directly involved in the study of Zika virus pathogenesis. During her PhD in Spain, she investigated the Biocontrol of pathogen microorganism through bacteriocin addition.

She has been actively involved as a volunteer in different non-profit associations. Pilar was Euroclub board member at MIT, during her time in Boston, and currently, she is vice-president of ECUSA (Spanish Scientists inUSA) of the California chapter and Corporate Sponsorship team member at AWIS San Diego since 2016. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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minZ Corporate Sponsorship Co-Chair: Min Zong

Min Zong is a postdoc researcher in pathology department of UCSD where she is working on dissecting mechanisms of liver cancer development with oncogene-induced mice models. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012 and finished her first postdoc training at the Scripps Research Institute - Florida in virus entry research. Outside of the lab, she likes reading, yoga, baking and gardening. Min joined AWIS and the corporate sponsor committee in 2016, and became co-chair of corporate sponsor in 2018. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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ray Events Co-Chair: Ray Seraydarian

Originally from a small city in Upstate New York, Ray Seraydarian earned BS and M. Eng. degrees in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, and has spent his entire professional career in San Diego working in visible spectroscopy or some other area closely involved with nuclear fusion research at General Atomics (GA) and UCSD. He is currently employed by UCLA at GA working on a microwave instrument for the large ITER fusion experiment being built by an international consortium in southern France.

Outside of work Ray enjoys social activities with local Cornell alumni. He has a season’s subscription to the San Diego Symphony, he enjoys going to live theater a few times a year, and the occasional movie. In the past he’s enjoyed bicycling, downhill skiing, and small boat sailing, and he hopes to get back to some of those in the future.

Ray has been a member of AWIS-SD since the mid-1980s, though struggles with the renewal process may have allowed his membership to lapse for a year once or twice in that time. Ray currently serves as a co-chair of the Events Committee.

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ksenya Events Co-Chair: Ksenya Cohen-Katsenelson

Ksenya Cohen Katsenelson received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. To further enhance her research career, she relocated to San Diego for a postdoc at UCSD. She has a strong background in signal transduction pathways, and a broad range of experience in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology techniques. Outside the lab she loves hiking and boogie boarding with her family, and enjoys social events with friends.

To contact this events committee co-chair please click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email.

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Juliati Rahajeng Newsletter Co-Chair: Juliati Rahajeng 

Juliati Rahajeng received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in August 2011. She joined UCSD School of Medicine as a postdoctoral researcher one month after her graduation. Juliati has been a member of AWIS-SD for the past three years. She is currently an active member of the Scholarship committee, co-chair of the Newsletter committee, and co-chair of the Academia to Industry Coffee Club. 

To email Juliati click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Newsletter Co-Chair: Corine Lau

Corine is a cancer genomics scientist at Human Longevity Inc., a San Diego-based genomics company aiming to revolutionize healthcare by creating the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of whole genome, phenotype and clinical data. Prior to joining HLI, she held various positions including product manager and scientific writer at Pathway Genomics, and scientific curator at BioBase (now Qiagen). Corine received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She pursued her post-doctoral training at the University of California, San Diego.

Corine has been involved with AWIS-SD since 2006. She currently serves as Newsletter co-chair. She was the Past Treasurer (2014-2015), Treasurer (2012-2013), Website Committee co-chair (2009-2012) and member (2006-2009), WIST Website Committee member (2009) and Scholarship Gala Committee member (2008). Besides volunteering for AWIS-SD, Corine enjoys singing with a local women’s chorus, rock climbing, and yoga.

To email Corine, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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kina Outreach Chair: Varykina (Kina) Thackray

I am an Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine at UC San Diego. I did my graduate work at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and completed my post-doctoral training in reproductive endocrinology at UC San Diego. I have been passionate about supporting and expanding the participation of women in STEM for many years. I have been a member of AWIS San Diego since 2005. Previously, I served as a member and co-chair of the AWIS Scholarship Committee for 10 years. This past year, I joined the AWIS Outreach Committee and greatly enjoyed organizing outreach activities for the San Diego community. I hope that the Outreach Committee will continue to inspire the next generation of women scientists in San Diego. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.

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sophie Public Relations Co-Chair: Sophie Muscat-King

Sophie Muscat-King is an Automation Scientist in the Vaccine Immunotherapeutics department at Pfizer, La Jolla. She has over 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, from small molecule drug development through to biologicals and vaccine research.

Sophie received her M.Eng in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, and her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Greenwich in England. She discovered AWIS in 2014 at the annual Open House event, subsequently joined the San Diego Chapter in 2015, assisted on the Open House Committee the same year, and is currently co-chair for the Public Relations Committee.To contact the Public Relations committee co-chairs, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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adrianaB Public Relations Co-Chair: Adriana Bankston

Adriana Bankston is a bench scientist turned science policy researcher. She is a member of the Board of Directors at Future of Research, a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion, engage and empower early career scientists with evidence-based resources to improve the scientific research endeavor. Her goals are to promote science policy and advocacy for junior scientists, and to gather and present data on various issues in the current scientific system. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Louisville. Adriana obtained a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University. To contact the Public Relations committee co-chairs, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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aarti Public Relations Co-Chair: Aarti Narang

Aarti Narang is a Neuroimmunologist with an interest in promoting opportunities amongst women of all nationalities and color.

