biotech2On September 4, 2019, the Skyline College Biotechnology 150 class attended a lecture at Carlmont High School given by Dr. Laurie Hill, the Vice President of Intellectural Property at Genentech. Carlmont High School and its Biotechnology Institute have been offering Dual enrollment classes for three years now. The Biotechnology Institute sponsors two scientific talks a semester.

Dr. Hill gave the first talk of the season in the Carlmtont Performing Arts center. Her talk was titled “Never Tell Her the Odds.” Dr. Hill is originally from Louisiana, but traveled all over the world with her family that worked in the oil industry. In high school, she was inspired by her teachers to study immunology. As a postdoc, she looked at the effects of apoptosis and cancer. While just starting her postdoc, she was in a bike and car accident, sustained many injuries and was told she had a slim chance of walking. While she was a postdoc, she was told that her ideas would never work. She continued with her experiments and published her results in Science, one of the premier scientific journals. Seeking more stimulation, she went back to school and studied law. One of the main topics of her talk was that she has fun every day, learning new things. She admitted that at Illumina, a DNA sequencing company, she did not know programming but she was willing to learn. That is what keeps her job fun and what propels her to do more each day.

In hearing about Dr. Hill’s background and training, it is no wonder that she says, “Never take no for an answer. Are you going to listen to what people will tell you or will you craft your destiny even if you cannot see the path on how to get there?” Dr Hill has a fantastic and inspiring view on life and professionalism, and the students felt it was worth their time to go and see her talk.

In our discussions about intellectual property after the lecture, we mentioned that a few of our students would like to try and get a patent on ideas that they are developing in the lab, but that it is way too expensive to get a patent. Dr. Hill suggested that we contact one of the many local law schools who have free clinics that are willing to help our students learn more about and apply for patents.

Pictured from left to right: Arlyne Grace Bautista, Christine Ann Aquino, Catherine Capitana, Jason Martin, Pricsilla Sanchez-Pena, Dr. Laurie Hill, Maricruz Hernandez.

Article by Catherine Capitana & Nick Kapp | Photo by Nick Kapp

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