Who are we?
California is the eighth largest economy in the world and the epicenter of global innovation. In particular, Silicon Valley has the highest concentration of engineers, innovators and venture capital in the world. Within a 50-mile area, three leading universities such as Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCSF are clustered together with leading companies in information technology (e.g. Google, Apple, Yahoo, Cisco, Intel), social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), transportation and automotive (Tesla, Uber) and bioengineering (Genentech, Amgen). Our community of scientists and engineers is witnessing an unprecedented and historic transformation. ECUSA California is challenged to foster the discussion across disciplines and amplify the effects of this revolution by sparking the ideas of scientists, enterprising engineers, and innovators in our community.
What do we do?
We organize events and promote networking between ECUSA members. We look forward to seeing you at all of our events, which will be posted on this page of the California Chapter and on our website and ECUSA’s social network platforms.
Iratxe is a PhD in Biomedicine graduated from the University of Barcelona, where she studied the role of the tumor microenvironment with a focus in angiogenesis and immunity. Wanting to learn more about novel drug development to treat cancer, she moved to San Francisco (California) and is now working as an Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow in the pharmaceutical company Genentech.
Sara holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Interested in combating highly pathogenic infectious diseases in humans, Sara combines the latest technologies in Molecular and Structural Biology at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (California), where she conducts her postdoctoral research focused on the Ebola virus. In addition, as co-founder of ECUSA-SD, Professional Development Manager at Fostering Docs and Treasurer of ECUSA-CA, Sara organizes science outreach and professional development events.
PhD in Biochemistry from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB-UNL), she did her post-doctoral research in structural biology, first at the Centro Nacional de Biologia (CNB-CSIC), and then at Caltech (CA, USA). She has recently joined Amgen as a scientist and works on the production, evaluation and optimization of new molecules with therapeutic capacity.
Alba is a PhD graduated from Barcelona. She pursued her postdoctoral studied in the University of New York (NYU) and in the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) where she studied mechanisms of immune suppression in cancer. She is now leading a project at the biotech startup Senti Biosciences developing novel cell therapies for cancer.
PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad Autonoma of Madrid and the University of Strasbourg. She developed her passion for medicinal chemistry and biological chemistry during her postdoctoral stay at The Scripps Institute in La Jolla and as a Juan de la Cierva researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid. She came back to San Diego to begin a new adventure in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. She currently works in Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she investigates new drugs for the treatment and cure of diverse diseases of the digestive tract.
PhD in Neurosciences – Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, UCSD. I am a Neuroscientist and a Professional Musician / Dancer. I use scientific analysis of EEG, ECoG, and physiological data to understand the neurodynamics of music improvisation and affective responses to music engagement. I am working on engineering new musical interventions for health and well-being, including the development of musical brain-computer interfaces. Additionally, I graduated in Piano Performance and I hold a Master in Composition from the Royal Higher Conservatory of Music of Madrid and the URJC (Spain).
Leire Abalde Atristain
Leire is a neuroscientist from Donostia-San Sebastian who completed her undergraduate studies in Biotechnology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a master’s in Biomedical Research at the Pompeu Fabra University, also in Barcelona. Sponsored by a predoctoral fellowship from the La Caixa Foundation, Leire moved to the US in 2013 to obtain her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University, where she was recognized with a Young Investigator Award for her thesis work. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Marc Freeman at Oregon Health & Science University, where she studies the role of glial cells in the degeneration of neurons in the central nervous system. Leire joined the ECUSA’s e-Visibility program in 2020 because of her passion for science communication, her conviction that without Science there is no future, and her STEMinist ideals. Since 2021 she also leads MECUSA in its mission to empower women scientists, improve their visibility, and advocate for gender equity in science.