Panel Discussions

UCSD Bioengineering and BMES have coordinated a series of panel discussions on career topics over the years. A number of them have been archived and are provided here.

In this 5/14/03 panel discussion, six bioengineering alumni discuss career path information for bioengineers. The panel was moderated by Professor Geert Schmid-Schönbein and Professor Emeritus Yuan-Cheng Fung of the Bioengineering Department and Murtaza Mogri, Biotechnology Liaison for UCSD'S Biomedical Engineering Society.

Panel Members:

  • Arnel Aguinaldo, Biomechanical Engineer at Motion Analysis Laboratory and Center for Human Performance, Childrens’ Hospital, San Diego, CA. B.S., Bioengineering; M.A., Biomechanics and Athletic Training

  • Don Gurskis, Manager, Strategy Development at Conceptus, San Carlos, CA. B.S., Bioengineering

  • Rey Halili, Principal Development Engineer at Cryocor, San Diego, CA. B.S., Bioengineering; M. Eng., UCSD, currently enrolled

  • Ann Lee-Karlon, Project Manager, Rituxan-Immunology, Product Development at Genentech, South San Francisco, CA. B.S., Bioengineering; MBA; Ph.D., Bioengineering

  • Deidre MacKenna, Scientific Investigator at Metabasis Therapeutics, San Diego, CA.; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, UCSD B.S., Bioengineering; Ph.D., Bioengineering

  • Arlene Yang, R&D Engineer, Endovascular Solutions at Guidant, Santa Clara, CA. B.S., Bioengineering


Topics include:

  • Possible fields and career paths for bioengineers

  • Entry level positions, advancement, and skills required

  • Current trends in bioengineering

  • Rewards and challenges of jobs in bioengineering

  • Advice from alumni to current students

This is a student panel discussion on minority issues with six of our bioengineering majors. The students address issues of their personal background, how they became interested in math/science; experiences at UCSD both positive and negative, their own research/internship/scholarship opportunities, and goals for the future.


The panelists:

  • Carlos Lopez - Bioengineering: Biotechnology

  • Francisco Guerra - Bioengineering: Premedical

  • Jorge Ayala - Bioengineering

  • Edwina Welch, Director Cross-Cultural Center

  • David Artis, Director Academic Enrichment Programs

  • Darlene Salmon, Faculty Mentor Program

  • Greg Boggy (Bioengineering: Biotechnology) student regarding NIH Summer Research Programs

  • Professor Bob Sah, Chair Undergraduate Studies for Bioengineering speaking about research in faculty labs and BMES

  • Imani Tyus, Bioengineering Industrial Internship Program

  • Marina Hayden, School of Engineering, Engineering Student Services

VIDEO: Internships, Research, Scholarships for Bioengineers

This videotape is a panel discussion on internship/scholarship/research opportunities for bioengineering students which took place on 1/28/00 moderated by Dr. Bob Sah of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Studies Committee.

The panel members:

  • Darlene Salmon from the Academic Enrichment Program

  • Dr. Schmid-Schönbein, Faculty Mentor for the Bioengineering Industrial Internship Program

  • Dr. Tom Bond, Provost Revelle College

  • Becky Obayashi from the Scholarship Office

  • UCSD Career Services Representative - Chris Alexander

  • Current UCSD bioengineering students, Jenny Reed (Bioengineering: Biotechnology) and Ray Liu (Bioengineering: Premedical) NIH summer research participants

  • Professor Bob Sah on research opportunities with Bioengineering faculty


Topics include:

  • Academic Enrichment Program/Summer Research and the Health Professions Program

  • Bioengineering Industrial Internship Program

  • Profile of successful scholarship applicants

  • Available scholarships

  • Career Services assistance with applications/resumes for scholarships and internships

  • Bioengineering students' NIH Summer Internship Program experience from Summer ‘99

  • Research opportunities with faculty in the Bioengineering Department

VIDEO: Women in Bioengineering

This is a panel discussion on issues facing women in bioengineering that took place on April 24, 2000, moderated by Professor Sangeeta Bhatia of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Studies Committee. The introduction to the panel discussion was presented by Professors Dave Gough (Chair, Department of Bioengineering) and Bob Sah (Chair, Undergraduate Studies Committee).


