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Speakers

Career Panel Biotech, Healthcare, Pharma Organizations

Aqila Ahmed

Aqila Ahmed

Single Cell Sales Specialist, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Aqila Ahmed started her research journey at Wayne State University, where she got her master’s and Ph.D. studying DNA repair and premature aging. She went on to do my postdoc at the University of Michigan studying prostate cancer and bone metastasis. Before leaving Michigan, she was in a lab working on drug development of small molecules.
Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

Director, Strategic Analytics and Intelligence, Genentech

Jonathan Jones is a scientist at heart and has always been fascinated with the topics of health and disease. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, he received a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and continued on to Stanford University where he completed his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in the laboratory of Denise Monack. After graduating from Stanford, he decided to continue to develop his business acumen through the world of management consulting, and joined the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company. After two years with McKinsey, he sought to merge his passion for science and business and joined the Strategic Analytics and Intelligence group at Genentech, where he is charged with guiding organizational decisions and strategy for several in-line and pipeline therapies by synthesizing internal and external insights drawn from analysis of primary and secondary data. Though he decided to hang up his pipettes, he is happy to be at Genentech and in the business of translating great science into therapies that improve patients’ lives.
Lilian Lamech

Lilian Lamech

Scientist, Life Edit Therapeutics

Lilian Lamech earned her B.S. in biochemistry from Denison University and her Ph.D. in microbiology at University of Texas at Austin where she used structural and biochemical techniques to study RNA splicing chaperones. She then moved on to a cell biology a postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she explored nutrient recycling and scavenging pathways important for cancer cell survival, and in neurodegenerative and metabolic disease. She transitioned to industry and joined a Brooklyn-based startup working on the development of rapid colorimetric diagnostics for traumatic brain injury and other disease biomarkers. She recently moved to the Research Triangle in North Carolina where she is a scientist at Life Edit Therapeutics, working on novel gene therapy tools.

Career Panel: Non-Profit Organizations

LaShonda Brenson

LaShonda Brenson

Senior Researcher, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

LaShonda Brenson is the senior researcher at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Prior to her current role, she served as a Civil Rights Analyst at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. At the commission, Brenson organized national briefings and wrote reports on municipal fines and fees and their impact on minority communities, minority voting rights, and women in prison. Previously, she was the Research Director at Project Vote, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded on the belief that an organized, diverse electorate is the key to a better America.

Brenson earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and political cience from the University of Rochester, and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. Using qualitative interviews with congressional staffers and quantitative methods, her dissertation research provides evidence that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), as institutions, matter. One way she demonstrates the added value of the CBC and CHC is by illustrating that when caucus members serve as caucus leaders, they introduce more bills because of their additional staff capacity.

Supriya Kumar

Supriya Kumar

Program Officer, Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Supriya Kumar is a program officer in global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and works on surveillance for COVID-19, Cholera, and Typhoid. She manages disease surveillance studies in Asia and is leading the foundation’s efforts in developing low-cost surveillance tools for SARS-CoV-2 and enteric diseases. Prior to joining BMGF in 2017, she was a faculty member in the Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Department in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, where her research focused on health equity in infectious disease epidemics. Coming from South Asia, she remains passionate about elevating the capabilities and voices of researchers based in the Global South, as well as promoting collaborative research in service of the public health needs in low-resource settings.
Mike Shriberg

Mike Shriberg

Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation, Intermittent Lecturer, University of Michigan

Mike Shriberg is the Great Lakes regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and a lecturer in earth and environmental sciences at the University of Michigan. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology and society with a concentration in environment and business from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Shriberg came to NWF in 2015 from the University of Michigan, where he served as the education director at the Graham Sustainability Institute and as a lecturer in the Program in the Environment. Prior to the University of Michigan, Shriberg was the policy director at the Ecology Center and the director of Environment Michigan. He also previously served as the Environmental Studies Program director and an assistant professor at Chatham University. Shriberg’s research interests focus on campus sustainability leadership and organizational change, and his professional expertise is in climate policy, water policy, and environmental education.

Career Panel: Academic and Higher Education Institutions

Chris Gonzalez Clarke

Chris Gonzalez Clarke

Associate Vice Provost and Director, EDGE Doctoral Fellowship Program, Stanford University

Chris Gonzalez Clarke works in the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) at Stanford. His duties include directing the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Doctoral Fellowship Program, leading a university-wide initiative to increase graduate diversity, and other projects. Clarke began his career at the VPGE as a postdoc after earning a Ph.D. in higher education as well as M.A. degrees in sociology and education from Stanford. His expertise covers key issues related to diversity in American higher education, including the impact of racial diversity, the organization of diversity, and the social-psychological processes that affect student performance.
Jill Jividen

Jill Jividen

Director, Research Development, Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Michigan

Jill Jividen started at the University of Michigan in 2010 as a research administrator. She leveraged a background in writing and editing to transition into research development, helping researchers improve the quality of grant proposals, running faculty skills-building programs, and teaching dozens of grant writing workshops. Now the director of research development in the Office of the Vice President for Research, she manages a team of five and is establishing a central office for proposal development, editing, and team science support. Jividen earned a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University, an M.A. in English from New York University, and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of South Carolina. She is the 2021-22 president of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals.
Tershia Pinder-Grover

Tershia Pinder-Grover

Director, Center for Research and Teaching-Engineering

Tershia Pinder-Grover earned a B.S. degree in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. As director of the Center for Research and Teaching-Engineering she leads a team focused on advancing engineering education in the College of Engineering (CoE) through innovative programming, strategic partnerships, and cultivating individual relationships. In collaboration with the associate deans in the CoE, she provides leadership on educational priorities, especially as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. Her current research interests focus on the adoption of inclusive teaching practices for engineering instructors.

