Leadership Staff


Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle — Executive Director, Founder & Executive Chairman of the Board

Erika Ebbel Angle received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2012 from Boston University School of Medicine. She holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Erika is the CEO and co-founder of Counterpoint Health Solutions, a Biotechnology start-up company aimed at developing diagnostic tests and natural interventions to improve gut microbiome efficacy and prevent neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

In 2002 Erika founded Science from Scientists. Erika currently serves on the Massachusetts STEM Council Legislator Education Work Group and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education STEM Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. In 2014 the Boston Business Journal selected her as one of the “40 Under 40” business and civic leaders who are making a major impact in their respective fields in the Boston area. Her accomplishments have also been recognized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Awards for Emerging Executive.  In 2013 the Boston Chamber of Commerce selected her as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders” in Boston. Selected by L’Oreal Paris as a 2007 Woman of Worth for her work with Science from Scientists, Erika has been featured on Lifetime TV and Nova Science Now on “The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers.” She is the host of “The Dr. Erika Show,” an educational science TV show for children.

Erika served as a Commissioner for the MA Commission on the Status of Women. Erika was Miss Massachusetts 2004 in the Miss America Scholarship program. At age 11, she became interested in isolating natural antiviral products from an herb. She continued to purse this interest for the next 7 years, winning multiple state, national, and international science fair competitions.

Outside of work, Erika enjoys SCUBA diving, skiing and, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, continues her lifelong passion for classical piano. She is married to Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot.


Amanda Schutt — Chief Operations Officer, Instructor

Amanda earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. Her research focused on benthic aquatic insect taxonomy, stream health bioassessments, and sedimentation issues in aquatic ecosystems. Amanda works as both an Instructor for Science from Scientists and as their Chief Operations Officer. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys gardening, baking, crafting, and camping with her Daisy/Brownie Girl Scout Troop.


Dr. Alicia Bielik — Chief People Officer

Alicia earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Boston University in 2007. While at BU, her research focused on the quantification of sulfated carbohydrates in healthy and osteoarthritic cartilage using the technique of mass spectrometry. Alicia currently works for New England Biolabs, Inc. as the Glycobiology Product Manager. She focuses her efforts on the creation, purification and characterization of carbohydrate modifying enzymes. In her spare time Alicia enjoys traveling, running, and spending time with family and friends.


Warren Long — Director of Science from Scientists West

Warren recently retired from a long career of teaching high school science and chairing the science department at Drew School in San Francisco to join SfS and launch our program in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loved teaching all sciences but especially chemistry and earth science using hands-on labs and activities to enthuse students. Warren has also led teacher workshops on air pollution and atmospheric chemistry in California, India and China, plus recently organized and led teacher workshops on teaching lab chemistry in Tanzania. He graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in biology and did graduate work at the University of California.

Warren loves the outdoors, especially bicycling, backpacking, sailing and hiking, as well as reading, gardening, woodworking, cooking and traveling and is active in community activities focusing on social justice and environmental issues. He and his wife Susan are long time residents of San Mateo and parents of a son and daughter who are now young adults.

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Dr. Payal Patel— Director of Science from Scientists Worcester, Instructor

Payal earned her B.S. in Biology at the Ohio State University in 2004. Wanting an active role in the scientific process as an undergraduate, she assisted in a Molecular Genetics research lab and in the Proteomics core facility. Her graduate studies on liver-mediated insulin regulation culminated in a doctoral degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Toledo College of Medicine 2010. Payal continued conducting metabolism research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she completed her postdoctoral training in 2014. Payal has sought out opportunities to learn and grow while living in the Commonwealth. She has volunteered for the EcoTarium, UMass Center for Mindfulness, Science Cafe Woo, and the Cambridge Science Festival. When taking a break from science, her hobbies include playing ultimate frisbee, watching college football (Go Buckeyes!), hosting game nights, and seeking out new experiences.


Cortney Wieber — Director of Education, Program Manager Curriculum and Vacation Programs, Instructor

Cortney loves science, recycling, traveling and animals, especially bats! She recently returned to the Salem, MA area after spending a few months in India and completing her M.S. in Australia at James Cook University, researching the role of flying foxes as host reservoirs for zoonotic viruses. Before that, she spent many summers abroad gaining hands-on experience in wildlife rehabilitation in various countries around the world while getting her B.S. in Environmental Biology at Salem State University. Aside from advocating for all animals, Cortney enjoys hiking and reading.