The other panelists:

  • Professor Amy Sung, Bioengineering

  • Melissa Kurtis - BENG Graduate Student

  • Jennifer Reed - BENG: Biotechnology Undergraduate (participated in summer research at NIH)

  • Karin Blais - SWE student rep (2nd Year Bioengineering student) Scholarships/Outreach/Evening with Industry

  • Tina Nova, Ph.D. - DNA Dynamics: President/CEO

  • Ann Lee-Karlon, Ph.D. - Current MBA student, Stanford; former Ph.D. Bioengineering student, and formerly at Advanced Tissue Sciences


Topics include:

  • Could you describe how you became interested in Bioengineering?

  • What/Who has been helpful to you in being successful in your program/job?

  • What information do you now have that would have been helpful to you earlier in your academic/professional career?

  • What are the issues that women face in a predominately male field?

  • What kinds of career opportunities are available for Bioengineering majors?

VIDEO: Graduate Study in Bioengineering

This videotape is a panel discussion on graduate school for bioengineering students which took place on 5/12/99, co-moderated by Drs. Bob Sah and Sangeeta Bhatia of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Studies Committee.


The other panel members:

  • Professor Andrew McCulloch Chair, BENG Graduate Studies Admissions Committee

  • Current Bioengineering graduate students -Keith Herrman (Georgia Tech), Sara Vaplon (UCSD)

  • Current UCSD Senior who applied and was accepted to Bioengineering Graduate Schools - John Wright

  • Bioengineering Graduate Academic Advisor - Irene Jacobo

  • UCSD Career Services Professional and Graduate School Advisor - Nicole Moran O'Neil


Topics include:

  • What is the nature of graduate study in Bioengineering?

  • What are career opportunities for students after obtaining a Ph.D? a M.S.?

  • What can I do as an undergraduate to find out if graduate school is for me (courses, research, internships)?

  • How does one select Bioengineering Graduate Program(s) to apply to?

  • What are the focus areas of different Bioengineering graduate school programs, and how can one find out more about the different programs?

  • What has been your experience in applying to graduate school?

  • What are the application requirements and their deadlines?

  • How does the admissions committee select graduate students, and what can students do to enhance their chances of being accepted?

  • What did UCSD'S Fall 1999's applicant / acceptance pool look like?

  • What financial support is typically granted to Ph.D. & Masters students?

  • What fellowships can I apply to?

  • There is also a handout available at the Student Affairs Office, PFBH, RM 141.

VIDEO: A Visit with Industry

This videotape is a panel discussion on career options for bioengineering students which took place on 1/22/99, co-moderated by Drs. Bob Sah and Sangeeta Bhatia of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Studies Committee.

The other panel members:

Former Bioengineering and Bioengineering: Premedical students working in Industry

  • Arlene Yang - (ABET '96 Graduate) GUIDANT

  • Deborah Williams Pia - (PREMED '97 Graduate) AURORA BIOSCIENCES

  • Darren Sherman - (ABET '94 Graduate) EMERGENCY MEDICAL SUPPLIES

Industry Representatives

  • Kenny Dang - MEDTRONIC

  • Laurie Phillips - CYTEL CORPORATION - Director, Pharmacology

  • Human Resource Representatives from Industry

  • Holly Chrzanowski - AURORA BIOSCIENCES - Senior Human Resources Administrator

  • Fred Rose- GUIDANT - College Recruiter

  • UCSD Career Services Representative Lolly Murray


Topics include:

  • Briefly, what do you do and how did you get into the field?

  • What are some typical entry-level positions and where can they lead?

  • What key skills/background/education are needed for entry into the field and for advancement?

  • What are some current trends in bioengineering that are affecting the field?

  • What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your job?

  • What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Bioengineering?

  • How important is an advanced degree?

  • How important is an internship?
  • There is a related handout available at the Student Affairs Office, PFBH, RM 141.