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Benefits of Volunteering:
Volunteering is an opportunity to develop a new skill, expand your career options, be part of your community, gain a stronger sense of achievement, develop new interests, problem solve, improve programs, make important networking contacts, have new experiences, teach others, build self-confidence, gain leadership experience, express gratitude for the help you have received, experience working on a team, and meet a diverse range of people.
WEST appreciates volunteers and has a variety of options available. Please contact Jaime Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Get to Know Some of Our WEST Volunteers:
Anne has a BS in Biology and a PhD in oceanography from the University of Maryland. She worked on biodiversity informatics and data sharing at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Anne made the shift from academia to industry in 2013 and is pioneering an alternative career as an independent scientist through her company and her affiliation with the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship. She is passionate about science, helping other academics transition into industry, and animal rescue.
Jackie is a PhD candidate in the neuroscience department at Tufts University and her scientific interest is in glial cells. Glia, which is Greek for "glue", are brain cells that have long been thought to be inert and serve supportive roles. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that these cells are critically important for modifying how neurons communicate with each other. She is developing a technique to silence one form of glial communication, the vesicular release of gliotransmitters. In addition to her graduate studies, she leads the Tufts Biomedical Business Club. The mission of the club is to cultivate business leaders in the health and life sciences. Over the last four years, she has organized numerous career events, seminars and panel discussions aimed at increasing business literacy and career development opportunities for graduate students at Tufts.
Elissa received a BS in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and then earned her Ph.D in chemistry from Yale University. She completed postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and then took a position at Moderna Therapeutics. In her free time she likes to run, swim and travel.
Patty Purcell received a BS/MS in Biochemistry at the Catholic University of Chile, her native country, and then earned a PhD in Genetics from Harvard. She subsequently did postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Forsyth Institute, and Harvard Medical School. During her training at Forsyth she pioneered molecular studies of temporomandibular joint development, which led to a number of scientific publications and NIH funding. She is passionate about science as well as advising, mentoring and helping students to pursue their career development.
Jenny is currently a Senior Postdoctoral Associate at Tufts University School of Medicine where she is working to determine the mechanism of action of a class of small molecule inhibitors, which are relevant to many different diseases involving cell death and inflammation. She received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. As a graduate student, Jenny performed biochemical and biophysical research on a bacterial translocase and she was actively involved in the Chemistry-Biology Interface program as a trainee and student leader. Prior to graduate school, she conducted molecular biology research at Children’s Hospital Boston and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to understand the role of a novel domain found in transcription factors. She received her BS in Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth where she began research career using cell biology techniques to research metastatic breast cancer. In addition to her volunteer activities with WEST, Jenny also volunteers at the Boston Marathon and other half marathon races.
Discovering new things was always something that drew Ricardo's curiosity so studying sciences came naturally. He graduated with a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Concepcion, in his native Chile. Then, he moved to the states and got postdoctoral training at UMass Medical School, where his work focused on understanding the cell cycle control in normal, cancer and embryonic stem cells. Currently, Ricardo is a Scientist at Agios Pharmaceuticals, a company that focuses on cancer metabolism. Working in the exploratory team, he hopes to make a difference in patients’ lives helping to develop innovative medicines. Photography was always a passion for Ricardo, but it took a big leap when he had the opportunity to take a semester of Photography in the School of Arts when he was undergrad (Biochemistry) student. It was quite a revealing experience for him to learn the basics of photography and how to process his own film and paper in a dark room.
Parnian Boloori Zadeh is a recent Ph.D. graduate from Northeastern University. Before starting graduate school, she received her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Architecture and worked at a petrochemical company. Soon after starting at the company as a Mechanical Engineer, she was promoted to a lead engineer position. Being passionate about learning and helping improve people’s lives, she sought opportunities to change her career path and to obtain a terminal degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Bioengineering. To obtain the best possible training in this field, she moved to the United States of America in 2007. In the past 6 years, she has attended many career development events organized by different organizations, where she learned about WEST.
Unee has a great deal of experience in business development and sales management. She has been Managing Director at Asset Capital Solutions, Inc. for the last three years. She is responsible for Research, Innovation, Visioning, Core Business Modeling and Platform Development, Technology and Logistics. Asset Capital Solutions, Inc. is in its research stage moving towards the seed stage. Unee is currently pursuing expanding her expertise through MIT Sloan School of Management under Fellows. Unee’s prior work experience includes being a Branch Manager for several national banks over the span of seven years. She started her career with AT&T in small business development selling IT and data products to small businesses. Upon being ranked in the top 5% within the organization, she moved into management. Over the span of her career in business development and sales management, she has been in top 1-5% of every organization she joined. She has owned and managed her own businesses. She enjoys her day to day efforts of working as an entrepreneur in real estate and the financial markets. Additionally, she spends time helping non-profits, including WEST.
Robyn is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she is involved in multiple research projects investigating infectious disease, immunology and vaccine development. In addition to being an active volunteer with WEST, Robyn also helps with SHOW (Science Shaping Our World) events and is Co-founder and Director of Industry Outreach for the Industry Exploration (IndEx) Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Prior to her postdoctoral position, Robyn completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science in 2010 at UMass Medical School where she examined host-pathogen interactions and received her B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster. As a graduate student Robyn interned in the University’s Technology Transfer Office preparing and marketing innovative technologies developed at UMass Medical School to gain a better understanding of the commercial interest in scientific innovations.
Giulia has been working in biomedical research within academic hospitals for the past 18 years. She is passionate about basic, translational, and clinical research leading to continuous improvement of patient’s prognosis. Currently, Giulia is a Principal Investigator of a Laboratory in the Brain Tumor Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where she is developing therapeutic and imaging strategies for the treatment of tumors in the central and peripheral nervous system. Prior to that she performed biomedical research as a: 1) Visiting Scientist at Ohio State University (Columbus OH, 2004-2005), 2)Post-Doctoral Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston MA, 2001-2005), and Doctoral Student at Emory University (Atlanta GA,1998-2001) and Lausanne State Hospital (Lausanne CH, 1996-1998). Giulia received a Ph.D. in Tumor Biology at the University of Lausanne (CH, 2001) and a joint MS/BS degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Pavia (Italy, 1996).
Yuly Fuentes-Medel graduated with a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA, and began a postdoctoral training at the MIT Sloan School under the supervision of Professors Fiona Murray and Pierre Azoulay to validate novel metrics to supplement the traditional funding allocation approaches inherited from the post-World War II era and used by a wide variety of grant-making institutions in both the public sector and in private philanthropy. Yuly is energetically involved in fostering scientific interest and careers diversity in the sciences as a current intern for Propel Careers. One of her major undertakings is to create a connection between Propel Careers and the Universities/Biotech companies located in MA Area. During her time as a Ph.D. student, she pioneered the co-organization of the International workshop called “Small Brains Big Ideas” Biomedical Insights from Invertebrate Neuroscience Research, held in Santiago, Chile, in 2010. This initiative successfully trained so far, sixty Latin-American students in the application of genetic model systems and now is being planned every two years. Trained as a biochemist at University of Concepcion in her native Chile, she has a passion for science development and innovation.