The Beyond Academia team is comprised entirely of graduate students and post-docs at UC Berkeley. They volunteer their efforts and time outside of doing research, writing articles, teaching classes, and mentoring students.
Co-director, Events Lead
Jasmine is a PhD Candidate in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering. She uses synthetic biology tools to control how cells communicate with their surroundings with the goal of better understanding cancer cell tissue invasion. Jasmine has taken an active role in shaping her program's community, serving as chair of the annual Berkeley/UCSF Bioengineering Conference and as co-president of the BioE Association of Students. She is also an advocate for funding medical research, and worked with the UCSF Science Policy Group to promote the importance of NIH funding to the US Congress. In her spare time, she enjoys throwing parties themed around her favorite tv shows and books.
Co-Director, Finance Lead, outreach
Kate is a 4th year graduate student in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology, studying the mechanisms of plant disease resistance. Her research focuses on the molecular toolkit of the powdery mildew fungus, a disease which infects a broad range of important crop plants. Outside of the lab, Kate is interested in helping young students to engage with science, and has worked to develop and lead several lessons through the Bay Area Scientists in Schools program, and is involved in the organization of the Expanding Your Horizons conference. In her free time, Kate enjoys rock climbing, knitting, cooking, and the weather in the Bay Area.
Co-director, Logistics, Speakers, Development
Diya Das is a fifth year PhD student in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, where she studies molecular mechanisms of regeneration in the olfactory epithelium. She is currently engaged in several projects to analyze differentiation and regeneration by olfactory stem cells using single-cell RNA sequencing. Outside of lab, she's very active in improving the academic and social environment on campus and in the community: among others, she served on the planning committee for the Expanding Your Horizons Conference and the Student Health Advisory Committee for several years, and is currently student Co-President of the MCB Graduate Student & Alumni Association. Linkedin Profile
Katharina is a third year PhD candidate in Vision Science at UC Berkeley where she focuses on using imaging techniques to visualize photoreceptors in vivo. In addition to research, she is passionate about public speaking and is a mentor as well as Logistics Manager for Toastmasters International. She also serves as a Resident Assistant where she facilitates international community building and program planning in addition to implementing community standards. Linkedin Profile
Adeola Harewood is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Vision Science program. Her dissertation research studies the relationship between individual differences in visual field shape and visual perception and the role of acetylcholine and dopamine in spatial working memory. She came to Berkeley from NYC where she attended Hunter College as a psychology major and worked on projects studying the development of the visual pathways. She is passionate about mentoring and is currently involved in mentoring undergraduate students.
Speakers, logistics, outreach
Monica is a 5th year PhD student in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology where she studies the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae B728a which causes brown spot disease in bean leaves. Outside of the lab, Monica has served on a committee to organize UC Berkeley’s first Plant Genome Engineering Symposium featuring scientists talking about their research involving the CRISPR-Cas9 system which is a gene editing system that was declared the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2015 by the journal Science. Monica is also interested in increasing involvement of historically underrepresented ethnic groups in the sciences and has spoken twice at UC Berkeley’s Graduate Student Diversity Day. In her free time, Monica enjoys crocheting, hiking, playing the flute, and exploring Berkeley and San Francisco.
