|President||Varykina Thackray, PhD|
|Treasurer||Katherine (Kat) Chang, PhD|
|Member at Large||Angela Macia, PhD.|
|Member at Large||Robyn Wygal|
|Member at Large||Michelle Muldong|
|Member at Large||Kamala Janiyani|
President: Varykina (Kina) Thackray, PhD
Secretary: Cynthia Kuan
Cynthia Kuan oversees business and clinic operations for the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health. She is a founding member of the clinical center and has helped secure over $70 million funding from grants, contracts, and philanthropy for regenerative medicine research projects, ranging from basic science, translational medicine, to clinical research. She has over 13 years of experience in building/managing innovative programs and is seasoned in alliance management, strategic planning, program development, and financial oversight. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, she helped build a Chinese immersion public charter school in Washington DC and a social service program in Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and listening to audio books/podcasts.
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: 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.
Member at Large: Robyn Wygal
Robyn Wygal is a program manager and analyst with 10 + years of experience managing programs, projects, teams, and communications among multi-level, internal and external interfaces and collaborations within Healthcare IT, Nonprofit Scientific Associations, and most recently Cancer Research. She is currently a Program Administrator for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute’s NCI designated Cancer Center. Her passions include the intersection of data science, research, genomics, and healthcare. Robyn’s early fascination began with “Junk DNA" and now includes the diverse layers of genetic and epigenetic influence on regulatory networks in the context of immunity, chronic disease, and cancer progression.
Robyn has held several leadership roles within AWIS San Diego since joining AWIS in 2011 and include acting as the Outreach Chair, the STEM Career Conference Chair, and the Women in Science & Engineering Conference Chair. Currently, she is a AWIS San Diego Board Member and the Public Relations Chair and works to highlight and expand our AWIS San Diego programming and community network. Robyn attributes STEM advocacy to providing many opportunities to develop and deliver skills in strategic planning, leadership, program design, financial management, partnership development, mentorship, and community engagement, and she finds that it continues to foster a network of valuable resources. In her free time, she enjoys reading science papers, playing with data, running with her husband Robert and Dog Pacer, and hiking and biking all over San Diego with friends and family.
Member at Large: Michelle Muldong
Michelle Muldong is a Research Associate at the University of California San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center. She works in Dr. Christina Jamieson’s lab studying bone-metastatic prostate cancer performing in vivo and in vitro experiments utilizing patient derived samples.
Michelle obtained her B.S. from the University of California San Diego with a degree in General Biology. She has been involved in AWIS since September 2019 and is passionate about teaching the next generation about STEM.
Outside of lab Michelle enjoys hot yoga, hiking, snowboarding, iced coffee & hanging out with her French bulldog/Boston Terrier mix pup- Stitch!