Partner Spotlights

  • Dr. Mona Monfared

  • Dr. Monfared received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis. She is currently a Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment (LPSOE) at UC Davis and has been teaching in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology for 3 years.

    “The insight and encouragement from mentors were so helpful as I was trying to forge a career path in the sciences and I hope that I can provide the same kind of help to others.”

    “It was really great to have an informational interview with a postdoc in the program – I have had an unconventional path to a tenure track position and I was happy to share that experience with him and discuss the various options that are out there, as well as what the stepping stones might be for those paths.”

  • Dr. Candice Clay

  • Dr. Clay received both her PhD in Immunology and her B.S in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UC Davis. She is currently a Medical Science Liaison at Theravance Biopharma, based out of Sacramento, California and has held this role for nearly 4 years.
  • “I was looking for careers outside of academia when I graduated and I think the FUTURE program would have really helped me network. Unfortunately, the FUTURE program didn’t exist back then but I’m glad to see there has been some progress at UC Davis. This is a very valuable program for students to begin career planning.”

  • “I like relaying my personal experience to students and give them hope that I was once in their position and now I’m working at a job that I love.”

  • Dr. Pega Davoudzadeh   

  • Dr. Davoudzadeh received her PhD in Quantitative Psychology from UC Davis and her MA in Neuropsychology from San Diego State University. Over the last 2 years, she has held several People Data Researcher/Scientist positions, both at Yahoo and her current employer Facebook in the California Bay Area.
  • “When I was in grad school evaluating my career options, I knew I had a lot of resources if I wanted to pursue a career in academia, but I didn't feel like I had many resources if I decided I didn't want to go that route. For me, participating in this program allows me to be that resource for people currently in the same situation I was in when I was still in school.”

  • “I’ve really enjoyed sharing my experience with FUTURE participants in informational interviews.”

  • Dr. Jonathan Lam
  • Dr. Lam received his BS and PhD degrees, both in Biomedical Engineering, from UC Davis and UCLA, respectively. After his PhD, he pivoted from bench-top research to join L.E.K. Consulting where he leveraged his technical background to solve business questions for pharma/biotech/diagnostics companies. He is currently Senior Manager of Market Analysis & Strategy at Genentech in San Francisco and has been with Genentech for about 2 years.
  • “I’m partnering with FUTURE because I was fortunate enough to speak to a myriad of folks during my career (still do), and I would like to pay it forward.”


  • Dr. Caroline Hostetler

  • Dr. Hostetler received her PhD in Psychology from UC Davis and her BS in Biology from University of Maryland College Park. During a post-doctoral fellowship in Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University, she was a founding member, secretary, and negotiation leader of the Portland Women in Science group and completed a Science Communication fellowship at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. She is currently a Medical Science Liaison at Allergan, based out of Sacramento, California. She has been in this role for a little over 2 years.
  • Dr. Hostetler has additionally mobilized her belief in the value of our participants' training by leading frank discussions about career-long negotiation during our Career Exploration Workshop.

    “Networking and mentorship have been and continue to be such an important part of my career growth, and I’m happy to provide that support to trainees. Our academic colleagues aren’t equipped to provide insight into the many job paths outside of university research and teaching. I want to do my part to make sure that we as scientists and people are finding the best fit for our skill set, and sharing my career insights can help.”

  • Dr. Dayana Krawchuk

  • Dr. Krawchuk received her MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in Genetics and Development from Columbia University. She is currently the Social Media Strategist for The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. She has held this position for nearly 3 years after working there as an Associate Research Scientist previously.
  • “A lot of Masters/PhD students and postdocs in the sciences are looking for alternative careers to the lab. I became a member of the program to demonstrate that a career in science communication through social media is an option.”

    “It’s all worth it if you can inspire a student to try something they previously hadn’t considered. After giving a seminar for students about LinkedIn and Twitter, I received a message saying, “Thank you for the information on postdocs and social media. You have convinced one scientist to join Twitter and I was definitely against it before!” #definitelyworthit”

  • Dr. Nick Snead

  • Dr. Snead received his PhD in Molecular Biology from City of Hope and his MS in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. He is currently a Pharmacology Scientist at Ambys Medicines in Redwood City, California. He has held Scientist positions at pharmaceutical companies for over 4 years.
  • "Job hunting is incredibly frustrating, and I feel it is true what many people say about getting a job: It’s through networking, where the seeds of one’s network are planted months/years in advance. Also...even though I had very similar competency to other candidates, I feel like I was often overlooked. I’d like to try to do everything I can to level the playing field, and evaluate candidates more objectively.”

