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NCC AWIS 23rd Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet
Dominic's of Oyster Point
South San Francisco, CA
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NCC AWIS 23rd Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet
The Northern California Chapters of the Association for Women in Science (NCC-AWIS) cordially invites you to a lovely dinner party and inspiring evening.  

This annual event brings together the four NCC AWIS chapters to mingle, enjoy wine and appetizers, and partake in a lovely buffet dinner while celebrating three distinguished women scientists.

Join us at Dominics at Oyster Point
360 Oyster Point Blvd
South San Francisco, CA

6:00-7:00 Check-in, wine & appetizers
7:00-9:30 Buffet dinner and Awards program

Advance RSVP required, no onsite registration
$40 through April 25th,  $50 April 26-30th

Celebrating Inspirational Women
The awards recognize outstanding local scientists who have combined their professional activities with support of other women in science. In honoring these women, AWIS recognizes the importance of sharing more than just the content and techniques of our science with others.

2017 JUDITH POOL AWARD: Laura Smoliar, Ph.D.
Dr. Laura Smoliar is co-founder of the Berkeley Catalyst Fund, a new investment fund closely tied to UC Berkeley and its College of Chemistry. After earning her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and spending a year as an Academia Sinica Fellow in Taiwan, Laura held multiple positions of increasing responsibility in Silicon Valleys hardware industry.  She founded Mobius Photonics in 2005, served as Chairman and CEO, and raised several rounds of funding in the USA and Japan. She has been a principal at Peppertree Engineering, an engineering product design company started by her husband, Dr. Mark Arbore.

Laura is an extraordinary mentor. She has volunteered for close to 20 years as a mentor for AWIS Palo Alto and has freely offered career advice to hundreds of graduate student and postdoc protegees, many of whom have finished their training and moved on to successful careers. Laura has participated in peer mentoring groups, and has been invited to give presentations at AWIS, the American Chemical Society, and the American Physical Society. Laura recently gave a talk on LinkedIn, and she frequently gives career advice about how to find, negotiate, and close on job offers.

Like all great mentors, one of Lauras key strengths is her capacity for active listening. She makes her time available, she generously shares information and strategies for success, she is a creative sounding board, and synthesizer of ideas.

Lauras underlying mentoring philosophy is Knowledge is Power and she is keenly aware that women are socialized to be uncomfortable discussing power. She encourages all her protegees to build networks to help them open up options, evaluate opportunities, and ensure they get a fair deal.

2017 ELLEN WEAVER AWARD: Fan Yang, Ph.D.
Fan Yang is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Bioengineering, and Director of Stanford Stem Cells and Biomaterials Engineering Laboratory. Her research seeks to understand how microenvironmental cues regulate stem cell fate and to develop novel biomaterials and cell-based therapeutics. Dr. Yangs research group includes postdocs and graduate students from stem cell biology, materials science, bioengineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and medicine. Such diversity provides many opportunities to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration.

Fan Yang is a rare junior faculty member who prioritizes mentoring students, in spite of tremendous pressure to publish or perish. With Dr. Yangs guidance, her lab culture is characterized by students who help and encourage each other to overcome research challenges. With her passion and perseverance, Fan is a dedicated mentor who respects and challenges her students to formulate and test new research ideas. She encourages them to explore new collaborations, and helps them network to make vital connections as scientific professionals.

Fan's mentoring is exemplary in terms of the impact on women and minorities, with 80% of her current and former PhD trainees are women and 30% are first generation college students.  Her impact extends far into the "pipeline" of future scientists. In addition to her own graduate students, Fan has mentored over 30 undergraduate students (mostly women), many of whom published first author publications and went on to top PhD and MD programs. Fan regularly provides research opportunities for undergraduates from other universities, and under-represented minority high school students in Stanford's RISE program that targets low income families.

Fans personal qualities inspire her students, her passion for research, her genuine curiosity, humor and warmth, and her always open door policy. She models work-life balance as the mother of an 11-year old son and actively engages in developing STEM outreach activities for elementary school kids to foster their interests in science and engineering.

2017 SHERRIE WILKINS AWARD: Olga Potopova, Ph.D.
Dr. Olga Potapova Founder, CEO, and Scientific Director of Cureline, Inc., is a scientist and a business leader, but most of all an outstanding mentor.  

Olga is a life sciences executive with extensive scientific and management expertise in oncology, diagnostics, and laboratory medicine. She worked on development of targeted therapies (SUTENT) and human prenatal diagnostic tests and coordinated major international collaboration projects. Olga heads Cureline Group, a global translational CRO, located in the San Francisco Bay area, providing services for the biopharmaceutical and medical community working on development of precision medicine.

Since 2003 Olga has successfully lead the international Cureline team, comprised mostly of women, as a great mentor guiding them to follow their passion for science, medicine and business. Olga is a very dedicated, hardworking, kind and generous woman providing connections, resources and opportunities to other people. She is very approachable, takes time to individually mentor and guide her staff in their research and career goals, and is a great inspiration to her colleagues.  

Olga has always believed in the great potential of women and encourages them to follow their dreams; connect, explore and develop the career to live to their full potential.


Dominic's of Oyster Point (View)
360 Oyster Point Blvd
South San Francisco, CA 94080
United States

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Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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