Beth Zylinski — Director of Web Solutions & Social Media, Instructor

Beth has always been interested in math and science and was inspired to pursue an engineering degree by her high school physics teacher. She earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and also a M.S. in Engineering Management. While working in the engineering field, she was a quality and reliability engineer focused on testing integrated circuits and electronic chips. Beth enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, traveling and reading.


Yasmin Kroll — Development Officer

Yasmin earner her B.S. in Microbiology from the Ohio State University in 2012. She has previously worked in a research laboratory at Dana Farber Cancer Institute conducting research on protein signaling pathways as well as drug discovery. In her spare time, Yasmin loves to dance, travel and hunt for awesome restaurants!


Michael Farrell, CPA – Controller

Mike and his wife Marnie, run their own bookkeeping and accounting firm called FAABS. Mike is responsible for the accounting functions at Science from Scientists. Since 2001, Mike has served as a Controller for various companies including The Roseview Group, Thorbahn and Associates and The Bostonian Group. Prior to becoming a Controller, Mike spent over 10 years as an accounting supervisor, public accountant and internal auditor. Mike is a CPA with an MBA from Suffolk University and a BBA in accounting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Norma Sullivan — Teacher Liaison

Norma is a recently retired teacher. She has taught grades 4-8 in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Georgia. However the last seventeen years, she has been a middle school math and science teacher in Newton, MA. She has participated in the Science from Scientists program for the last five years as a classroom teacher and currently working as a program manager for professional development for the Science from Scientists program.

California Instructors


Dr. Karen Allendoerfer

Dr. Karen Allendoerfer earned her B.A. in Biology from Princeton University and her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She has a long-standing interest in brain development, and wrote her thesis on the role of growth factors in the developing visual system. She worked in the biotech industry and academia on models of brain diseases and potential new therapeutic strategies. Karen is also an avid amateur violinist with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra. Her passion for teaching grows out of her interest in how different people’s brains learn and her desire to share the excitement of scientific discovery with her students. She has taught in the UMass Boston Urban Scholars program, the Girl Scouts, and Unitarian-Universalist Religious Education. She spends her spare time with her German husband and 2 school-age children traveling, geocaching, and reading science fiction.


Lauren Amundson

Lauren was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska where she grew up loving the outdoors and all things associated with nature. She received her Bachelors Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder with emphasis in Entomology and museum collections. She is currently working to complete her Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University where she is using DNA and molecular data to infer the evolutionary relationships of ground beetles in the Pseudomorpha genus. In her free time she loves to travel, one of her goals is to travel to all seven continents before she turns 30; Africa and Antarctica are still on the list. Lauren also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, gardening, fishing and scuba diving. She also loves cooking, crafting and getting lost in a good book.


Dr. Liu Qi Chen

Liu Qi earned her Bachelor in Applied Chemistry from the National University of Singapore in 2004. Eager for adventure, she came to United States to pursue graduate studies. Liu Qi obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 2014. She developed a novel imaging technique, termed acidoCEST MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to measure pH in the tumor. Currently, Liu Qi is working in an environmental testing lab to test for harmful VOC (volatile organic compound). In her free time, Liu Qi enjoys the company of her husband and 2 young kids, who were born during her PhD.

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Dr. Gary Ciambrone

Dr. Gary Ciambrone earned his B.A. in Biology from New York University. He then took a position as a laboratory technician in a cardiovascular physiology lab at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, and made significant contributions to studies concerning the effects of exercise on the cardiac myopathy of hypertension, using the isolated, perfused, rat heart technique. He then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physiology & Cell Biology from Albany Medical College of Union University, Albany, NY. During his postdoctoral fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, CA, his knowledge of biochemistry, enzymology, and protein purification greatly expanded. These areas of expertise allowed him to secure research scientist positions in a number of biotech start-up companies, working on state-of-the-art bioassay development techniques, including Lab-on-a-Chip at ACLARA BioSciences, and Cellular Dielectric Spectroscopy at Signature BioSciences, both in CA. His physiology and assay development expertise finally came together when he secured a job with Johnson & Johnson to develop an intranasal-to-brain in-vivo animal model/drug delivery platform which allowed for delivery of therapeutic proteins directly into the brain, bypassing the blood-brain-barrier. During this same period he began teaching Human Anatomy & Physiology classes to allied health profession students at local community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gary is an avid skier, weight lifter and also enjoys hiking the great outdoors, especially the amazing US National Parks. He also enjoys traveling and photographing animals in the wild. In his spare time, you will frequently find him engrossed in the New York Times, especially on Tuesdays, when the Science Times awaits him.

