We are just weeks away from finishing our NINTH YEAR as a program and can hardly believe that three of our cohorts have already graduated from college. We are excited to celebrate our seniors at their BTI graduation ceremony at Carlmont's Performing Arts Center on June 5 at 6:30 PM.

In this issue:

  • Meet two of our alums, now in graduate school
  • Join the juniors on a tour of Genentech
  • Monkey around with the seniors at the Oakland Zoo
  • Pull up a stool at BTI's Happy Hour at the Cereal Bar
  • Grab a slice of pizza with our new cohort

Fantastic news! Thanks to your generous contributions totaling $50,519, we have successfully reached our financial goal for the 2023-2024 school year! We are over the moon! Your commitment to the program is truly inspiring and makes a critical, tangible difference. You have made it possible for us to have BTI-dedicated sections of Biotechnology 3-4 and continue offering one-to-one mentorship for our juniors. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the community and to the Carlmont Academic Foundation (CAF)—for our thriving partnership.

It is not to late for anyone who would like to contribute to our fundraising efforts for this school year. Donations can be made through CAF's website. On the "Donor Information" page, there is a drop-down menu specifically for BTI families; here you can select the percentage of your donation that will go to BTI.

If you would like to support the program in other wayswe are actively looking for volunteers to participate in our mentoring program. For more information, please contact Mr. Oscar Fabic-Cortez at

We are also looking for industry tours for the 2024-2025 school year. If you know of a biotechnology company that would be willing to host 54 students, please send them our way. Our students love to see professionals at work and hear about their day-to-day jobs. For more information, please contact the directors: Susan Gold at and Jaime Abdilla at

BTI Alumni

We love it when our alums fill us in on their academic and career pursuits. Julietta Picco, Class of 2018 and Marina Stoilova, Class of 2019 were recently in touch. They are both in grad school!

Julietta Picco, BTI Class of 2018

It was thrilling to have BTI alum Julietta Picco return to Carlmont to deliver a presentation on stem cells and regenerative medicine to the sophomore English classes.

Julietta graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She worked as a lab assistant for the UC Davis Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources at the Anastasio lab where she assisted in post-doc and graduate student research projects. She performed illumination experiments for nitrate chemistry studies, assembling equipment, preparing reagent and standards, and conducting data acquisition using Shimadzu UV/VIS Spectrophotometer, LWCC, and PDA-HPLC.

She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Molecular Biology with a stem cell focus at San Jose State University. She is a first-year Masters student in the Stem Cell Internships Laboratory-Based Learning (SCILL) program at SJSU and currently looking to join a lab as a CIRM intern for the year 2024-2025.

Julietta recommended that students look into the SPARK Internship program for high school juniors/seniors. This is a branch of the California Stem Cell Agency’s CIRM Internship Programs.

They might also be interested in learning more about Julietta's graduate program at San Jose State: SCILL - Stem Cell Internships Laboratory-based Learning.

Marina Stoilova

BTI Class of 2019

We were excited to hear from alum, Marina Stoilova who had this to share:

At the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, I hoped to apply the molecular techniques I learned in BTI to study complex trait evolution in marine organisms. I joined a research lab and led a 4-year project studying the genetic underpinnings of visual systems in a freshwater relative of jellyfish. This also led me to train under the scientific SCUBA diving program at UCSB and eventually work as a scientific diving intern for the UCB Gump research station in French Polynesia. None of these experiences would have been possible without the initial foundation in biological research that I built through the coursework at BTI.

I am now wrapping up my first year as a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at the University of Kansas. Here I will study the evolutionary and developmental biology of venom in jellyfish and relatives. Next month I will be heading to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama for fieldwork. I am so incredibly happy with what I am doing right now, and I wanted to let you all know of the profound positive impact you have had on my life trajectory.

Genentech Tour

We are so grateful to these BTI/Carlmont parents who work at Genentech and planned a special day for our juniors: Trevor Swartz, Kristin Bish, Sejal Mehta, John Quinn, Tianbo Li, Mauricio Maia, and Jayme Franklin.

We got to tour the original manufacturing plant, which has been decommissioned; the CSC, Genentech's newest manufacturing facility; and Research Materials Groups (RMG) labs. We also got to hear how researchers use computational modeling to understand behavior of drugs being developed. To top it off, there was a beautiful lunch, which included career talks with Genentech employees.

Thank you, parents for being such engaging, generous hosts and creating an inspiring day we'll never forget!

Senior Bonding Day at the Oakland Zoo

BTI seniors got to take a break from classes for a bonding day at the Oakland Zoo!

Happy Hour at the Cereal Bar

Students clinked bowls instead of glasses at the Happy Hour Cereal Bar, our last social event of the year. Thank you, Ms. Abdilla for hosting the best bonding events on campus!

Welcome to BTI, Class of 2027!

54 new students will join the program in August. Last month we held an after-school pizza party, and they gathered for the first time. We can't wait to have them in our classes!


Thank You Breakfast for Mentors: May 24

BTI Graduation: June 5 at 6:30 PM in the Performing Arts Center


Directors of BTI: Jaime Abdilla at and Susan Gold at

Mentor Coordinator: Oscar Fabic at

Class of 2024 Rep – Lisa Wong –

Class of 2025 Rep – Shirley Chan –

Class of 2026 Reps – Angera Kuo, and Ranjan Ray –,

Class of 2027 Rep – Welcome Nanette Boerner,

BTI/CAF Liaison for the 2023-2024 school year: Ulla Foehr