    “Hearing that some of my mentees got jobs was the best experience I’ve had as a FUTURE partner. In addition, I appreciate being able to put some of the complex aspects of working in industry into more manageable concepts for young scientists.”

  • Dr. Andy Fell

  • Dr. Fell received his PhD in Immunology and his BS in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a Science Writer and Public Information Representative at UC Davis, where he has served in this position for about 18 years.
  • “I’m pleased to be able to partner with the FUTURE program and share some insights about my work and career path.”

  • Dr. Atefeh Taheri

  • Dr. Taheri received her PhD in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and her MSc in Analytical Chemistry from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. She then went onto a postdoc in Chemistry at UC Davis. She is now a Lead Research Scientist at Chevron in Richmond, CA and she was previously a Product Developer in R&D for the Clorox Company for almost 2 and a half years.
  • “I really admire programs like FUTURE and find them very valuable. While many PhD graduates love academic jobs and ultimately will work in academia, academic jobs are not for everyone and a lot of times industry or other career options are more fulfilling for many people, including myself. These non-academic jobs should not be a plan B but equally important career paths for most PhD graduates, and I am glad programs like FUTURE exist to help them navigate those other routes. I am more than happy to assist FUTURE, in any way I can, empowering PhD students and postdocs (especially minorities and women) to pursue their passion."

  • Dr. Caitlin Kiley

  • Dr. Kiley received her PhD in Neuroscience from UC Davis and her BS in Biology at Davidson College. After being active in science communication during her PhD, she interned at the Exploratorium, facilitated by the UC Davis CETI program, and explored her enthusiasm for communicating science to K-12 populations. She is currently the School and Group Relations Manager at the Discovery Museum in the Greater Boston Area.
  • “When I was a graduate student at UC Davis, I participated in many, many workshops and programs designed to help me evaluate my own strengths and interests, assess my career options, and move forward with a professional development plan. I’m grateful for those opportunities as a student and want support the cause and community as best I can.”

    “I really enjoyed fielding questions big and small from the entire group during a FUTURE program workshop. The energy and thoughtfulness in the room was quite the thing to experience. It’s rewarding to get to know and help out these future colleagues and collaborators.”


  • Dr. Damian Curtis

  • Dr. Curtis received his PhD in Biochemistry from Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine and his BS in Molecular Biology from San Jose State University. Before his PhD, he was a Research Scientist at Exelixis and after his PhD, he worked as a Scientist with AgraQuest Inc. Since then he has worked with Bayer, where he is now a Senior Principal Scientist at Bayer CropSciences in West Sacramento, CA.
  • “During the early stages of my career, I was fortunate to have support from experienced scientists who helped me grow and figure out what I wanted to do scientifically. I view FUTURE as one manner in which I can provide that to other scientists.”

  • Dr. Gabby Nepomuceno

  • Dr. Nepomuceno received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from UC Davis and her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Santa Cruz. She is currently an Environmental Scientist with the Department of Toxic Substances Control in Sacramento, CA and was also previously a CCST Science and Technology Fellow.
  • “Networking has been critical to finding a job I love. Having engaged mentors taught me that scientists can work in more than academia or industry. I want students and postdocs to know that many opportunities exist.”

    “I found out that my FUTURE seminar was one reason a student applied for the science policy fellowship I discussed. It was great to see that he pursued it and is now positively impacting Californian’s through his work on state legislation.”


  • Dr. Geetika Joshi

  • Dr. Joshi received her PhD in Soils and Biogeochemistry with Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) at UC Davis and her BS in Microbiology at Delhi University. She also held a postdoctoral position with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. She is currently a Senior Environmental Scientist at the CA Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in Sacramento, CA after having been an Environmental Scientist at various levels with CDFA for almost 5 years.
  • “When I was close to graduation, a resource similar to the FUTURE program was not available on campus. I did seek guidance from the Career Center and was able to get industry experience through the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) which were very helpful. In addition, my postdoc mentor as well as PhD advisor encouraged me to seek informational interviews and meet with people working in diverse professional areas. These interviews helped me understand myself better and helped inform my choices. However, it takes consistent and thorough effort to seek out such individuals for meetings. I appreciate that there is a formal platform through FUTURE where students can learn from others, and for individuals like myself to participate in such activities. The idea that I contribute back to someone who may have similar questions to those I had, is empowering and satisfying.”

    “I feel particularly encouraged when I meet with students and learn about their interest and enthusiasm in working in government agencies, beyond academia or industry. I am hopeful that if we have openings in our programs in the future, this program will be a great resource to find potential highly-skilled candidates.”


