Our Team

Program Leadership

The SJSU SCILL Leadership Team is comprised of four SJSU faculty members each member brings a unique expertise to the program. The Team meets periodically to discuss program curriculum, budget, interview applicants, and review internship placements.

Bree Grillo-Hill

Bree Grillo-Hill
Program Director
Associate Professor, SJSU



Dr. Grillo-Hill provides administrative oversight including issues related to budget approval, student recruitment, staff employment, scheduling and staffing classes, laboratory safety and regulatory compliance. The director is also responsible for reviewing and implementing Advisory Committee decisions.


Leila Khatib, PhD

Dr. Leila Khatib
Assistant Professor, SJSU


Dr. Leila Khatib has worked as an industry consultant for 10 years prior to entering academia.  Her specialization includes the development of molecular methodologies for public health applications.  She currently is Assistant Professor of Virology and is serving on the management team for the SCILL program.


Pic of Dr. Alex Payumo

Dr. Alexander Payumo
Assistant Professor, SJSU


Dr. Payumo provides expertise as a cellular physiologist and will assist with trainee selection, mentoring, and program assessment.

Administrative Personnel

Image of Salma FaridSalma Farid
SJSU SCILL Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator, Salma is involved all administrative aspects and the primary point of communication for the program.

Faculty Mentors

SCILL students and interns are required to have three committee members for their MA/MS degree. One of the committee members is the internship mentor and the other two are SJSU faculty as chosen by the student.

SJSU faculty mentors accept students into the graduate programs as required by the Department of Biological Sciences and provide academic advisement. They also advise students in forming their graduate committee, and completing their culminating experience. Mentors play an active role in their student’s mentorship team.

Bree Grillo-Hill
Associate Professor Biological Sciences

Leila Khatib
Assistant Professor Virology

Cleber Ouverney
Professor Biological Sciences
(408) 924-4806

Alexander Payumo
Assistant Professor Biological Sciences

Sabine Rech
Director of the Master of Biotechnology Program
(408) 924-4832