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WIB-Seattle: Seattle Life Science Spotlight: Connections & Career Growth, April 29, 2019

Posted By Kimberly Collins, Friday, May 17, 2019

The WIB-Seattle chapter’s April event, “Seattle Life Science Spotlight: Connections & Career Growth,” showcased sponsor organizations and supporters of the WIB-Seattle community along with available employment opportunities at this networking event.

This event was held at Cambia Grove, a healthcare innovation hub that aims to bring together healthcare professionals with the goal to innovate healthcare by making it personalized and sustainable. Regular networking, discussions, and professional speaker events held at Cambia Grove are found here: www.cambiagrove.com/events/calendar.

From the bustling Seattle biotech space, we were joined by WIB sponsors: Adaptive Biotechnologies, Juno, A Celgene Company, Immunopharma, and Omeros; along with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the staffing agencies: Apex Systems, Medix, and Skills Alliance. WIB sponsors shared a brief introduction about their organizations which was followed by networking time. Companies and research institutes had booths staffed with recruitment and research personnel who discussed career opportunities, job openings, and the organization with attendees. Professional headshot photography by Jamie Rand Imaging provided an excellent opportunity to freshen up our LinkedIn profiles with professional images.

We are grateful for our past and current sponsors: Alexandria Real Estate, Advanced Leadership Consulting, Celgene, Omeros, Lyell, Adaptive, Juno, A Celgene Company, and Medix for their support of our chapter and we extend our gratitude to our in-kind donors, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Apex. We also thank Cambia Grove for donating the space for this event.

Tags:  2019 

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WIB-Seattle: Young Women In Bio at Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night, April 25, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Friday, May 17, 2019
For the third consecutive year, Young Women In Bio–Seattle hosted a table at Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night on April 25th, 2019. Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night gives students the opportunity to present their science projects and allows students and their families to participate in hands-on science activities.
 
YWIB-Seattle used oobleck (a mixture of cornstarch and water) to demonstrate Non-Newtonian fluids. By making their own mixtures, students experienced first-hand that oobleck mimics a liquid when a weak force is applied, and it mimics a solid when a strong force is applied. Overall, this outreach event was a blast for all involved!

Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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WIB-Seattle: WIB Seattle Board Member Spotlight: Sophia Siu

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

 

For WIB-Seattle’s first member spotlight this year, we are profiling Sophia Siu, Vice Chair of WIB-Seattle and Regulatory Affairs Manager at Kite Pharma, a Gilead Company. Through the supportive WIB network, Siu has gained connections and developed the confidence to make the most out of her career. In her work at Kite and WIB, Siu works consistently to advance both clinical medicine and her colleagues. Here we share her story. 


Siu grew up in Vancouver, Canada and completed her BS in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia. Her curiosity of the unknown and the opportunity to work on transformative technologies led her to work for Immunex, Berlex, and Amgen. After a decade of work in Amgen’s discovery research labs developing a wide range of protein therapeutics, she made a career pivot. She completed her MS in Regulatory Affairs at the University of Washington in 2016 and she transitioned into regulatory clinical development at Gilead Sciences. Gilead acquired Kite Pharma and after admiring what Kite was doing in cancer therapy from the outside, she pursued an internal transfer to Kite in 2019. 

The career advances she has made were often precipitated by identifying a new skill that would make her better in her current role. Siu explains, “The curiosity to learn something new or improve the work I do in my teams has often led me to a new role and, in the case of wanting to learn about clinical development, it led to a career change from bench science to regulatory affairs!”

Her dynamic career history did include challenges. In 2014, she was laid off with over 600 others when Amgen closed their Seattle offices. It was then that Siu joined WIB, which has since played a leading role in helping her to land back on her feet. She appreciates that the WIB community has been warm and welcoming. 


When asked about WIB, here’s what Siu has to say:

“Growing up, my parents emphasized humility. I don’t think this is wrong, but it also made me uncomfortable talking about my accomplishments. After being involved with WIB, I recognized how important self-advocating can be for career advancement and getting the roles that you really want. I’m more fearless talking about my accomplishments now. When I first joined WIB, I was surprised at how much we can do with volunteer power. The impact that WIB make through STEM events for middle and high school girls to our Boardroom Ready program that aims to get more women into the highest levels of an organization is huge.” 

With all that Siu has been able to achieve through her work with WIB as a volunteer board member, it seems fitting that her one piece of advice to new WIB members is to “join us at our next event and introduce yourself to a fellow member.” As Siu has shown, it is the first step into a fantastic journey.

