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Chem 147 - Careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar course is a weekly 90 min seminar course that has two key objectives. The first one is to share with Chemistry and Biochemistry majors some of the employment and career opportunities that are available after earning their UCLA degrees, as well as some of the strategies to approach a job search. The second objective is to network with seminar speakers, faculty, and fellow students in order to develop professional skills and seed future professional relations.

Each week a UCLA alumnus is invited to give a presentation that describes her/his career path in areas such as industry, government, research, development, education, law, health care, etc. Speakers describe how their education in Chemistry and Biochemistry helped them become successful and share with students the key skills and knowledge that have helped them advance in their professions. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A / discussion and a reception that gives the students an opportunity to develop a closer fellowship amongst themselves, speakers, and department faculty.

The class meets on Mondays from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in in Mol Sci 3440 (Cram Conference Room). The class is open to all Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Chemistry Materials Science Majors. A passing grade requires the following: attend and sign in at each class meeting, participation in a resume-writing workshop, satisfactory preparation of a job application and a resume for a sample job opening. No absences are allowed. The class is offered every quarter. It is not offered in the summer.

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Spring 2020

  • Dr. David Winternheimer (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) - General Manager, Pacific Star Labs
  • Dr. Scott Hsieh (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) - Research Safety Quality Assurance Manager, UCLA Office of Environment, Health and Safety
  • Dr. Fernando Gomez (Ph.D. Molecular Biology) - Assistant Director, UCLA/ Undergrad Resources Center Sciences
  • Dr. Adam Hsu (B.S. Biochemistry) - Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California Vision and Visage Medical Group
  • Dr. Randy Schekman (B.S. Molecular Sciences) - Nobel Laureate/Professor, UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Jennifer Hsieh (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) - Professor, Santa Monica College

Winter 2020

  • Dr. Jamil Momand (B.S.,Ph.D. Biochemistry) - Faculty, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Troy Walton - Senior Scientist, Beyond Meat
  • Dr. Tina Choe - (B.S., Ph.D. Chemistry) - Dean, College of Science and Engineering, Loyola Marymount University
  • Dr. David Shia (B.S. MCDB) - UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
  • Dr. Ramin Salehirad (B.S Biochemistry, Ph.D., M.D.) - Internal Medicine, UCLA Health

Fall 2019

  • Dr. Heidi McMahon (M.S. Chemistry) - Faculty and Chair, Chemistry Department, College of the Canyons
  • Dr. Ramin Ebrahami (B.S. Chemistry) - Cardiologist, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Jamie Lam (B.S. Biochemistry) - Regulatory Affairs Associate II, Gilead Sciences
  • Dr. Richard Julius (B.S., Ph.D. Chemistry) - Research Scientist, Microfabrica
  • Dr. Omar Farha (B.S., Ph.D. Chemistry) - Co-Founder and CSO, NuMat Technologies

Spring 2019

  • Dr. Patrick Donley (B.S. Chemistry '80, M.D. '87) - President, Torrance Anesthesia Medical Group, Inc.
  • Dr. Christoper Kolodziej (Ph.D. Chemistry) - Chemical Hygiene Officer, UCLA Environment, Health & Safety, Laboratory Safety
  • Wen Bin Zhou (B.S. Chemistry) - Criminalist 1, Santa Clara Crime Lab
  • Dr. Tina Li (B.S. Chemistry '06) - Development Manager, Cabot Microelectronics Corp.
  • Dr. Cari Meyer Joiner (B.S. Chemistry) - Faculty, Pierce College

Winter 2019

  • Ethan Rao (B.S. Biochemistry '16) - Research Scientist, Hydrophilix
  • Dr. Robert Shibao (B.S. Chemistry, Prof. Richard Kaner's group) - Faculty, El Camino College
  • Dr. Roderick Shaner, Medical Director, LA County Department of Mental Health (retired)
  • Dr. Kenny Mayoral (Ph.D. Chemistry '13, Prof. Thomas Mason's group) - Scientist II, Beyond Meat
  • Daniel Maung (B.S. '13, M.S. '15, Chemistry, Prof. Richard Kaner's group) - Research Chemist, PPG Aerospace

