The SJSU SCILL Leadership Team is comprised of four SJSU faculty members. Each member brings a unique expertise to the SCILL program. The Leadership Team will meet monthly to review program curriculum, student concerns, or discuss budgetary issues. The Leadership Team will interview all SCILL applicants and discuss internship placements. All members of the Leadership Team will be involved in decisions regarding the program.

SJSU Management Team
Board Committee
SJSU Faculty Mentors
IHI Coordinators

SJSU Management Team

Program DirectorTzvia Abramson -Professor, SJSU

Dr. Abramson has ultimate responsibility for the program, providing administrative oversight including issues related to budget approval, student recruitment, staff employment, scheduling and staffing classes, laboratory safety and regulatory compliance. The director is also responsible for reviewing and implementing Advisory Committee decisions, as well as be the primary communication hub for Internship Host Institution (IHI) coordinators.

Program LeaderKatherine Wilkinson – Assistant Professor, SJSU

Dr. Wilkinson is a part of the management team and is involved in trainee selection, internship placement, and program assessment as well as providing general education on Stem Cells classes.

Program management leader- Dr. Lelia Khatib- Assistant Professor/ Associate Director MBT, SJSU

Dr. Leila Khatib has worked as an industry consultant for 10 years prior to entering academia.  Her specialization includes the development of molecular methodologies for public health applications.  She currently is the co-director of the Masters of Biotechnology program and is serving on the management team for the SCILL program.

Dr. Bree Grillo-Hill – Assistant Professor, SJSU

Dr. Grillo-Hill came to SJSU in 2016 with expertise in developmental and cell biology, and will assist with trainee selection, internship placement, and program assessment. Her research investigates the regulation of morphogenetic cell processes by intracellular pH (pHi) during normal development and disease, with a recent focus on pHi dynamics during adult and embryonic stem cell differentiation.

Board Committee

The SJSU SCILL Advisory Committee provides program oversight and guidance. The Committee members were selected for their range of perspectives and experience in education, administration, internship program design and implementation, stem cell research, stem cell product commercialization, and stem cell clinical applications.

Tzvia AbramsonSJSU SCILL Director, Faculty Advisor, Leadership Team, SJSU SCILL Director/Faculty Advisor/Leadership Team, SJSU
Leila KhatibSCILL Faculty Advisor/Leadership Team, MBT co-director, SJSU
Dr. Elaine CollinsAssociate Dean, College of Science, SJSU
Dr. Pamela StacksAssociate Vice President, Graduate Studies & Research, SJSU
Dr. Vittorio SebastianoScientist, mentor and Stanford University PI, hESC course Instructor
Cindy KleinCoordinator and hESC course instructor at Stanford University
Dr. Birgitt SchueleScientist, mentor and PI at Stanford University
Dr. Sofie SalamaResearch Scientist in Biomolecular Engineering
HHMI Senior Scientist, UCSC
Dr. Catharina Casper-LindleyIntern Coordinator, UCSC
Dr. Kamran AliNotable Labs
Dr. Jagath Reddy JunutulaV.P., Cellerant Therapeutics,Inc.
TBANeurona Therapeutics
Stuart ChambersScientist, mentor and PI, Amgen
Dr. Maddalena AdornoScientist, mentor, Dorian Therapeutics

The SJSU SCILL Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Program Director and the SJSU Mentorship Coordinator regarding success in meeting our three criteria (student’s individual professional goals, program-wide function, and employment and advancement of its graduates in stem cell careers).

SJSU Faculty Mentors

NamePositionPhone NumberEmail
Tzvia AbramsonASCP Biological Sciences(408)
Cleber OuverneyASTP Biological Sciences(408)
Guna SelvadurayPROF Mat & Chem Engineering(408)
Miri VanHovenASTP Biological Sciences(408)
Bree Grillo-HillASTP Biological Sciences(408)
Sabine RechDirector of the Master of
Biotechnology Program
Leila KhatibAssociate Director of the Master of
Biotechnology Program

SJSU Faculty mentors accept students into the graduate programs as required by the Department of Biological Sciences and provide academic advisement. They also advise students in forming their graduate committee, and completing their culminating experience. Mentors play an active role in their student’s mentorship team. See Mentoring and Trainee Assessment.


Tzvia AbramsonInstructor, Stem Cell Laboratory class
Leila KhatibInstructor, Stem Cell lab class
Salma Farid Instructor, Community Outreach, Patient Interaction Class
Nathan ManleyInstructor, Bench to Bedside Class

IHI Coordinators

IHI Coordinators provide onsite coordination for students during their year-long research internship. Host institutions were selected to offer a wide array of stem cell internship opportunities encompassing basic cell and molecular research at our research university partners, translational research involving stem cell product development at our corporate partner- Escape Therapeutics, and clinical applications of stem cell science at The Parkinson’s Institute.

Dr. Maddalena AdornoDorian
Cynthia KleinStanford
Dr. Stuart Chambers
Dr. Catharina Casper-LindleyUC Santa
Dr. Kamran AliNotable
Dr. Jagath Reddy JunutulaCellerant
TBANeurona TherapeuticsTBA