media lead, logistics
Judy Jinn is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. Her research explores how decisions during spatial navigation are subject to change based on information gained over time. Two types of dynamic information are of interest: 1) motor skills related to moving to a goal and 2) sensory information from olfactory cues. These questions are addressed by studying wild fox squirrel movements, humans in virtual environments, and theoretical modeling. Beyond the lab, Judy navigates her way around the dance floor with the Cal Ballroom team. Linkedin Profile
Networking Lead, finance, outreach
Erica Lee is at work on a dissertation that examines infrastructure and social services in early twentieth-century Californian and Mexican cities. She is a PhD Candidate in the UC Berkeley Department of History. While at Berkeley she co-founded the Urban History Working Group, worked at the Social Science Matrix, and conducted research on urban infrastructure, public welfare, and immigration in cities including San Francisco, Manila, Chicago, San Diego, and Tijuana. Before beginning her doctoral program she studied Rhetoric at UC Berkeley and Architecture at The Cooper Union. Linkedin Profile
Logistics, Media, Website
Antoine is postdoc at Berkeley National Lab in a bio-chemistry laboratory. He develops and manages new scientific equipment. His background of physics allowing to develop all the aspect of the project such as mechanical parts and software or data acquisition systems. Linkedin Profile
Speakers, events, media
A doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature, Julia Nelsen brings a humanities-centered perspective to this year's team. Before returning to Berkeley, where she studied as an undergrad, she completed her Masters in European Languages and Literatures at the University of Milan. Her research examines the connections between avant-garde literature and new media technologies in the early 20th century. Alongside her scholarly work, Julia is an avid translator. She also collaborates actively with Bay Area non-profits committed to promoting cultural and linguistic exchange. Julia is dedicated to helping fellow humanities and social science PhDs explore the kinds of work they can do beyond the tenure-track. Linkedin Profile
Aaron Sullivan obtained his PhD from the UC Berkeley Vision Science program in 2015 studying contact lens related microbial keratitis. He has been a part of the Berkeley vision science department for several years studying myopia, eicosanoid mediated anti-inflammatory research, wound healing in the eye and the ocular microbiome. He recently accepted a postdoctoral position at UCSF studying dry eye in the joint labs of Professors Nancy McNamara and Sarah Knox. He's a SF Bay area native having grown up in the heart of the silicone valley and the proud father of two wonderful boys Gavin and Quinn. Linkedin Profile
Logistics Lead, media, events
Daniel is 2nd year postdoc at the Energy Bioscience Institute visiting from the Department of Law, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is specialized in business law and sustainability issues. Daniel is a co-founder of the CSR Legal Research Network and an active participant and organizer at the UC Berkeley PhD Consulting Club. His postdoctoral research project is investigating the business and trade law aspects of the renewable energy policies of California and the EU. Linkedin Profile
SPEAKERS, EVENTS, NETWORKING
Clarice de Azevedo Souza
Clarice is a broadly trained biological scientist. After a brief start as an ecologist in her native Brazil she found a passion for plant natural products. She received a PhD in Botany from the University of British Columbia, focusing on molecular regulation of plant metabolism. Her work uncovered an ancient biochemical pathway conserved in land plants responsible for pollen development and viability. She received postdoctoral training at the University of Miami Medical School studying molecular microbiology of pathogenic bacteria, and at UC Berkeley focusing on plant immunity. She has published several scientific articles in Plant Cell, Plant Physiology, Journal of Molecular Biology and New Phytologist. Clarice has been actively involved in education and science outreach efforts. She lives with her husband, two toddlers and a show cat. Linkedin Profile
Beth is a fifth year PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at INSEAD and visiting scholar at Haas School of Business for the 2016-2017 academic year. Her research explores the motivations for, strategies to, and outcomes of integrating work and personal life using qualitative and quantitative methods. Prior to graduate school, Beth worked at Columbia Business School on MBA leadership development and created an online research panel for faculty. Beth has lived on four continents and loves traveling and landscape photography. Linkedin Profile
Kirsten is a first year Ph.D. student in sociology and demography. She studies how groups of people change over time and what implications that has on the spaces, services, and systems of which they are part. At Cal, she is a delegate for the Graduate Assembly as well as the coordinator for the Graduate Student Inclusivity Training Program. She moved to CA from WA where she working in the nonprofit sector providing education opportunities for Mexican immigrants. She is a dancer, improviser, writer, and baker, and loves spending her time outside in search of great views as much as possible.
Jessica is a fourth year PhD candidate in Vision Science exploring the immunomodulatory role of bioactive lipid mediators on adaptive immunity. Prior to returning to graduate school, Jessica researched gene therapy for muscular dystrophy at the University of Washington and cancer immunotherapy at a biotech company. To diversify her activities at UC Berkeley, Jessica was on the organizing committee for the student leadership award-winning Bay Area Vision Research Day conference and participated in the SMART mentorship program. When not busy pipetting, Jessica is sampling new restaurants, hiking and at music shows. Linkedin Profile
José is a research specialist at the HHMI - UC Berkeley laboratory of Prof. Kris Niyogi in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology. He investigates the dynamic processes of photosynthetic membrane biogenesis, regulation and repair in the green microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He obtained his PhD from the Umeå University biochemistry department in Sweden, studying the protein composition of the oxygen evolving protein complex of photosynthesis. He received postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley studying strain optimization and biofuel production in prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic microalgae. He is actively involved in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and when outside the lab, enjoys climbing, biking, soccer and gardening.
Samantha is a Post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley studying the molecular pathways underlying pain and itch sensation. She received her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley in 2016 studying the neuroscience of feeding behavior. During her graduate studies, she characterized neurons that promote feeding behavior using molecular genetic tools and calcium imaging. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys drawing, painting and swimming.