Salutations! My name is Calla. I’m a chemical engineer, a microbiologist, and a writer. Ever since I graduated from Penn State with a bachelors in chemical engineering and minors in biomedical engineering and English, my mission has been to use my analytical and writing skills to solve problems in drug development.
I’ve wanted to work in biotech since I was in the eighth grade. I love the intricacy of biology, and I’m motivated by using elegant science to treat disease. Knowing these two things, I headed over to Happy Valley to pursue engineering school in the fall of 2014. Chemical engineering was my first choice in programs, because I knew it’d be a great technical foundation for a career in biotech, and it’d teach me to become a disciplined and strategic thinker. In undergrad, I also took interest in research and leadership. I spent my summers interning with universities and big pharma to learn all about the applications of biology and my semesters as a resident assistant to refine my communication and interpersonal skills.
After graduation in the fall of 2018, I got my big break as an analytical process development associate at Amgen in Boston. I packed my little car full with closed toe shoes and frost-resistant houseplants and drove up to New England in the middle of February. While my engineering background prepared me well to troubleshoot and problem solve, I found deficits in my biological science repertoire. So, I started my masters in microbiology at the University of Florida to understand how the proteins and viruses I developed processes for work as thoroughly as I could. Working by day and studying by night, I learned about everything from analytical method development and chromatography to virology and bioinformatics! I also became more intertwined with the Boston biotech scene by volunteering at MSEF and Khan Academy!
In the summer of 2021, I moved down the road to start working at Intellia Therapeutics as a process development engineer II. At Intellia, I establish and advance CRISPR therapeutic processes designed to cure genetic diseases. I love working at Intellia and am so excited to continue expanding my process development skills!
In addition to science, you can probably tell that I love to write. Since studying English at Penn State, I’ve become more interested in publishing my writing–today, you can find my short stories scattered across collegiate literary magazines and emerging writers’ anthologies.
Want to chat? Just send me an email–I love meeting new people!