Katie 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.
Erika received her BS in Biology with an emphasis in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis. Post-grad, she joined Nunhems, a plant breeding division of Bayer CropScience that eventually was acquired by BASF. There she participated as researcher and project manager utilizing cell biology and tissue culture techniques to aid the development of multiple breeding programs. With intersecting interests in science, agriculture, food systems, climate change, and environmental justice, she has decided to switch gears and now is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences and is working as a graduate student researcher studying the cause of Valley Fever. Erika began volunteering with AWIS through the Sacramento Valley chapter in 2018 where she was more formally introduced to mentorship, professional development and a supportive community of women in science. She is passionate about sharing these resources and knowledge to uplift underrepresented women in STEM and is delighted to now be a part of the mentorship committee and the broader East Bay AWIS community.
Dione (Dee) is a Science Communication, Engagement, and Outreach Specialist who has previously worked with non-profits, universities, government offices, and for-profit businesses to improve their science engagement efforts; this includes creating new and/or improving existing science communication, marketing, education, diversity, and outreach initiatives. Dee is currently the Executive Director for Science at Cal, a program that shares the excitement and relevance of UC Berkeley research with public audiences through lectures, street fairs, festivals, and more. She also works with scientists across campus to build sustainable and impactful science outreach collaborations with community and campus partners. Dee’s previous positions include: Scientific Programs & Outreach Manager at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Director of the Mass Media Fellowship at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dee received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her PhD from UC Santa Cruz, both in Earth & Planetary Sciences.
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.
Jenessa is the Director of Process Development at Arsenal Biosciences- a biotech company in South San Francisco creating novel engineered T cell therapies for cancer. Jenessa received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. in Biochemistry from Penn State in 2011. Jenessa is very excited to be a part of AWIS.
Shreya Mardia is a current undergraduate student studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at UC Berkeley. As an engineer and a huge car enthusiast, her interests are in artificial intelligence / machine learning and she endeavors to work in the autonomous vehicles industry after graduating. In her free time, she enjoys trying new foods, modifying and detailing her car, and going on new adventures with her two dogs.
Sarah (she/her) is an undergraduate transfer student from Berkeley City College who is now at UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry studying chemical biology. Since joining in April 2023 at the recommendation of her research PI at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she has volunteered in various communication roles for East Bay AWIS. She is passionate about empowering community college students to pursue STEM and is working towards her current career goal of becoming a physician. A fun fact about her is that she has traveled around the world to compete for Team USA figure skating. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, roller skating, and completing complicated coloring books.
Baila Hall works for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Weill Cornell Medicine and her BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Barnard College. She recently moved to the East Bay from Los Angeles where she was doing her postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA and is excited to volunteer for the East Bay Chapter and get to better know the East Bay AWIS community.
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.
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.
Atefeh received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Analytical Chemistry from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis. In 2017, she started her first industry position as a product developer for Clorox, the professional product division. She then joined Chevron corporation in 2019. She has held various roles in Chevron. Currently, Atefeh is the reliability and maintenance team lead for all the US plants and terminals at the West Coast for America Fuel and Lubricants products.
Atefeh is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is one of the leaders of Chevron PRIDE, an employee resource group aimed to provide an impactful and inclusive environment for all LGBTQA+ employees. She is the chair-elect of the American Chemical Society, California section. Additionally, she has been an AWIS member since 2019 and has organized multiple joint events between the ACS California section and our section. Atefeh is an avid skier and a runner.