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Steffany Loeb

Steffany graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor’s degree in Geology, and is a current graduate student at San Jose State University with an emphasis in geomorphology. She has worked for the Forest Service and the California State University system conducting research on California’s geology. Steffany is very excited to be working for Science from Scientists and hopes to inspire young future scientists. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, weight lifting, playing trumpet and bass, as well as collecting rocks for fun!

Massachusetts Instructors

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Jenna Conversano

Jenna received her A.B. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in 2011. For her senior thesis, she studied nest mate recognition in Australian meat ants while studying abroad in Melbourne. She completed her M.A. in Museum Education at Tufts University. She recently interned at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and previously worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Jenna is a Brooklyn-born New Yorker at heart, but has fallen for Medford-Somerbridge, although she will never root for the Red Sox. When not busy, she enjoys working through her Goodreads reading list, watching streaming TV, biking the Minuteman, and playing lots of kickball. 


Kim Curtis

Kim earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, and her M.S. in Ecology at Kent State University. Her research focused on the changes in fish species over time in the tributaries of the Cuyahoga River, in Ohio. Kim has worked as an Ichthyologist sampling ponds, lakes, streams and rivers for fish species as indicators of water quality. She has also worked performing bioassays and as a wetland biologist, delineating wetland areas. More recently Kim has directed summer nature camps, sharing her love of nature and science with young campers and taught high school Biology, Earth Science, Anatomy and Physiology. Kim spends her free time enjoying the outdoors with her husband and daughter, traveling, and practicing yoga.


Phillip Dugger

Phillip has a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip currently teaches environmental technology as an adjunct professor at Babson College, and has previously taught ecology, earth science, and scientific inquiry at Merrimack College and Wheelock College.


James Eakins

Jim graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Physics, with minors in Math and Biology, as well as Area of Emphasis in Medical Physics and Nanotechnology. He has worked on several different research projects, including a trip to China to help experiment with thin film drug delivery and trip to NASA to launch a rocket. Jim is currently working towards a PhD in Physics at Northeastern University. Jim believes that science isn’t just something you learn, it’s a way of life. In his spare time, Jim like to swing and blues dance, make terrible puns, and find excuses to play with magnets.


Dr. Maureen Griffin — Module Program Manager II, Instructor

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter’s birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.


Dr. Danielle Gutelius

Dr. Gutelius received her B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University in 2005. Following graduation she worked as a research assistant where she used a histology-based screen to identify embryonic lethal cell differentiation mutations in zebrafish. Dr. Gutelius went on to complete her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science at Brown University in 2012, where her thesis work focused on understanding the role of a large, unique insertion in the rare hepatitis B virus genotype G. During her post-doc at Bryant University, her research focused on the characterization of SleC, a protein involved in spore germination of the Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium difficile. As an extension of this work she was also involved in developing assays to screen novel anti-microbial compounds. While training undergraduate and high school students in the lab, Dr. Gutelius realized that if the work of research scientists is going to make an impact on the world, the general public needs to be able to access and understand it! This revelation led her to switch her focus to science education. Since then she has taught introductory life science and microbiology courses as an adjunct professor at Bryant University and Johnson & Wales University. Currently, Dr. Gutelius brings fun science activities to children in grades K-5 as a science instructor at LINX, an after-school enrichment club in Wellesley. She is excited to be working with SfS where she can combine her research background, teaching experience, and love of making science fun and accessible to children. Originally from central PA, she has become a permanent New Englander and recently moved to Waltham, where she and her husband serve as dorm parents at a boarding school along with their large dog, Brodie. In her spare time she enjoys crafting, refinishing old furniture, and going to New England Revolution games (GoREVS!).


Benjamin Hart, Senior Instructor

Ben received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2013. Although he has an interest in multiple neurodegenerative diseases, much of his research has dealt specifically with Alzheimer’s disease and its pathogenesis. Ben has volunteered at Perkins School for the Blind and Boston Children’s Hospital where he helped in physical therapy and patient entertainment. In his spare time, Ben likes to cook, attend comedy functions, and host game nights with his friends.


Dr. Audra Kennedy — Module Program Manager II, Instructor

Audra graduated from Boston College in 1994 with a B.S. in Biology and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Her graduate research focused on the enteric nervous system and the neurons that control bile flow into the small intestine. Her favorite graduate school courses were Human Anatomy and Histology. In addition to teaching science and volunteering in her children’s school, Audra is the vice-president of a local educational foundation that provides grant money to teachers for enriching educational programs. In her spare time, she can be found watching soccer and baseball games, training for an upcoming half marathon, and crafting with her children.


