AWIS Officers

Committee Chairs

Academia 2 Industry (A2I) Nora Shafee & Takako Noguchi
Corporate Sponsorship Angela Macia, & Xiwei Shan
Events Ray Seraydarian, Ksenya Cohen-Katsenlson, Adina Gerson-Gurwitz
Newsletter Corine Lau & Alyson Smith
Outreach Alina Luk & Bridget Kohlnhofer
Public Relations Robyn Wygal
Scholarship Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk
Strategy Sessions and Focus Sessions Sabrina Treadwell & Myan Do
Website Alex Clark & Tracy Duong
    
 

 

Nora Academia 2 Industry Co-Chair: Nora Shafee

Norazizah Shafee, Ph.D. is a scientist at UC San Diego and a Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University Putra Malaysia. Nora began her journey in the study of cells and their signal transduction pathways during her undergraduate work at the University of Arizona. She then continued her graduate studies to investigate the mechanism of cellular responses to viral infections at the University of Malaya. Intrigued by the way certain cells self-destruct upon sensing potential virus attack, she decided to investigate why these cellular responses were de-regulated in some cancer cells. She pursued this interest during her post-doctoral training at UC Irvine, where she helped develop a mouse model of breast cancer and provided initial evidence of cancer stem cells as a potential cause of chemoresistance. This training was funded by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Avon Foundation. Combining her background in anti-viral responses and cancer cell biology, Nora is currently focused on characterizing cellular responses towards oncolytic virus infections.

In-between her scientific explorations and community service adventures, Nora loves exploring the beauty of nature through hiking and traveling with her family. Nora joined AWIS and became a co-chair of the Academia-2-Industry committee in January 2019.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Back to top
Takako Academia 2 Industry Co-Chair: Takako Noguchi

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Back to top
angela Corporate Sponsorship Co-Chair: Angela Macia

Angela Macia is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UCSD working in Dr. Alysson Muotri laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Granada, Spain in 2015. Angela has a strong background in transposable elements, and a broad range of experience in both human pluripotent and adult 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. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top
Xiwei Corporate Sponsorship Co-Chair: Xiwei Shan

Xiwei Shan is a postdoctoral researcher. She received her Ph.D. in developmental biology at Stony Brook University, N.Y. before moving across the country to join Alysson Muotri’s lab at UC San Diego. In her research, Xiwei is particularly interested in “how the brain is built” and what the mechanisms are behind brain disorders during brain development such as autism. Currently, Xiwei is using a 3D cell culture system derived from stem cells to model autistic brains and to develop potential treatments using gene therapy. Xiwei joint the corporate sponsorship committee at AWIS in 2019 to support women’s advancement of education and career in STEM fields. In her leisure time, Xiwei loves digital drawing, cooking, meditating, and taking random online classes just because. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top
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.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Back to top
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.

Back to top
adina Events Co-Chair: Adina Gerson-Gurwitz

Dr. Adina Gerson-Gurwitz is a molecular/cell biologist. She is a member of the Small Molecule Discovery program at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UCSD, which focuses on translating laboratory discoveries into novel therapeutics for cancer patients. Prior to that, Dr. Gerson-Gurwitz was a postdoctoral scholar in the Oegema-Desai laboratory, where she investigated mechanisms that ensure accurate distribution of the genome during cell division in C. elegans roundworm. Dr. Gerson-Gurwitz is conscientious about community service, and is currently an active member at AWIS, WIB and Hadassah (non-profit) organizations.

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.

Back to top
Alyson Smith Newsletter Co-Chair: Alyson Smith 

Alyson Smith recently earned her Ph.D. in cell biology from The Scripps Research Institute, studying the role of structural and motor proteins in maintaining the shape and durability of red blood cells in the lab of Velia Fowler. Prior to her graduate work, she earned a B.A. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Alyson is currently pursuing a career in biotech intellectual property law.

An interest in science communication and outreach motivated Alyson to join AWIS-SD shortly after she began her Ph.D., and she is now an active member of the Outreach and Newsletter Committees. Outside of AWIS-SD, Alyson enjoys baking, reading, writing, and running. 

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

Back to top
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..

Back to top
Alina Outreach Co-Chair: Alina Luk

Alina Luk is a first-year undergraduate student at UC San Diego. She is majoring in pharmacological chemistry and plans to pursue a pre-med track during her undergraduate studies. She has been a member of AWIS San Diego’s Outreach Committee since 2017. Beforehand, she had received a GSDSEF AWIS Scholarship Award in 2014 and was an active volunteer at many AWIS outreach events. She was inspired to create a path for other young women interested in STEM and hopes to continue giving back to the community, while also exploring more STEM research opportunities, as a new co-chair of the AWIS Outreach Committee. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.

Back to top
Bridget Outreach Co-Chair: Bridget Kohlnhofer

Bridget Kohlnhofer, Ph.D. is a Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow at Janssen, a Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson. Bridget utilizes human genetics and induced pluripotent stem cells to uncover new biology related to neuropsychiatric disorders. Bridget holds a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, a PhD in Cell Biology from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and was a postdoc at UCSD in the department of Cell and Molecular Medicine.

Since joining AWIS in 2016, Bridget has been on the Outreach Committee. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, gardening, cooking, and going to Del Mar Dog Beach with her pup Eddie! Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.

Back to top
robyn2018 Public Relations Chair: 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.

To contact the Public Relations committee chair, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Back to top
Dorota Scholarship Chair: Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk

Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk is a biochemist and molecular biologist. She received her MSc in Molecular Biology at the University of Warsaw, Poland, and PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is currently an Assistant Professor at University of California San Diego, Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology. Her primary research interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms of aging using eye as a model system. She published a number of publications in high impact factor journals and her research is currently funded by several foundations’ grants and NIH. You can read more about her work at http://dsklab.ucsd.edu

Dorota joined AWIS in 2017 and immediately got involved in activities of Scholarship Committee. She served as a co-chair and currently as a chair of the Scholarship committee since 2018. To contact Dorota, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email her.

 Back to top
 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..

 Back to top
 
 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..

 Back to top
alex2018 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.

 Back to top
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..

 Back to top
Go to top