Debbie has taught Biology and Biotechnology at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo for 32 years. She also teaches at the UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program, where she has educated middle school students in biotechnology for the past 4 summers. She has been a “cluster leader” with the East Bay Partnership since the inception of the program. In that role, she supported teachers throughout the East Bay in implementing BABEC biotechnology curricula. She teaches in a school district that is a state leader in early NGSS implementation, and has extensive experience with adapting lessons and teaching within the new NGSS framework.
Jimmy has been teaching high school for over 28 years, the last 15 years at San Mateo High School. For the past 11 years, he has been the Lead Teacher of the San Mateo Biotechnology Career Pathway Program (SMBCP), a four-year biotechnology program for high school students, designed to introduce them to the latest developments in biotechnology. SMBCP was awarded the Pantheon Award for Biotechnology Education in 2010. He has started numerous summer science outreach programs to make science accessible to middle and high school students. Jimmy received the 2008 Amgen Award for Teaching Excellence and completed an IISME Fellowship at Stanford University School of Neuroscience. In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys traveling, fishing, and golfing.
Elaine Johnson, PhD
Elaine is the PI and Executive Director of Bio-Link, a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education National Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences based at City College of San Francisco. She is nationally recognized as an innovator and leader in education for careers in biotechnology. Elaine specializes in creating partnerships between educational institutions and industry, and she promotes articulation to create career pathways. She participates in several ATE National Visiting Committees, and serves on the Advisory Board for the AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education. In addition, she is one of the hub leaders of the Community College Consortium for Bioscience Credentials Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant and a mentor for the Mentor-Connect project.
Nick Kapp, PhD, Secretary
Nick is a professor at Skyline College, where he oversees the Biotechnology Program. He is currently researching ways to make biotechnology easier and more accessible, so that it can be performed in simple laboratory settings in a high school or grade school. Nick received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and performed his postdoctoral work at The Scripps Research Institute. Nick is working closely with BABEC to develop a supply chain program whereby Skyline biotech students prepare materials and kits for high school science classes.
Michelle LaFevre-Bernt, PhD
Michelle received her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from SUNY-Stonybrook. She did two post-docs specializing in cancer and neurodegenerative disease cell signaling at Sugen, Inc. and The Buck Institute for Age Research. She next developed protein-based cancer therapeutics at ProteomTech, Inc. For the past ten years she has been teaching Biology, Biotechnology and Chemistry at San Marin High School in Novato, where she is developing a Biotech Academy as part of the Northern California College and Career Pathway Trust. For the past two years she has been assisting as the PROBE coordinator in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Lori Lindburg, PhD
Lori is the Executive Director of the California Life Sciences Institute, where she manages CLSI’s workforce, entrepreneurship, and education initiatives, ensuring that they align with industry needs. She is also co-founder and chair emeritus of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes, a 42-state coalition dedicated to developing and scaling successful industry practices in life science education, entrepreneurship, and career development. With over 15 years of experience in workforce development, Lori has worked with the private sector, local governments, industry, and organizations to develop workforce systems in growth industries that are inclusive of underserved communities.
Bryony Ruegg, PhD, Treasurer
Bryony is the Director of the Biotechnology Explorer Program at Bio-Rad Laboratories, which develops real-world, hands-on science activities to help teach biology and biotechnology to high school and undergraduate students, as well as training teachers in these technologies. Bryony has been with the program since 2002, and is originally from the north of England. She came to the U.S. in 1999 to do postdoctoral research into breast cancer at UCSF, after completing a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of London and a molecular biology B.Sc. from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Josie Sette, President
Josie is the Director of the Applied Biotechnology Center at Ohlone College, which serves to bridge the gap between education and employment advancement by offering services to meet the needs of industry, educators, students, economic and workforce development agencies, and government. Josie is the Deputy Sector Navigator for Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy, Life Sciences/Biotechnology Initiative, which invests funding and resources in life science and biotechnology education.