Executive Team

Tarique Benbow, President

Tarique Benbow, President

President

Tarique is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Prior to pursuing PhD Studies, Tarique has held senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry namely in regulatory, manufacturing, research & development roles. Beyond his professional experience, Tarique is a passionate activist for graduate student engagement and professional development. He dedicates much of his time to mentoring and connecting early career seekers in STEM. As the President, Tarique now leads the SBN executive team, by combining his industrial experience with his passion for mentoring to achieve the SBN objectives and goals.

Email: president@thesbn.ca

Nicole Shum, Director, Finance

Nicole Shum, Director, Finance

BSc | UBC

Nicole recently completed her Biochemistry degree at the University of British Columbia. As a member of the Student Biotechnology Network for the past year, she found the SBN events to be very beneficial. They provided her opportunities for career development through connecting with industry leaders. As the Director of Sponsorship and Corporate Relations, she looks forward to helping other students connect with members of the Biotechnology community and expanding her knowledge of business operation.

Uyen Nguyen, Director, Communications

Uyen Nguyen, Director, Communications

MSc Candidate

Uyen completed her UBC-BCIT Bachelor of Science Honours in Biotechnology and is currently an excited MSc student in the Experimental Medicine program. Uyen found her passion for studying the power and delicacy of the immune system in working with her mentors at BCIT, UBC, BC Children’s Hospital, and Biologics at adMare (formerly the Centre for Drug Research and Development). To help more students receive invaluable mentorship from both academia and industry, Uyen joined the SBN and subsequently stepped up to the role of Director of Communications. In this role, Uyen sends out monthly newsletters to the SBN mailing list of students and industry professionals, addresses and responds to student emails, and works with the Social Media Liason to promote SBN events on multiple social media platforms.

Lily Takeuchi, Director of Corporate Affairs

Lily Takeuchi, Director of Corporate Affairs

Lily is a PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. She previously received her Bachelors of Medical Laboratory Science and her Masters in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Through her experience as a Business Development Specialist, Lily became passionate about building connections and advancing entrepreneurship in the biotechnology ecosystem in her role as Director of Corporate Affairs.

Ann Duong, Communications Liaison

Ann Duong, Communications Liaison

Ann has completed a BSc in Biochemistry and is undertaking a MSc in Environmental Science at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). She is passionate about advocating for accessible education and research as tools for developing sustainable and healthy communities.

As SBN’s Communications Liaison, Ann is committed to finding opportunities for youth from underrepresented groups to engage with industry leaders in Biotechnology, and hopes to encourage the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

Ann is also a UNBC Research Ambassador and has been a former Student Refugee Coordinator for the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and is currently working as a Quality Assurance Officer at the Northern Analytical Lab Services (NALS) at UNBC.

Diana Djaksigulova, Corporate Liaison

Diana Djaksigulova, Corporate Liaison

Diana has recently completed her BSc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia. While completing her degree, she had the opportunity to work both co-op terms in the Biologics industry. This valuable experience ignited her passion for translation science, and in particular, biologic drug discovery. Diana is currently working at BC Children’s Hospital to investigate potential gene therapies for congenital blindness. As a Corporate Liaison, she is helping to grow and strengthen the connections between industry representatives and the SBN. She hopes that with the work of the SBN, more students can gain the opportunity to learn and contribute within the biotech industry.

Soumik Shome, Corporate Liaison

Soumik Shome, Corporate Liaison

I am a BSc student at York University, Toronto in my last semester. I have been a peer mentor at York u, where I have helped students cope with their transition to university life. Moreover, I am a tutor for students with disabilities at centenial college, toronto. I teach biology and chemistry.

Sarah Mansour, Corporate Relations Liaison

Sarah Mansour, Corporate Relations Liaison

PhD
Mahdis Monajemi, Event Liaison

Mahdis Monajemi, Event Liaison

PhD Candidate

Mahdis received her M.Sc. in the field of Immunology and Infectious disease from Memorial University, Canada and is currently completing her PhD in the field of Immunology in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research interests are immunology, immunotherapy, and autoimmune disease. As SBN Event Liaison, Mahdis collaborates with other members to organize SBN events and develops professional relationships to invite speakers, panelists, and guests to the events. Besides her role at SBN, Mahdis is recipient of MITCS Accelerate fellowship at BC Children’s Hospital and currently works in collaboration with Renaissance Biosciences Corp.

Benjie McMaster, Event Liaison

Benjie McMaster, Event Liaison

Benjie is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering Student at the University of British Columbia, currently on Co-Op at Zymeworks Inc where he works on the Molecular Simulations Team developing scientific software. As an Event Liaison, he brings together students and industry representatives to create career opportunities and boost the biotech community in Vancouver. Outside of biotech, Benjie is an avid skier, cyclist, and hiker, and can often be found on the slopes of Whistler Mountain.

Zohreh Shr, Event Liaison

Zohreh Shr, Event Liaison

PhD Candidate
Hitesh Arora, Social Media Liaison

Hitesh Arora, Social Media Liaison

PhD

Hitesh is an Associate Scientist at Zymeworks Inc. in Vancouver. He graduated with a Ph.D. from UBC and was a recipient of MITAC Elevate post-doctoral fellowship award and worked at AMGEN BC Inc. and BC Cancer Agency.

His research interests include immunology, cancer immunotherapy, auto-immune responses, and antibody production.

Hitesh has a passion for science communication and community engagement and he has been actively engaged in various outreach program’s at UBC and in Vancouver. As the SBN’s Social Media Liaison, Hitesh works to draw upon his past experience to raise awareness and promote SBN’s events as a valuable resource for students and early career researchers.

Evan Chen, Commercial Photographer

Evan Chen, Commercial Photographer

Kevin Chung, Website Consultant

Kevin Chung, Website Consultant

BSc

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