Transferable lessons on DEI, from industry to academia

Marisa Sanchez, Paula Toto, and Ryan Esquejo

Date and time

December 15, 2021

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PT




Education & Training DEI Committee Special Seminar

Featuring three Sanford Burnham Prebys alumni from our Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, join an open dialogue addressing:

  • What is being done for DEI in science, in non-academic environments?
  • Why is this important?
  • What can we learn from those efforts to apply in academia?



Marisa Sanchez, Ph.D.
Study Director
Reveal Biosciences

Marisa Sanchez received her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to her doctoral studies, she gained extensive laboratory research experience in virology and immunology at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Her doctoral studies focused on the role of stress pathways in prostate and breast cancers and identifying drug targets as potential treatments. She is currently the Study Director at Reveal Biosciences and oversees project planning, initiation, and management between clients within the lab

Paula Toto, Ph.D.
Associate Faculty
MiraCosta College

Paula Toto, a Sanford Burnham Prebys alumni, received her Ph.D. while studying epigenetic mechanisms during muscle regeneration at Puri's lab. Currently, an Associate Faculty at MiraCosta College teaching cellular and molecular lab techniques at the Biotechnology department. As a foreigner herself and an instructor at a community college, Paula is focused on students' success and closing equity gaps. She embraces the college commitment to creating a racially just class climate, welcoming and supporting students from diverse cultures and identities. 

Ryan Esquejo, Ph.D.
Biologist, Internal Medicine Research Unit

Ryan is a biologist in the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer in Cambridge, MA. He received his B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College. He was trained in Dr. Timothy F. Osborne’s lab at UC Irvine and at Sanford Burnham Prebys Lake Nona, where he received his Ph.D. studying lipid metabolism. He performed his postdoctoral training evaluating skeletal muscle glucose metabolism under the mentorship of Dr. Russell Miller at Pfizer in Cambridge, MA.