Fall 2018

  • Dr. Taz Varkey (B.S. Biochemistry '91) - Obstetrician Gynecologist
  • Kim Nguyen-Yu (B.S. Biochemistry '02) - Hazardous Materials Fire Inspector, City of Pasadena, Fire Department
  • Dr. Arlene Russell (M.S. Chemistry) - Senior Lecturer, UCLA
  • Dr. Matthew Everly - Director, Terasaki Research Institute
  • Hope Ibarra (B.S. Biochemistry) - Scientist I, Manufacturing Sciences, Transplant Diagnostics, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Dominic Larubina - Co-owner Santa Monica Brew Works

Spring 2018

  • Dr. Derek Walter (Ph.D. Chemistry '03, Prof. Daniel Neuhauser's group) - Patent Litigator, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
  • Dr. Randa Reslan (B.S. Chemistry, Minor Mathematics '01, Ph.D. Chemistry '15, Prof. Daniel Neuhauser group) - Chemistry Instructor, Glendale Community College.
  • Dr. Nguyen Quan (B.S. Chemistry '71) - Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Golden State Water Company.
  • Dr. Wayne Poon - (B.S. Chemistry '93, Ph.D. Biochemistry '01, Prof. Catherine Clarke group) Tissue Repository Director, UCI Mind.

Winter 2018

  • Dr. Sandy Nguyen (B.S. Biochemistry '06) - Associate Director, Global Market Insights & New Products, Celgene.
  • Dr. Jeffrey E. Miller (B.S. Biochemistry '87) - Founder, CSO, CEO & Chairman, Invivoscribe.
  • Dr. Carolyn Vuong (B.S. Chemistry '05) - Regional Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, Kaiser Permanente.
  • Dr. Karen Trentelman - Senior Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute.
  • Meghan Truax - (B.S. Biochemistry,Minor Science Education '16) - AP Chemistry Teacher, Francis Polytechnic High School.

Fall 2017

  • Dr. Steve Kim (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '01, Prof. Harold Martinson group) - JD, Intellectual Property, Patent Law.
  • Dr. Justine Lee (B.S. Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology '99) - Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgeon, Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Ralph Bauer (B.S. Chemistry - Honors '52, Ph.D. Chemistry '58, Seaborg Medal Awardee '92, Mayor of Huntington Beach '72) - Councilman, Huntington Beach, CA.
  • Dr. Ruben Flores-Saaib (M.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '99, Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '00, Prof. Albert Courey group) - Director of Commercialization, University of California, San Diego.
  • Dr. Troy Walton - Senior Scientist, Beyond Meat.
  • Dr. Rafael Ortiz (Ph.D. Chemistry '93, Orville Chapman group) - Intellectual Property Manager, Michelman, Inc.

Spring 2017

  • Vincent Tse (B.S. Integrative Biology and Physiology, Biomedical Research Minor '12) - Senior Research Associate, C3J Therapeutics.
  • Dr. Jennifer Hsieh (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '10) Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Santa Monica College.
  • Dr. Scott Hsieh (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '11) Laboratory Safety Division Manager, Environmental Health and Safety, UCLA.
  • Dr. Gary Fujii (Ph.D. Physical Chemistry '91) - Board of Directors, Southern California Biomedical Councel and President/CEO Molecular Express, Inc.
  • Kathleen Hirano (B.S. Biochemistry '09) - Senior Research Associate, Novozymes.
  • Dr. Gordon Plotkin (B.S. Biochemistry '82, Ph.D. Biochemistry '88) - General and forensic phychiatry practice.
  • Dr. Tara Gomez-Hampton (B.S. Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology '05) - Staff Quality Engineer/Recall Coordinator, Johnson & Johnson.
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Winter 2017

