|President||Varykina Thackray, PhD|
|Past President||Courtney Benson, PhD|
|Secretary||Juliati Rahajeng, PhD|
|Treasurer||Katherine (Kat) Chang, PhD|
|Member at Large||Wendy Ochoa, PhD|
|Member at Large||Sigrid Katz, PhD|
|Member at Large||Kamala Janiyani, PhD|
|Member at Large||Robyn Wygal|
|Member at Large||Angela Macia, PhD.|
President: Varykina (Kina) Thackray, PhD
Past President: Courtney Benson, PhD
Secretary: Juliati Rahajeng
Juliati Rahajeng, Ph.D., R.A.C. is a Clinical Strategy Scientist at Cato Research. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2011. Then, she went on to obtain postdoctoral training from the University of California San Diego in cancer cell biology. She received her Regulatory Affairs Certification from the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) in July 2019. Juliati has been a member of AWIS-SD since 2012. Previously, she served as a co-chair of the Newsletter Committee and the Academia to Industry Coffee Club of AWIS-SD.
Treasurer: Katherine (Kat) Chang, PhD
Kat Chang, PhD, is an Alliances and Partnerships Manager at Illumina. She earned her BS in Biosystems Engineering at University of Hawaii-Manoa, MS in Biological & Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, and PhD in Biology at University of California, San Diego/Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She is currently the treasurer for AWIS San Diego. Kat’s passion is to enable underserved communities and groups by increasing their access to STEAM educational/career opportunities. To play outside of work, Kat enjoys surfing, Polynesian dance, and traveling.
Member at Large: Wendy Ochoa
Wendy Ochoa has worked as an Assistant Professor at Grossmont and National University and UCSD Extension. She is about to embark in a new professional adventure as a Scientific Solutions Consultant at Benchling. She worked as a Senior Marketing Communications Manager at MO BIO Laboratories, now Qiagen. MO BIO researchers and manufactures DNA & RNA Isolation Kits that support Microbiology Research all over the world.
She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Barcelona in the field of Structural Virology. She continued her academic research at The Scripps Research Institute, UCSD and The Sandford-Burnham Institute in San Diego.
Member at Large: Robyn Wygal
Robyn Wygal, joined AWIS San Diego in 2011. She is the current Public Relations Chair and Outreach Community Engagement Chair and works to highlight and expand our AWIS San Diego network. She has also held positions such as the AWIS SD Outreach Co-Chair and STEM Career Conference Co-Director. In her professional career Robyn is a research data analyst with a BS in biology and a minor degree in business and 10 + years of experience managing projects and data communication with multi-level & multi-departmental interfaces and collaborations. She brings both a scientific & business mindset to the discovery and communication of data insight in attaining strategic outcomes. Her passions include the intersection of data science, research, genomics, and healthcare, and she enjoys the challenge of communicating insight through the lens of human perception, behavior, and connection. Fundamentally, she is a biologist, captivated by discovery and novel data play. Her scientific research interests (and challenges) include understanding and interpreting the diverse layers of genetic and epigenetic influence on regulatory networks in the context of immunity, chronic disease, and cancer progression through bioinformatics and data visualization. When not exploring the latest data tools and techniques, or reading publications by amazing STEM innovators, she can be found running, hiking, or biking all over San Diego.
Member at Large: Kamala Janiyani, PhD
Dr. Janiyani has been working at UCSD for the last few years. In addition to this, she is an adjunct Biology Instructor at Grossmont Community College. She was a Instructor at UCSD Extension, where she had organized and conducted educational workshops in the area of life sciences (Microbiome and Health workshop, Technology Licensing workshop, Vaccine workshop). Dr. Janiyani has a Ph.D in Microbiology and research experience from UCSD, She has been actively involved with AWIS San Diego for last few years and participates in STEM events conducted by AWIS.
Member at Large: Sigrid Katz, PhD
Dr. Katz's bio is forthcoming.
Member at Large: Angela Macia, PhD
Angela Macia is a Postdoctoral Researcher working at UC San Diego. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Granada, Spain in 2015. Angela has a strong background both in transposable elements and stem cells. Her research focuses on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, investigating how transposons contribute to the disease by using patient-derived neurons and 3D organoids. She is passionate about how AWIS-SD creates opportunities for women and girls in STEM and she has been part of the Corporate Sponsorship committee since 2017. Besides volunteering for AWIS-SD, Angela enjoys traveling, reading and cooking.