Edmarie Martinez

Edmarie obtained her B.S. in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey. During her degree she participated in two summer research programs and a in two year research program. Her first summer internship experience was in 2008 when she participated in the Global Ecology Program part of the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Program. As part of her project she had to catch frogs and perform numerous dissections in order to collect tissue samples. In 2009, Edmarie’s second research experience was at Tufts Medical School. She learned about the immune system and the autoimmune disease known as LUPUS. For the next two years, back in Cayey, she worked on various research projects associated with bacterial sources of plasminogen activators for the broader purpose of using them for cardiovascular disease treatments to lyse blood clots. Then, in 2012 she pursued a Master of Public Health with a concentration on Environmental Health. Noting the importance of explaining science concepts to a lay audience, Edmarie decided to join SfS. This is going to be a great learning experience because she can dig in basic science concepts and teach them to kids in a way they will understand and have fun at the same time. She is super excited to be a part of this team!


Dr. Sandra Pearl

Dr. Pearl received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Siena College before completing neuroscience doctoral work at Albany Medical College studying new medications to treat drug addiction. Her postdoctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh involved examining the role of neurotransmitters in pathways of the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Pearl has taught college level science courses for over 15 years and enjoys engaging her five children in simple science experiments around the house each week. In her spare time, Dr. Pearl enjoys biking, golf, kayaking, hiking, traveling, and reading. She is active in writing grants for her local schools and plays an active role in her town library and sports leagues.


Margaret Ptak

Margaret graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.S. in Honors Psychology and a B.A. in Biology. She is currently completing a dual Master degree at Boston University in Medical Science and Public Health. Before graduate school, Margaret combined her medical interest in holistic and global health and traveled through China to study the health system there. During her graduate studies, her research interests in neurodevelopment, nutrition, psychology, functional and environmental medicine, and integrative approach to health have led her to focus on biomarkers in pregnancy and early development as indicators for autism at TRANSCEND lab in MGH. Alongside her research, she’s collaborated with Open Medicine Institute in the Bay Area, CA to create an EHR with a holistic approach to documenting patient information. She combined her global interest with her medical interest once again and worked at an autism clinic in Kalisz, Poland, through the non-profit, Nowa Nadzieja, which works to provide needed medical care to children with autism. She’s now working with Nowa Nadzieja to advocate for support from the government, as well as the medical and public community for children with autism. When she’s not busy doing science and fighting for equal medical access, she enjoys her time doing three things: dancing, travelling, and cooking. She finds herself constantly moving, especially when she hears blues or swing music!

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Dr. Jefferson Roy

Jefferson received his undergraduate degree in Physiology from University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. He completed his doctorate in neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Canada studying eye movements and vestibular (balance) reflexes. He then moved to the Boston area for his postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a lab interested in goal-directed behavior, learning, and memory. Currently he is a research scientist at MIT. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and exploring the world with his kids, reading, cooking, and listening to music on home built audio equipment.


Dr. Catherine Sukow — Module Program Manager II, Instructor

Dr. Sukow’s interest in science education began when she was a teenager, with an extended visit to San Francisco’s Exploratorium. In college, she had summer jobs in a similar, smaller, museum. She focused her Master’s research at NCSU on the structure of metal silicides on silicon, and her Ph.D. work at Brandeis on the structure of crossbridged actin bundles. While volunteering in her childrens’ schools, she was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and is happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists. In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, choral and solo singing, and attempting a variety of international cuisines.


Dr. Leighann Sullivan

Leighann  earned her B.S. in Biology from Cornell University. For a number of years she taught math, science, and language skills at a secondary school for learning disabled students. She subsequently earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Molecular and Genomic Analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum.” When not pursuing academic interests she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and experimenting in the culinary arts.


Dr. Cricket Corwin Wilbur

Dr. Wilbur has a doctorate in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England, a MS in Geology from North Carolina State University, and a BS in Geology from St. Lawrence University. In her doctoral research Cricket investigated factors governing climate change by reconstructing a 10,000-year record of vegetation on an island in southwest Alaska to assess regional environmental changes and global connections. Cricket is an AmeriCorps alumni having served with Essex County Greenbelt Association through the Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow-AmeriCorps program. She has extensive experience teaching science in diverse environments from inside classrooms and laboratories to outside in the field. Cricket spends her free time enjoying the outdoors with her family, and volunteering with conservation organizations including serving on the board of directors of her neighborhood homeowner’s association.