Meet the BPA Board!

Core Leadership

Sarah El Khoury

President & DEI Committee Co-Chair

Integrative Biology

Sarah is a first-year postdoc in the Shapira Lab, at the Department of Integrative Biology. Scientific nomad and raised between Brussels and Beirut. She is interested in understanding how environmental toxins affect the dynamics of gut microbiome.

Hobbies: Yoga, music, traveling, playing with the bees and meeting people from diverse cultures!

Favorite song: "C'est une belle journée" by Mylène Farmer

Thomas Elston

Thomas Elston

Vice President & Professional Development Committee Co-Chair

Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

Thom is a second year postdoc at the Wallis lab. His research focuses on the neurophysiology underlying cognitive processes.

Hobbies: Hiking, squash, reading, socializing

Favorite song: "On hold" by Jaime XX

Diana Moreno Santillan

Diana D. Moreno Santillán


Integrative Biology

Diana is a second year postdoc at Vazquez-Medina lab. She is an evolutionary biologist, born and raised in México City. Her research is focused on understanding the evolution of immunity and aging in mammals, with special focus on bats and seals.

Hobbies: Dancing, traveling, surfing, and hiking.

Favorite song: Simple song- The Shins

Jeong Yoon Kim

Esther (Jeong Yoon) Kim


Molecular and Cell Biology

Esther is a second year postdoc at the Robey labstudying the development of immune cells in the thymus.  Esther is broadly interested in how cells differentiate, and she spends a lot of time pipetting them up and down in the lab.

Hobbies: Watching films (and thinking about what to screen at BPA’s Film Club), playing tennis, and cooking (there is much joy to be found in butter, salt, and sugar)

Favorite song: Soundtrack from Cinema Paradiso

Board Members

Leopoldo MejiaLeopoldo Mejia

Social Committee Co-Chair

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Leopoldo is a third year postdoc in theoretical chemistry. Broadly speaking, he develops quantum mechanical methods for studying molecules and nanostructures.

Hobbies: rock climbing and swimming

Favorite song: "Sonido Bestial" by Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz

David David QuirogaQuiroga

Social Committee Co-Chair

Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute 

David is a fourth year postdoc at the Knight Lab investigating how our brains allow us to process, imagine and mentally manipulate sounds.

Hobbies: Salsa dancing and cycling.

Favorite song: "Yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón" by Fito Paez

Rafael Quintero Bermudez

Rafael Quintero-Bermudez

DEI Committee Co-Chair

Department of Chemistry

Rafa is a second year postdoc . He studies ultrafast electronic phenomena in solids, but really he just fiddles with lasers and big chambers all day. “Now where did I leave that wrench….”

Hobbies: Eating, rock climbing, cycling and making food.

Favorite song: "Labios rotos" by Zoe and "Acid Mountain" by Moon Hooch

Patrick Spaulding Ryan

Patrick Spaulding Ryan

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair

School of Law

Patrick Spaulding Ryan is a Fractional General Counsel, investor, and advisor specializing in high-growth tech startups, currently affiliated with PSR Law Firm. With over 19 years of experience. Patrick's expertise extends to law and tech research as a current Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley - School of Law, where he also mentors at Berkeley SkyDeck.

Bernardine RinkelBernardine Rinkel

General Board Member

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Bernadine Rinkel is a postdoc in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department specializing in the field of energy technologies, with a particular focus on energy storage and distributed resources. Bernadine's research revolves around lithium-ion batteries and their intricate electrochemical processes. Bernadine earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2022.