She did her PhD in Immunology from Medical University of South Carolina where she developed complement therapeutics for treatment of spinal cord injury paralysis that have been licensed to Alexion. She is now studying mechanisms of Neural regeneration to gain a better understanding and develop better therapeutics for people with neurodegenrative diseases.

Along with her scientific career she has lead several teams and is passionate about helping women connect and grow! To contact the Public Relations committee co-chairs, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Gloria Public Relations Co-Chair: Gloria Kuo Lefkowitz
Gloria first joined the AWIS Seattle chapter upon graduation from the University of Washington. Her enjoyable stint as a research technician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research and as AWIS-Seattle's newsletter co-chair convinced her to expand her career goals. She then moved to sunny San Diego to obtain her PhD from the Biomedical Sciences Program at UC San Diego and completed a postdoc at JCVI in Synthetic Biology. Past projects have looked at insect hormones, brain development, and human hair. She's currently interested in learning about the business of biotech. To contact the Public Relations committee co-chairs, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Eileen Scholarship Co-Chair: Eileen Collyer
Eileen received her Ph.D. from the P. Catholic University of Chile, Chile, in 2013 where she focused on axonal plasticity in spinal cord injury. After completing her degree, she moved to San Diego to pursue a post doctoral fellowship in stem cells and rehabilitative training after spinal cord injury at UCSD. Eileen join AWIS in 2014 where she served under the Scholarship Committee and in 2015, she became co-chair of the Scholarship Committee and the Scholarship Celebration Committee. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.
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Eva Scholarship Co-Chair: Eva Goellner
Eva's bio will be available soon. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.
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risa" Scholarship Co-Chair: Risa Broyer

Risa is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSD in the Ophthalmology Department studying retinal development and small molecule based neuroprotective strategies where she uses patient-derived stem cells and CRISPR technology to integrate reporters and model neurodegenerative disease using “mini-retinas-in-a-dish”.

She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from UCSD and has been a member of AWIS-SD since 2010. She has been a co-chair of the Scholarship Committee since 2015. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.

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 sabrina Strategy Sessions Co-Chair: Sabrina Treadwell

Sabrina received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of East Anglia and the Institute of Food Research in the UK in 2013. She joined UC San Diego as a postdoctoral researcher in 2014 to pursue her interest in Gastroenterology and Glycobiology. She recently transitioned into clinical research at UC San Diego especially taking on project management responsibilities.
Sabrina joined AWIS-San Diego in 2015 and has since been an active member of the Strategy Session committee. She also participated in the 2016 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair as an AWIS judge. She is passionate about supporting AWIS to provide education and support for women's and girl's professional and personal development to empower them and their careers.
Apart from being a woman in science, Sabrina is a keen traveller and cultural exchange enthusiast who has visited 18 countries and lived in 3. She also enjoys surfing, the outdoors, cooking and baking, and remodeling old furniture. Click here for information about Strategy Sessions. Or, to email, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 myan Strategy Sessions Co-Chair: Myan Do 
Myan is pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at UC San Diego, specializing in Wnt signaling in cancer and stem cell biology. She joined AWIS and the Strategy Sessions committee in 2017, and became co-chair of Strategy Sessions in 2018. Outside of th elab, she enjoys boxing, hiking, traveling, and trying new restaurants.

Click here for information about Strategy Sessions. Or, to email, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Liz Website Co-chair: Alex Clark

Alex is a postdoc at UCSD in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine studying host-viral interactions during Zika Virus and Human Cytomegalovirus infections.

Alex obtained a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the UCSD Biology Department studying the interplay between Cytomegalovirus and the host cell cycle. Outside of the lab, Alex enjoys photography, running, and all things sci-fi.

Alex became a member of AWIS in 2014 and has been a co-chair since 2015 and also served on the WIST 2015 Committee. Click here to contact via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tracy Website Co-Chair: Tracy Duong

Tracy has worked in the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs for metatbolic targets at Arena Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. During her time at Arena Pharmaceuticals, she helped in the development of Belviq, a currently FDA-approved drug for obesity. She has also worked in the biofuel industry in the hopes of obtaining a renewable energy source from algae at Sapphire Energy. She currently works in the nutraceutical industry in the QC department and is involved in commercializing blends for food products.

Tracy earned her B.Sc. degree from UCLA and her M.Sc. from UCSD. During her time at UCSD, she worked on synthesis of sinuleptolide scabrolide which is of interest due to it being a TNF-alpha inhibitor. Its complex macrocyclic structure was and remains a synthetic challenge. Click here to contact her. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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