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WIB-Southern California: YWIB – Genomes, Germs, and Jewelry – Part 2: It’s In The Genes

July 15, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

YWIB and its partners are offering three Experiential Learning Sessions this summer! Come and Chat with STEM Influencers, while learning and making your own STEM-inspired jewelry designs. This event is for all skill levels – if you have not studied STEM before, come join us and learn; if you are used to STEM, hope you will still join us and have fun. STEM is a movement.

At our second event, “It’s In The Genes!”, we’ll be joined by 1) Beata Mierzwa, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and UCSD who combines her passions for science, art, and fashion on her website Beata Science Art and 2) Dr. Ashley Van Zeeland, MBA, VP Development, Product Integration and Customer Collaboration at Illumina. First, Dr. Mierzwa will teach us how to make our very own DNA necklace! (For this necklace, beads will be used to construct a model of DNA.) Then, Dr. Van Zeeland will tell us about some of the amazing technology she has helped bring to fruition in her role as VP of Development at Illumina and some of the studies that have been enabled by this technology.

Students will have chances to ask questions of the speakers and also interact with their STEM-enthusiastic peers!

Disclaimer: This event may be recorded. If so, there is a possibility your image and or voice may be a part of that recording. If you do not wish for your image to be included please turn off your camera.


Dr. Ashley Van Zeeland – Vice President, Product Development Business Operations and Systems Integration Illumina, Inc.

Dr. Van Zeeland has been leading innovative genomics research and development programs for more than 15 years, and is currently Vice President, Product Integration and Customer Collaboration at Illumina. Previously, she was co-founder and CEO of Cypher Genomics, a cloud-based genome interpretation company, which sold to Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) in 2015. At HLI Dr. Van Zeeland served as Chief Technology Officer, directing the software and bioinformatics development for a large-scale genomics platform, and enabling health intelligence and related products. Prior to founding Cypher Genomics, she served as Director, Strategic Partnerships at the Scripps Translational Science Institute where she focused on novel public-private partnerships to accelerate translational research. Before transitioning to her role as Director, Strategic Partnerships she was a research fellow in bioinformatics and statistical genetics at the Scripps Translational Science Institute and led groundbreaking work in neuroimaging genetics of autism, neurodevelopmental disorders and other rare genetic pediatric diseases while at UCLA. Dr. Van Zeeland sits on the board Headlamp Software, Inc., and advisory boards of Vivid Genomics and LunaDNA. She has been the recipient of numerous business and science awards including the BIOCOM Life Science Catalyst award, the UCSD 40 under 40 and Emerging Leader Alumni Awards, and San Diego 500 Influential Business Leader award. She holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and MBA from the University of California, San Diego.


Beata Edyta Mierzwa, Ph.D. – Molecular Biologist and Science Artist

Beata studies how human cells divide and shares the beauty of science through art and fashion. Her Ph.D. research at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology revealed that the final step in cell division works differently than people thought! Now, working at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and UC San Diego, she studies how different types of cells divide to broaden the world’s understanding of cell division and improve cancer therapy.

When not doing experiments, Beata creates science-themed drawings and clothes. Her illustrations portray scientific concepts in intuitive ways, while her science fashion celebrates the beauty of the molecular world. Making artwork for journal covers, conferences and even space mission patches, her unique approach to science communication aims to spark curiosity and inspire creative minds who will change the world with groundbreaking discoveries.


Pricing Information

  • Members: Free
  • Limited Free Guest Registration (Non-member)*: Free

*Click here to purchase a WIB membership.


Note: Zoom meeting link and a form to be completed so that you receive your necklace supplies will be sent in the confirmation email, after registration has been completed. If you register less than a week before this event and supplies are not received in time, please know this event will be recorded and participants can still follow along after supplies have been received. 


July 15, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


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