Career Panel: Consulting

Ishita Das

Ishita Das

Science Policy Project Manager, Ripple Effect

Ishita Das is a science policy project manager at Ripple Effect, a small women-owned management consulting firm. She leads multiple teams to spearhead a variety of science and health policy initiatives for a wide range of clients including federal agencies (HHS and NIH), non-profit organizations, and public-private partnerships. Das received her bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan in 2015.
Sarah Paleg

Sarah Paleg

Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company

Sarah Paleg defended her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in September 2018 and then started at McKinsey & Company’s Detroit office 10 days later—she recommends taking more time off after you graduate! Today, she is a sustainability fellow and engagement manager, where she supports clients in many industries in their decarbonization transformations. She has expertise in sustainability measurement including carbon accounting, and has helped build McKinsey’s sustainability measurement and decarbonization capabilities.
Vahid Rashidi

Vahid Rashidi

Principal, Boston Consulting Group

Vahid Rashidi holds a Ph.D. and master’s in mechanical engineering, as well as a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Michigan.
Brittany Rodriguez

Brittany Rodriguez

Consultant, Bain & Company

Brittany Rodriguez received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in spring 2020. After graduating, she moved to Dallas to work as a consultant at Bain & Company. In the 1.5 years she has been with Bain, Rodriguez has worked on cases in the pharma and technology industries across a multitude of capabilities including data governance, op model redesign, online transformation, and global ops and supply chain.

Career Panel: Government Organizations

Portia Rae Hemphill

Portia Rae Hemphill

Survey Statistician, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

For over 20 years, Portia Rae Hemphill has led efforts to strengthen the cradle to career pipeline for underserved youth. After earning a joint doctorate in political science and public policy at the University Michigan in 2015, Hemphill became a Presidential Management Fellow. She’s impacted efforts to streamline research and inter-agency coordination for several highly visible community development initiatives at The White House, HUD, and the Department of Education. She is recognized for her work on several HUD projects concerning data analyses and process restructuring.
Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman

Director, Center for Economics, Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Michael Hoffman is the director of the Center for Economics, within the Applied Research and Methods team, at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He oversees the economic analysis of federal programs and policies, and significant national and global economic developments, across a broad range of congressional priorities. To carry out this work he manages a team of almost 30 Ph.D. level economists. Hoffman has a bachelor’s degree in statistics and economics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.
Neali Lucas

Neali Lucas

Director, Team Biologics Staff, Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Lieutenant Commander Neali Lucas is a director of team biologics staff with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Office of Regulatory Affairs, Office of Biological Products Operations. She oversees a team of highly-specialized staff and a program responsible for regulatory oversight of domestic and international establishments that manufacture biological products such as vaccines, cell and gene therapy products, and retroviral diagnostic products. During her tenure with FDA she has held various roles including consumer safety officer (investigator), and supervisory investigator in the biologics program. LCDR Lucas received her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pathology from University of Michigan in 2007 and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Career Panel: Technology Organizations

Krista Kernodle

Krista Kernodle

Data Engineer, TetraScience

Krista Kernodle is currently a data engineer with TetraScience, focusing on cloud data and scientific instrument integration. Her hands-on experience includes client consulting, development of python pipelines, and intermediate data schema development. In October 2021, she received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation focused on identifying the clinical relevance of a mouse model of dystonia through behavioral assays.
Katie Simmons

Katie Simmons

User Experience Researcher, Meta

Katie Simmons works at Meta on the central integrity team, focusing on protecting the community and its voice. Before Meta, she managed the Global Attitudes project at the Pew Research Center which focuses on cross-national public opinion about democracy, foreign affairs, and the economy. She earned her Ph.D. in political science and has also worked consulting for political campaigns, advocacy groups and non-profits.
Suresh Subramanian

Suresh Subramanian

Partner and Strategic Advisor, Synerthink Solutions

Suresh Subramanian is a partner and strategic advisor at Synerthink Solutions, a company he co-founded to deliver trusted data solutions for the connected world. He leads the company’s international business, and plays a key role in growth strategy, global sales, and business development. He prides himself in helping companies create value with integrity, and is respected for continuous attention to the human side of business, placing a premium on customer relationships, personnel management, and career planning to enable individual and team success. Prior to his current role, Subramanian was an entrepreneur in residence with GE Ventures, and a senior vice president at iconectiv (part of Ericsson). Subramanian has Ph.D. and master’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.