  • Dr. Jenny Chang

  • Dr. Chang received her PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago and her BS in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also held a postdoctoral position at UC Davis and was a Business Development Fellow at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. She currently holds the position of Cardiovascular Medical Science Liaison at Novartis in the Denver area and has been with them for more than 3 years.
  • “I wanted to partner with FUTURE to give back to the program and share my industry job search learnings with current students/postdocs. It's also a great mentorship opportunity for me to help others trying to make the same transition from academia to industry.”

    “Through FUTURE, I've connected with 5 to 8 FUTURE participants who are interested in my MSL role this past year and I was able to share my story on industry transition via informational interviews. Through these conversations, I helped provide some guidance on job search tips and shared with them about my unique job that I love doing.”


  • Dr. John Thompson

  • Dr. Thompson received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University and his BS in Physics at New York University. He is currently a Policy Consultant at the CA Senate Office of Research in Sacramento, CA and was previously a CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow and a Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow.
  • “I realized during graduate school that I wanted to pursue a career trajectory outside of the typical academic/industry path. While I received a lot of encouragement from my mentors, there was a notable lack of resources and expertise when it came to navigating a transition from science to policy. Having a resource like the FUTURE program would have proven invaluable at that point in my career and I am thrilled to be able to use my own experiences to help students who may be in the same place that I was just a short time ago.”

  • Dr. Maelene Wong

  • Dr. Wong received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis and her BS in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley. She then continued onto a postdoc in Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology at UC Davis. During her PhD she co-founded ViVita Technologies and is currently the CEO. 
  • “Partnership with FUTURE was an easy decision. As a member of the first FUTURE cohort, I enjoyed exposure to biomedical career development opportunities. Now, further along my entrepreneurial journey, I want to give back to the program by sharing my experiences and insight. It is important that students and postdocs are exposed to the spectrum of career tracks beyond academia, and I want to ensure that the incredible world of entrepreneurship is well-represented.” 

    “I have participated in a career panel and informational interviews and I always enjoy the opportunity to engage with FUTURE participants. In the process of learning their interests/desires and sharing my experience in entrepreneurship, I love seeing their enthusiasm for exploring this career path grow as they realize how much it aligns with their career goals.”

  • Dr. Rakesh Kumar

  • Dr. Kumar received his PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics at North Carolina University and has been with Syngenta in Woodland, CA for about 12 years, both as a Breeding Project Lead and currently as a Research and Development Team Lead.
  • “I was contacted to be partner in the FUTURE program. I thought it was a good opportunity to share my valuable experience with students and postdocs working in the corporate sector. Anything I can do to shape the career of students is very motivating to me.”

  • Dr. Ryan Phillips

  • Dr. Phillips received his PhD in Neuroscience from UC Davis and his BA in Cognitive Science with a Biology emphasis at Occidental College. He served as a Data Science Fellow at Insight Data Science and also previously held a position as a Data Scientist at Remind. He is currently a People Analytics Data Scientist at LinkedIn, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • “It was so important for me to see that I had options while in grad school, and that I could expand beyond traditional expectations for grad students. I am driven to provide that experience for others.”

    “I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about transitions from academia to industry, particularly data science. As I have completed grad school, attended a ‘boot-camp style’ transition program, worked for a startup, and now work for a massive technology company, I feel like I have a wealth of experiences to discuss with people who are just starting to explore that path.”


  • Dr. Sonia Shenoy

  • Dr. Shenoy received her PhD in Nutritional Biology from UC Davis and her BS in Clinical Nutrition also at UC Davis. She has practiced as a Registered Dietitian, Research Nutritionist and served as a Postdoctoral Scholar. She later pivoted to a position in Global Medical Operations in the biopharmaceutical industry. She now holds the position of Medical Operations Director at Amgen in Northridge, CA, where she has been for almost 6 years.
  • “I was contacted about being a FUTURE partner by a former alumni who knew I worked in industry.  After hearing from her, I wanted to help current students think about the varied opportunities that they may consider for their future career.”

    “I spoke with a recent FUTURE student and it was very interesting to be able to share my experiences, as well as understand how my former program has evolved."


  • Dr. Amanda Palumbo

  • Dr. Palumbo received her PhD in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry at UC Davis and her BS in Chemistry from Ohio State University. After her PhD, she held postdoc positions at UC Davis and in New Zealand at the Scion-New Zealand Forest Research Institute. She is currently the Staff Toxicologist at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in Sacramento, CA, after also having served as a Toxicologist at the CA Department of Pesticide Regulation for about a year.
  • “I really appreciated hearing about the career paths of others when I was starting out and I still do. I wanted to be able to offer that to others through the FUTURE Partner Network. This is also an opportunity for me to make new connections.”