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Left to Right: Nathan Phillips, Brandon Gaytan, Alexis Erwin, Sarah Brady, Brie Lindsey, Toni Lee, Karen Morrison, David Ernest Garcia, Alia Schoen, Colin Murphy

Pilot program in Executive Branch

This year the CCST Policy Fellowship Program, in cooperation with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), launched a pilot program placing a CCST S&T Policy Fellow in the Executive Branch for the first time.

Nicole Meyer Morse was placed in the Governors Office of Emergency Services. Nicole received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California-Berkeley. Her dissertation focused on the cellular and immunological consequences of LLO mediated vacuolar escape. Before her 2 year CCST Fellowship she served for 2 years as a AAAS Fellow with the United States Department of Defense focusing on Chemical and Biological Defense. Nicole is now a Research Program Specialist in the Preparedness Branch, Planning Division of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Sarah Brady
Assembly Member Bonilla


Sarah received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon and also spent three months at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research focused on the synthesis of novel metal-metal bond-containing polymers in order to better study the degradation mechanism of plastics. Sarah is a Senior Program Associate with CCST.

Alexis Erwin
Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee


Alexis earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and a Sc.B. with honors in Geological Sciences-Biology from Brown University. Her basic research (on the patterns and consequences of insects eating plants) has implications for applied issues such as sustainable pest management, agricultural production, and food security. Alexis is an Energy and Environmental Sustainability Advisor with USAID.

David Ernest Garcia
Assembly Member Skinner


David received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. He completed his dissertation research at the Joint BioEnergy Institute of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under Jay D. Keasling, where his research of two enzymes in a heterologously expressed metabolic pathway informed the optimization of biofuel production. David is a Consultant at the California State Senate Environmental Quality Control Committee.

Brandon Gaytan
Assembly Member Bradford


Brandon received a Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he utilized baker's yeast to understand the toxicity of various environmental contaminants. He is also an active member of SACNAS, a society that strives to foster the success of Hispanic/Chicanos and Native Americans in STEM fields. Brandon is a Legislative Assistant to Assembly Member Miguel Santiago.

Toni Lee
Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee


Toni received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the California Institute of Technology where she studied computational protein engineering applied to sustainable biofuel production. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving a B.S/M.S in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Anthropology. Toni is a Senior Scientist at Provivi in Southern California.

Brie Lindsey
Senate Office of Research


Brie received her PhD in Oceanography from the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University and her B.A. in Environmental Sciences from University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation focused on the population dynamics and distribution of a krill species off the coast of Oregon, which she investigated with numerical models of its bioenergetics and migration behaviors. Brie Lindsey is a Senior Program Associate with CCST.

Karen Morrison
Senate Environmental Quality Committee


Karen completed her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her B.S. in chemistry at Harvey Mudd College. Her research focused on the synthesis and evaluation of new anticancer compounds. Karen is a Senior Environmental Scientist at The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

Colin Murphy
Assembly Member Quirk


Colin holds a PhD in Transportation Technology and Policy from UC Davis, a M.S. in Science, Technology and Public Policy from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from UC Davis. His work focuses primarily on the environmental impacts of renewable energy systems. Colin is a Climate Policy Advocate at NextGen Climate America.

Nathan Phillips
Senate Transportations and Housing Committee


Nathan is a Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University, and is Director of BU's Sustainable Neighborhood Lab. His PhD at Duke University investigated water and carbon regulation in forest ecosystems. Current research interests include urban infrastructure and natural gas systems. Nathan has returned to teach at Boston University.

Alia Schoen
Assembly Member Williams


Alia received her bachelor's degree in the Integrated Science Program at Northwestern University, her master's degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, then worked in the Protein Chemistry department at Genentech for two and a half years. Then she returned to Stanford for her doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering where she developed protein-based materials to control inorganic nanomaterial synthesis and assembly. Alia is a Senior Policy Associate at Bloom Energy in Sunnyvale, CA.

Updated 11/21/16