President Courtney Benson
Past President DeeAnn Visk
Secretary Kristin Bompiani-Myers
Treasurer Ana Laura Guerrero
Past Treasurer Lori Yang
Member at Large Kirsten Kirchsteiger
Member at Large Alex Clark
Member at Large Leslie Crews-Robertson

President: Courtney Benson

CBensonCourtney Benson, Ph.D. earned her B.S. and M.S. at SDSU in cell and molecular biology, and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University at Buffalo. She is interested in the use of stem cells and 3D models to study neurological diseases. Currently, she is an independent contract editor editing scientific content and looking to transition from academia to a scientist position in industry. When Courtney joined AWIS San Diego in October of 2017, she immediately joined the Outreach Committee and then joined the AWIS San Diego Board as a Member at Large. She is enthusiastic about outreach in the community and is excited to lead AWIS San Diego as President. As president of AWIS-SD, you can reach her This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





Past President: DeeAnn Visk

DeeAnn2016DeeAnn Visk, PhD, is a freelance medical writer and editor living in the San Diego area. She enjoys writing for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News on biotechnology innovations. Her areas of expertise include: high throughput screening, microscopy, genetics, molecular diagnostics, and pharmacogenetics. DeeAnn is experienced in writing and editing peer-reviewed scientific papers, posters, keynote and conference presentations, SOPs, white papers, case studies, application notes, blogs, and news articles. While working at home, she enjoys watching two spoiled hens in the backyard.

A lover of wilderness, she has only five more National Parks in the continental US to visit. As past president of AWIS-SD, you can reach her This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





Secretary: Kristin Bompiani-Myers


Kristin Bompiani ( is a research scientist with a keen interest in translational research. After receiving her PhD in Genetics from Duke University in 2012, she completed postdocs at The Scripps Research Institute in Chemistry and the University of San Diego California in Cancer Therapeutics. She now works at InhibRx developing antibody therapeutics as the Molecular Biology group leader.

Serving on the AWIS Outreach Committee for 3 years, Kristin applied her passion for science to help develop and execute programs to engage the local youth community. Such programs include judging the annual San Diego Science and Engineering fair and performing science demonstrations at local STEM events. She lives in San Diego with her husband and cat and is often baking decadent things when not in the lab.

Email her by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Treasurer: Ana Laura Guerrero

Ana Laura Guerrero, Ph.D. is Sr Logistics Analyst, Packaging Engineer at Illumina. She earned her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California Riverside and her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has been a member from AWIS since 2012 serving on multiple positions on the board. She is currently the treasurer for the AWIS San Diego chapter. On her free time she enjoy a wine tasting, reading fiction novels and spending time with her dogs baloo and pulgas.

Click here to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ana.



Past Treasurer: Lori Yang

Lori Yang, PhD, is co-founder and CSO of Lectenz Bio, a biotech company providing enabling technologies for applications in glycoscience.

She earned her BS in Chemistry from the University of Virginia and her PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University.

Lori has been a member of AWIS-SD since 2012. She served as co-chair of WIST 2017. She joined the AWIS-SD board as treasurer in 2016-2017.

Click here to Email Lori.



Member at Large: Kerstin Kirchsteiger

Kerstin Kerstin has been a member of AWIS and active volunteer on the Corporate Sponsorship Committee since October 2012, member of WIST speakers committee and Co-chair of Open House Committee last year. Since January 2015 she took on the role of Co-chairs on our Corporate Sponsorship Committee.

Kerstin Kirchsteiger received her MSc in Chemistry at the University of Vienna, Austria. Then moved to southern Spain where she completed her Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, studying redox regulation and signaling in the chloroplast. In 2009 she moved to San Diego to study protein degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system and hormone signaling in plants at UCSD.

When not working you can find her on the trails in and around San Diego, be it hiking or mountain biking. Currently she is actively seeking opportunities in the Biotech Industry. To email, click  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Member at Large: Alex Clark

alex2018 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 of the Website Committee since 2015 and also served on the WIST 2015 Committee.






Member at Large: Leslie Crews Robertson

leslieCrews Leslie Crews Robertson is a third-generation native San Diegan and scientist with a passion for stem cell biology. She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and PhD from UCSD. As a project scientist at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine (UCSD), Leslie’s research interests focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms that cause tissue-specific stem cells to behave abnormally in age-related degenerative and malignant disorders. She has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed research articles in the fields of neuroscience, hematology, and cancer. Leslie joined AWIS in 2010 and has been a Strategy Sessions committee member since 2013. In her spare time, Leslie also enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, creative writing, and Scottish Highland dancing.




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