Chapter Information

Executive Leadership 2013-2014

April is a scientist working in Drug Product Process Engineering at Amgen.  She completed four years as a post-doctoral researcher at UCLA in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, where her research focused on the human parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.  Her previous scientific work has also focused on human parasitic diseases.  She received her BS degree in genetics from the University of Georgia in 1999, and her PhD in pathobiology from Brown University in 2007.  She first became involved in AWIS in 2008, and prior to becoming president served two years as vice-president of communications.  Involvement in AWIS has strengthened her networking skills, her leadership skills, and her interest in career development.
 Vice President of Operations
Erin Denny
Erin is currently a graduate student in the Tumor Cell Biology department at the City of Hope.  Her thesis work focuses on the mechanism of drug resistance in breast cancer.  She received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Biotechnology from USC in 2009.  While at USC, she co-founded the Healthcare in Business Club to bring the life sciences and business students together to provide professional, academic and social activities for those interested in pursuing opportunities in the healthcare and life science industries.  She became involved with AWIS in the fall of 2009 when she first began graduate school and was immediately impressed by the women that planned and hosted the event.  Erin joined the planning committee shortly after attending her first event and became co-chair of the networking and social committee the following spring.  Through her position as the VP of Chapter Operations, she hopes to continue to expand the AWIS network through Los Angeles and Ventura County.

Vice President of Programming

This position remains open!  If you are interested in serving on the executive board, please contact
Vice President of Communications
Lorena Griparic
Lorena Griparic is a Senior Development Scientist at Beckman Coulter in Brea, working on assay development. She completed her postdoctoral work at UCLA, where she studied the proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion and division. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, and an undergraduate degree in Clinical Biochemistry.  Membership in AWIS enables her to help and inspire other women to pursue career in science.
 Vice President of Finance
Grace Jiang
Grace Jiang has been a member and committee member serving the Los Angeles-Ventura County Chapter since 2008. She has led several career development seminars and participated in the chapter event planning since 2008. She is currently a Sr. Scientist working at Amgen Process and Product Development. She holds a Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry and a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is very passionate about promoting career and leadership development of women in science and technology. She likes traveling, cooking and networking during her free time.
Tracy Blois

Tracy currently works as a Licensing Manager in the External Research & Development Group at Amgen. Previously, she held the position of Principal Scientist of Quality Control Methods Validation and Development at Grifols, Inc. Tracy earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA in spring 2010 and her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of San Diego where she first benefited from a strong female mentor.  She has always been passionate about outreach, but her personal experiences have developed a deep interest to specifically inspire and encourage other young women to pursue careers in science. She wishes that all women in science take the opportunity to experience the benefits of AWIS membership and involvement as much as she has. As a result, Tracy remains committed to furthering the strong foundation on which AWIS Los Angeles/Ventura County was built to ensure that the chapter remains a valuable resource to scientists in the local area.  Recently, Tracy had her first son and looks forward to the support of AWIS for balancing a career with motherhood.  

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