  • Dr. Steven Steinberg (B.S. Biochemistry '81) - Regional Chief for Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente).
  • Dr. Fariborz (Fred) Mazdisnian (B.S Biochemistry '82) - Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaiser Permanente.
  • Dr. Darryl Palmer-Toy (B.S. Biology and Physics) - Medical Director, Regional Reference Laboratories, Kaiser Permanente)
  • Dr. Jose Rodriguez (B.S. Biophyics '07, Ph.D. Molecular Biology '12) - Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  • Dr. Bryana Henderson (Ph.D.,M.S. Physical Chemistry '11) - Scientist, Planetary Ices Group, JPL.
  • Don Tamura (B.S. Biochemistry '80) - Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County.
  • Cynthia Ma (B.S. Chemical Engineering '12, M.Ed. Science Education '13) - Chemistry and Physics Teacher at Green Dot Public Schools.
  • Dr. Mel Sahyun (Ph.D. Chemistry '63) - Editor, Journal of Imaging Science and Technology
Fall 2016
  • Dr. Elinne Becket (B.S. Biochemistry '08; Ph.D. Molecular Biology UCLA '12, Jeff Miller group) - Scientist, Zymo Research Corporation.
  • Dr. Tracy Blois (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '10, Prof. James Bowie group) - Director of Alliance Management, Amgen.
  • Dr. Marisa Joubert (B.S. Biochemistry '97; Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '06 Prof. James Bowie group) - Principal Scientist/Group Leader, Amgen.
  • Dr. Jon Low (B.S. Biochemistry '08) - Associate Scientist & Medicinal Chemistry, Amgen.
  • Dr. Sehat Nauli - (B.S. Biochemistry, Postdoc Prof. James Bowie group) Professor, Physical Sciences Department, Santa Monica College.
  • Dr. Arlene Russell - (M.S. '68, Ph.D. Education '84) Senior Lecturer at UCLA in both the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the Department of Education.
  • Dr. Eric Shiozaki (former postdoc, Prof. James Bowie group) - Principal, Novo Ventures (US) Inc.

