Program Leadership

The SJSU SCILL Leadership Team is comprised of four SJSU faculty members. Each member brings a unique expertise to the SCILL program. The Leadership Team will meet monthly to review program curriculum, student concerns, or discuss budgetary issues. The Leadership Team will interview all SCILL applicants and discuss internship placements. All members of the Leadership Team will be involved in decisions regarding the program.

Program Director

Tzvia Abramson - Professor, SJSU

Tzvia AbramsonDr. Abramson has ultimate responsibility for the program, providing 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, as well as be the primary communication hub for Internship Host Institution (IHI) coordinators.

Dr. Leila Khatib

Leila Khatib, PhDDr. 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 the co-director of the Masters of Biotechnology program and is serving on the management team for the SCILL program.

Dr. Bree Grillo-Hill - Assistant Professor, SJSU

Dr. Bree Grillo-HillDr. Grillo-Hill came to SJSU in 2016 with expertise in developmental and cell biology, and will assist wittrainee selection, internship placement, and program assessment. Her research investigates the regulation of morphogenetic cell processes by intracellular pH (pHi) during normal development and disease, with a recent focus on pHi dynamics during adult and embryonic stem cell differentiation.

Instructors and Administrative Personnel


Salma Farid – SCILL Program Coordinator

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.

Tzvia Abramson
ASCP Biological Sciences
(408) 924-4872

Bree Grillo-Hill
ASTP Biological Sciences

Leila Khatib
Director of the Master of Biotechnology Program

Cleber Ouverney
ASTP Biological Sciences
(408) 924-4806

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

Guna Selvaduray
PROF Mat & Chem Engineering
(408) 924-3874

Miri VanHoven
ASTP Biological Sciences
(408) 924-4845