Tags:  2019  Member Spotlight 

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WIB-Seattle: Women's History Month Event Recap: Rockstar Women, March 25, 2019

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Monday, April 15, 2019

In honor of Women’s History Month, Women In Bio - Seattle hosted, “Rockstar Women,” on March 25, 2019. Our event featured three highly engaging panelists: Lisa Cohen, Senior Advisor at Uncommon; Beth Kolko, Co-Founder and CEO of Shift Labs; and Cathy Melfi, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory and Chief Regulatory Officer of Omeros. The lively conversation was moderated by Blythe Sather, Senior Director of T cell engineering at Lyell Immunopharma and former Seattle WIB Treasurer. We were proud to showcase these rockstars in the local life science scene.

Sophia Siu, WIB Seattle Chapter Vice Chair, introducing the panelists and sharing information about WIB-Seattle membership.

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We were privileged to have these all-stars for a wonderful evening where they shared their successful career journeys and personal reflections. Common themes in the discussion included the importance of building a supportive network, how to approach experts for help and mentorship, and how to take the fear out of decision making. Another surprising commonality amongst our panelists was their non-scientific academic beginnings - English, Journalism, and Economics - and how they didn’t let this stop them from moving into scientific or engineering areas to make amazing things happen. The panelists talked about taking on roles despite being uncertain that they were completely qualified quite yet, and encouraged others to embrace the challenge and opportunity to grow.    

Panelists (left to right; Beth Kolko, Shift Labs ; Lisa Cohen, Uncommon; Cathy Melfi, Omeros ; Blythe Sather, Lyell Immunopharma  and past Seattle WIB Treasurer. 

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The panelists asserted that their confidence came from their prior experiences, and with this experience came the bravery to continue to venture into new territory. Beth Kolko ended the night's conversation with this insight, “My work [exists] because of who I am, it’s not what I am.”

We thank all the panelists for their time out of their incredibly busy schedules on a rainy night, and we thank the University of Washington, CoMotion Labs HQ, for hosting this event.

Tags:  2019 

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WIB-Seattle: YWIB-Seattle: "What's Inside Our Blood? A Hands-On Hematopoiesis Lab", March 13, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Young Women In Bio - Seattle hosted “What’s Inside Our Blood? A Hands-On Hematopoiesis Lab” at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute (FHCRC) on March 13th, 2019. Ten students from high schools around the Seattle area attended to learn about the components of our blood and how those components are changed in a cancerous state. Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb (FHCRC, Clinical Research Division) first introduced students to the concept of stem cells, and their immense potential for regeneration therapy. She then walked students through the typical cell types present in blood, and how leukemia affects those cells. While discussing internships for high school students at the FHCRC, Dr. Torok-Storb emphasized the importance of diversity in the biomedical workforce: utilizing everyone’s unique perspective means that together we will be able to generate creative research advances even faster.

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 After learning the necessary background information, students moved into the laboratory and donned lab coats, gloves, and goggles. The first goal of the lab activity was to learn how to make a whole-blood smear on a slide, and image that smear by microscopy after staining. The majority of cells in these smears were red blood cells, but after properly centrifuging their samples of dog blood in a sugar gradient, students were able to isolate lymphocytes and stain smears of concentrated immune cells present in the blood samples. Dr. Torok-Storb connected observations students made based on their slides, like the presence or absence of lymphocytes in whole-blood smears, to the clinical manifestations of leukemia discussed in her talk. The event ended with a tour of the shared resources facility in the FHCRC, where students observed scientists at work performing electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and genomics.

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Tags:  2019  YWIB 

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WIB-Seattle: Building a Plan for Your Year, February 7, 2019

Posted By Sonya Trejo, Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Katie Smolnycki (left), WIB-Seattle Chair kicking off the workshop and introducing Women Catalysts leaders, Jenna Starkey (center) and Courtney Irvin (right).

On February 7, 2019, the WIB-Seattle chapter started the new year with a goal setting event - “Building a Plan for Your Year”. WIB-Seattle partnered with Women Catalysts for this fun-filled workshop that was led by their Seattle team, Courtney Irvin and Jenna Starkey. The workshop consisted of personal writing goals, group discussions, and self reflection. The bustling room was full of supportive women wanting to create change with workshop exercises that aiding us in finding fulfillment by documenting what is most important in the now. The session concluded with everyone sharing what we learned and celebrating the present.

Workshop attendees, Melinda Duplessis (left) and Chelsea Mullins (right), during networking time.

We thank Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. for donating the space for this event and Jenna Starkey and Courtney Irvin for sponsoring and leading the workshop.

 

Tags:  2019 

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Previous Past Event Recaps

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Coming soon!

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