Spring 2016

  • Dr. Bruce Morimoto (B.S Biochemistry '84; Ph.D. Biochemistry '89) - Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Celerion.
  • Dr. Tanya Petrossian (B.S. Biochemistry '05; Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '10, Prof. Steven Clarke group) - CEO of EndoCyclic Therapeutics, Mayor Garcetti's Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Principal at Building Blocks Advisory Group.
  • Alexis Lieberman (B.S. MIMG '08) - Technical Consultant, Phenomenex
  • Dr. Gavin Jones (Ph.D. Chemistry '07, Prof. Ken Houk group) - Research Staff member, IBM Research - Almaden.
  • Jose Alonso (B.S. Chemistry '12, undergraduate researcher in Prof. Neil Garg group) - medical student, Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program
  • Dr. Rusty Blanski (B.S. Chemistry '88) - Senior Research Chemist, U.S. Airforce Research Laboratory)
Winter 2016
  • Dr. Sonja Krane (B.S. Biochemistry '95, undergraduate researcher, Prof. Miguel Garcia-Garibay group) - Managing Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society.
  • Kevin Ogilby (B.S. Chemistry '11, undergraduate researcher Prof. Paula Diaconescu group) - Co-owner Progress Brewing, South El Monte
  • Dr. Sabah Bux (Ph.D. Chemistry '10, Prof. Richard Kaner group) - Technologist III/Senior Member of Technical Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Dr. Christina Baker (Ph.D. Chemistry '08, Prof. Richard Kaner group) - Global Materials Technology manager, PPG Aerospace
  • Dr. Tanya Kruse (B.S. Biochemistry '94; Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '00, Prof. Catherine Clarke group) - Head of Manufacturing Sciences-Fractionation, Shire.
Fall 2015
  • Blanca Moreno (B.S. Chemistry '10, undergraduate student researcher, Prof. Miguel Garcia-Garibay group) - Chemistry Lead Lab Technician, Santa Monica College
  • Dr. Nohjin Park (B.S. Biochemistry '98; Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '04, Prof. Harold Martinson group) - Medical Science Liaison, Sirtex Medical Limited
  • Serina Tran Dai (B.S. Biochemistry '01) - Director of R&D, Aware Products, Cosmetics
  • Dr. Cindy Fisher (B.S. Chemistry '81) - Director, Regulatory Affairs, Vical Incorporated
  • Daniel R. Kimbell (B.S. Chemistry '82) - Attorney at Law, Karish & Bjorgum, PC
  • Dr. Khin K. Chin (B.S. Biochemistry '02; Ph.D. Chemistry '08, Prof. Miguel Garcia-Garibay group) - Patent Agent, Bozicevic, Field & Francis LLP
Spring 2015
  • Prof. Alexander Spokoyny (B.S. Chemistry '06, undergraduate student researcher, Prof. Fred Hawthorn group) - Assistant Professor, UCLA
  • Dr. Tina Li (B.S. Chemistry '06) - Development Team Leader at Cabot Microelectronics
  • Dr. Rose Pilpa (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology '06, Prof. Robert Clubb group) - Patent Scientist, Knobbe Martens Olson & Beaer LLP
  • Dr. Ramin Slehi-Rad (B.S. Biochemistry '01; M.D./Ph.D David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA '11, Internal Medicine '12, Prof. Michael Jung group) - Physician, UCLA
  • Dr. Sabrina Benchaar (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '07, Prof. Emil Reisler group) - Senior Scientist, Amgen
  • Dr. Tim Geistlinger - Vice President of R&D, Beyond Meat
Winter 2015
  • Lindsay Keever (B.Sc. Biochemistry & Mathmatics '04) - Associate Director, Alliance and Contracts Management, Calico Life Sciences
  • Leslie Nguyen (B.Sc. Psychobiology '13) - Recruitment Associate, Teach for America
  • Dr. Karen Trentelman - Senior Scientist, The Getty Conservation Institute
  • Dr. Christopher Thanos (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology '99, Prof. James Bowie group) - Director, New Molecular Entities, Halozyme Therapeautics, Inc.
  • Dr. Rafael Ortiz (Ph.D. Organic Chemistry '93, Prof. Orville Chapman group) - Section Head & Intellectual Property Manager | Fabric & Home Care, Procter & Gamble
  • Dr. Anna Fisher (B.Sc. '71, M.D. '76, M.S. '85) - former NASA astronaut who flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-51A.


Top, from left: William Gelbart, Gary Fujii, Lindsay Keever, Anna Fisher, Rusty Blanski, Steven Steinberg, Fariborz (Fred) Mazdisnian, Darryl Palmer-Toy, Sehat Nauli, Sabah Bux, Richard Kaner, Kevin Ogilby, Catherine Clarke, Kathleen Hirano, Steven Clarke, Jose Rodriguez.

Middle, from left: Bruce Morimoto, Bryana Henderson, Jeffrey Zink, Tanya Petrossian, Yung-Ya Lin, Blanca Moreno, Gordon Plotkin & daughters, Christina Baker, Jose Alonso, Neil Garg.

Bottom, from left: Catherine Clarke, Tara Gomez-Hampton, Steven Clarke, Tanya Kruse, Miguel Garcia-Garibay, Cynthia Ma, Alexander Spokoyny, Alexis Lieberman, Scott Hsieh, Jennifer Hsieh, Mel Sahyun, Steven Clarke, Don Tamura, Catherine Clarke, Vincent Tse, Elinne Becket.

For more information about the Chem147 seminar course please contact
Penny Jennings,, 310-825-9809.