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Left to Right: Leonardo Scherer Alves, Annabelle Kleist, An-Chi Tsou, Neela Babu, Gregory Gambetta, Laura Feinstein, Mark Elsesser, Melanie Zauscher, Kyle Hiner, and Tepring Piquado

"A bill that I developed to provide free public access to research that was funded by California taxpayers passed in the legislature and was signed by the governor." - S&T Policy Fellow Annabelle Kleist

Leonardo Scherer Alves
Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee


Leonardo received his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the UC Irvine. His researched focused on the role of mitochondria in human adaptation and disease. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma; during that period he also studied molecular biology at the University of Bologna, Italy. Leonardo is now Senior Analyst at iCON plc in London, UK.

Neela Babu
Office of Assembly Member Skinner


Neela received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, and a B.S. in the same field from the UC Davis. In her research, she studied reservoir design when faced with climate uncertainty. Neela is a Consulting Associate with Parsons Brinckerhoff in Washington, DC.

Mark Elsesser
Office of Assembly Member Cooley


Mark received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.S.E. from the University of Michigan, both in chemical engineering. He specializes in materials research, creating novel nanoscale and colloidal building blocks to fabricate next-generation materials. Mark was most recently a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mark is a Senior Policy Analyst at the American Physical Society in Washington, DC.

Laura Feinstein
Senate Environmental Quality Committee


Laura holds a Ph.D. from UC Davis in Ecology. Her dissertation focused on the genetics and ecology of an invasive plant in San Francisco Bay wetlands. She worked as a science and technology educator before enrolling in graduate school. Laura is a Senior Program Associate for CCST.

Gregory Gambetta
Senate Office of Research


Gregory received a Ph.D. in plant biology from UC Davis and a M.S. in biology from CSU Sacramento. His past experiences included being a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar, private sector researcher, and laboratory manager at UC Davis. Most recently Greg's research has focused on fruit ripening, root physiology, and how plants manage their most precious resource: water. Greg is now a professor of Viticulture at the Bordeaux Sciences Agro higher educational institution for Agronomy in France.

Kyle Hiner
Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee


Kyle received a Ph.D. in physics from the UC Riverside and a B.S. in physics from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His expertise is in astronomy, specializing in the study of active black holes and their host galaxies. Kyle is an Associate Data Scientist at Adlucent.

Annabelle Kleist
Office of Assembly Member Nestande


Annabelle received a Ph.D. in plant biology from the UC Davis and a B.A. with honors in biology from Carroll College. Her area of expertise is molecular ecology, and her most recent research utilized genetic tools to study the evolution of invasive weeds in California. Annabelle is a Senior Program Manager at Capitol Impact in Sacramento. She has a focus on education.

Tepring Piquado
Senate Human Services Committee


Tepring received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University and a B.S. in computer science from Georgetown University. As a postdoctoral researcher at UC Irvine, she investigated the neural basis of language processing. Tepring is a physical scientist with the RAND Corporation.

An-Chi Tsou
Office of Assembly Member Bonta


An-Chi received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering Graduate Program and her B.S. in Engineering Science from Smith College. Her research focused on designing optimal microenvironments for differentiation of stem cells into blood. An-Chi is a Senior Consultant with the Assembly Health Committee.

Melanie Zauscher
Office of Assembly Member Stone


Melanie received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the UC San Diego. Her research focused on characterizing aerosol particles in the atmosphere in order to better understand their climate and health effects. Her undergraduate degree is a B.S. in environmental chemistry. Melanie is now Air Pollution Specialist in the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board.

Updated 3/2/16