Board Members

Danielle John Tan, President


Danielle received her Ph.D. from the University of Leeds U.K. and has been a volunteer with a number of AWIS chapters since moving to the US in 2010. She has held various board positions in that time including being Vice President of the Sacramento Valley chapter and has served on the Board of AWIS-East Bay since 2018. Her goal is to increase active participation in chapter activities by finding innovative ways of adding value to chapter membership. Her background is in neuroscience and in understanding how events and illnesses during pregnancy shape developing brains. Making the switch from academia to industry in 2018, Danielle is now a Technical Scientist at BioMarin, a world leader in developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceuticals for rare diseases driven by genetic causes.

Roxanne Croze, Acting Vice President


Roxanne received her Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara and recently joined the East Bay Chapter. She is a native of the East Bay and is passionate about science education and bringing opportunities to underprivileged youth. She was a member of Women In Science and Engineering (WiSE) during her graduate and post graduate studies and participated in many outreach programs introducing young women to the power of stem cell biology and promoting women empowerment. Her background is in retinal and lung biology, focusing on cellular therapies to treat disease. Since 2016, she has worked for 4D Molecular Therapeutics in the Human Cell and Disease Modelling group, continuing her work with stem cells and helping create effective treatments for those affected by genetic diseases.

Sandhya Pahwa-Khurana, Secretary


Sandhya received her Bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from U.C. Berkeley and MBA from Santa Clara University. She has been involved with leading and organizing resource groups at Santa Clara University and in her professional career over the last several years. She has over 20 years of pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry experience in progressing roles of responsibility at LifeScan (a J&J company), Abgenix, Amgen, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Abbvie-Stemcentrx, Dermira, Omniox, and now at Revance Therapeutics as Director of Program and Project Management for drug development. 

During her time at Boehringer-Ingelheim, Sandhya became passionate founded the site chapter of the Women's Leadership Initiative and started working with AWIS-East Bay as a partner. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion efforts and enjoys mentoring and coaching the next generation of leaders. Sandhya also enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and spending time with family.

Deborah Kaldunski Cole, Treasurer


Deborah has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and is a member of several non-profit organizations. Deborah wants to contribute her experiences as well as passion to help humankind by being part of this amazing organization of women. Deborah’s experience is mostly in a business development role, but also a focus on regulatory in the preclinical as well as clinical space. She is currently working in Business Development for AIT Bioscience-a Bioanalytical CRO for preclinical and clinical method development and sample analysis. Deborah sits on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: CBRA (California Biomedical Association) as Treasurer and CSBR (California Society for Biomedical Research).  Previously, she was was the President of NorCal AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science).  Deborah wants to grow the AWIS-East Bay membership base and provide women in our industry a place to grow and become stronger in their roles as women in science.

Katie Sullivan, Acting Member at Large


Katie Sullivan received her Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Masters in Translational Medicine from UC Berkeley & UC San Francisco. She started her career at Merck in the Philadelphia area, working in vaccine and biologics manufacturing process development and operations. Katie currently works at 4D Molecular Therapeutics in Emeryville as a Manufacturing Supervisor, applying skills learned at Merck to the growing gene therapy space. She first got involved with AWIS by tagging along with Roxanne to monthly happy hours, and was motivated to volunteer after meeting so many interesting and encouraging women. Katie currently manages this website, so please give her feedback on what you’d like to see! Katie enjoys reading (happy to give & receive recs), rock climbing (always on the lookout for a belay buddy), and planning trips near & far with family and friends.

Committee Chairs

Daneida Lizarraga Lopez, Events


Dr. Daneida Lizarraga is a Staff Scientific at Thermo Fisher Scientific.  She holds a PhD in Biotechnology from University of Barcelona and completed her post-doc training from Maastricht Universiteit. She has joint ownerships of two patents and authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals on molecular biology and epigenetics. Her passion is product development, she enjoys bringing precision medicine products from scratch to life. She loves to read and dance after a long day at work.  Dr. Lizarraga joined East Bay AWIS three years ago.  In the past three years, Dr. Lizarraga organized and participated in several ebAWIS events.  She is a true believer in AWIS mission to support women in science.

Sara Farahmand, Webinars


Sara is a skin scientist and consumer product toxicologist with multi-disciplinary experience in personal care and consumer products. She is currently a Sr. Toxicologist at Clorox where she leads the safety program for a diverse portfolio that includes the specialty business and fragrance program, works with state regulators and trade associations, and leads external strategic communications. She is the founder of a Clorox Employee Resource Group for employees with interest, roots, and background in the Middle East and North Africa. She has worked as a Regulatory Toxicologist/ Safety Manager at P&G, Avon, Georgia Pacific and Living Proof, Inc. Sara held two postdocs at UCSF and University of Cincinnati, and earned her doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tehran, Iran. 

Sara has a strong passion in mentoring and providing professional development opportunities for young professionals and minority groups. She joined AWIS as a volunteer in 2019 and leads the webinar committee to provide personal and professional development resources for women in STEM fields.