curWe are delighted to introduce BABEC fellow, Emily Quach, a passionate educator and scientist that has been involved in the Bay Area biotech community since her undergraduate studies.   

Emily’s journey began with a setback in her first chemistry class at UC Riverside.  She recalls failing a course for the first time ever, which prompted her to transfer to Laney College.  There, her biology professor recommended she explore biomanufacturing. Emily found this world fascinating and subsequently, took all the classes required to earn a certificate.  When she continued her studies at UC Davis, she decided to focus on biotechnology with a specialization in fermentation and microbiology.  She recalls with fondness waking up for her 7am lab to brew beer.  Emily then went on to pursue a master’s degree at CSU East Bay focusing her work on the toxoplasma parasite (yes, the one found in cat litter!)   

At a conference in 2020, she met Nick Kapp, a biotech professor at Skyline College and BABEC board member.  Over lunch, Emily learned more about his work, which bridges biotech education and industry.  By 2021, she was working as an adjunct professor at Skyline College where her Fridays were spent collaborating closely with Nick’s students in the BioScope program.  BioScope prepares students for biotech jobs through hands-on manufacturing of products that are used in high school and college biology programs. During this time, she crossed paths with BABEC, sparking a strong interest in their work.

Ying-Tsu, BABEC’s executive director, didn’t miss the opportunity to recruit Emily to help with the InnovATE Bio supply chain project.  Emily has been instrumental in collecting SOPs and batch records from instructors across California, standardizing formats, and making them accessible through platforms like Canvas and Google Drive.  Her impressive work did not go unnoticed, and Emily had the honor of presenting her findings at the ATE Conference in October, opening doors to additional grant work. Now in phase 2, Emily is collaborating with Ying-Tsu and Terri Quenser, to continue developing supply chain guidelines and anticipates hosting a workshop soon.

This past summer in the BABEC lab, Emily was exploring duckweed growth as an algae alternative to study lipid production.  She is currently also investigating the “friendly gene” in domesticated dogs compared to gray wolves. This will help BABEC develop exciting new labs and optimize current ones.  Her work highlights her intrinsic drive for investigating even the smallest questions and uncovering the best protocols for experimentation.

Emily’s passion for teaching has most recently landed her a full-time biology professor at Laney College. There, she collaborates closely with Skyline and Laney on a shared grant, fostering an environment where community college students gain hands-on experience producing products such as agar plates and lysis buffers for customers, thus nurturing the next generation of scientists.

Looking ahead, Emily’s goal is to grow as an instructor, taking educational classes to hone her teaching skills and make a positive impact on her students’ lives.  Her advice to her students and others is to “try everything” and embrace every opportunity that comes along, as it may lead to unexpected joys and passions.  For example, she recalls her favorite class was a business course, where she found satisfaction in using Excel tools to organize her work.  Outside of the lab and classroom, Emily finds pleasure in couponing and shopping at Costco.   

We are privileged to have Emily Quach as part of the BABEC team. Her dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and the development of future scientists makes her an invaluable asset to our community. We eagerly anticipate the exciting discoveries and educational advancements she will continue to foster in the realm of biotechnology and beyond.

Amanda Cherry
Paradise Valley HS
Phoenix, AZ

The curriculum materials are beautifully prepared and easy to understand-thanks for preparing such great resources that are easy to use.

Byron Gougoumis
Burton HS
San Francisco, CA

All Babec labs are well organised and modelled effectively with clear, helpful procedural instructions, easily transposed to the classroom.

Gianne Souza
Lincoln HS
San Francisco, CA

The online resources are SO well done! The best I have ever had. Very little modification to make them clear and easy to follow. I have done two BABEC lessons and they are so well made that they made teaching online fun again.

Heather Johnson
Burlingame HS
Burlingame, CA

When doing the BABEC labs I consistently hear students say they feel like "real scientists."

Marianne Gudmundsson
Glenbrook South HS
Glenview, IL

Well organized and scaffolded; flexible structure and can be used partially or as a whole. This unit can be used as is...superbly written and thought out...incorporates many skills and allows student collaboration and student choice/voice.

Rocky Ng
South San Francisco HS
South San Francisco, CA

Thank you for creating these curriculum materials. I am beyond grateful for the quality lessons, on-the-point figures/videos, and easy-to-navigate biotechnology curriculum.

Thi Ngo
Capuchino HS
San Bruno, CA

The level of support really made the whole process easier and encouraged me to continue incorporating biotech into my curriculum. Thank you for the live assistance during the labs and for responding to inquiries so promptly and with such urgency.

Anonymous Teacher

Really well thought out curricula. Great to see "old" activities that have been re-imagined with lots of consideration to NGSS.

Anonymous Teacher

This was the best educational workshop I have had the honor of attending, and I am so thankful.

Anonymous Teacher

Wonderfully executed. Strengthened my skills. Thank you!!

Anonymous Teacher

BABEC has such a strong positive impact on teachers and students - thank you for your amazing work!