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Meet the 2012/13 Alumni Network Executive Committee

The Center for Biotechnology is excited to announce the 2012-2013 Alumni Network Executive Committee(ANEC): Tomasz Bakowski, Vinal Patel, Lidia Sobkow, PhD & Assaf Vestin, PhD. Tomasz, Vinal, Lidia and Assaf are excited to get to work on leading the alumni network over the next year and have many initiatives they wish to undertake. To learn more about the new committee members, read on for their personal statements about why they wanted to join the committee and what they hope to accomplish during their tenure. Let’s all wish them the best for the coming year!

Tomasz Bakowski:
“I took the FOBI Course back in spring of 2010 as a first year PhD student. Since then, I’ve worked on several initiatives both within my department (BME) and university-wide in addition to research. I along with a few other students have been working towards building community within BME through monthly graduate student forums focused on academic and networking goals. I’ve also co-founded the Stony Brook Graduate Career Association focusing on exposing graduate students to alternative career choices. I hope to bring fresh ideas to ANEC and create collaborations with groups on campus and within the area that have similar goals.”

Vinal Patel
“Throughout my scientific career I have gained many different skillsets which I am eager to utilize in order to help the FoBIP grow and develop. I enjoy working in a team environment within and outside of science. As a team player, I have had the opportunity to participate in several collaborative scientific
publications as well as serve my community as a volunteer firefighter. To exemplify my strong leadership skills, this past year I have founded and developed an association on campus – the Graduate Career Association – which was recently elected as Best New Organization by the SBU’s Student Life
Committee. My experience with the development of this association has helped me gain and hone several skills.

My objective is to utilize my leadership, marketing and interpersonal skills, as well as my ability to work as a team member, to advance our program. My major aim is to assist in the development of our program through the creation and/or development of an infrastructure that increases alumni relations with the FoBIP, attracts industry professionals to the FoBIP, and promotes a symbiotic environment to develop interaction between our students, alumni, and industry contacts.”

Lidia Sobkow, PhD:
For three years I was a postdoc at Stony Brook University. In 2011 I took the FOBI class and it opened my eyes for the ocean of opportunities that a skilled professional in the STEM area can take advantage of. Currently I am a Technology Commercialization Fellow at the Center for Biotechnology at SBU, where I use my scientific background and the skills I learned in the FOBI class to commercialize STEM innovations. I am also co-founder of Postdoctoral Working Group that actively shapes a postdoctoral community within Long Island academic hub by building career development programs, networking events and connecting academia with an industry.

Through the ANEC I want to share my experience with other FOBI alumni, create opportunities for career development and hopefully inspire you to take charge of your own career and become a fulfilled scientific professional.

Assaf Vestin, PhD:
“I’ve been active in the Bioscience Enterprise Club of CSHL where we provide resources and seminars from industry professionals to our campus scientists in order to help them make their transition into the industry, as well as building a foundation for an internship program. During this time, and partly through the above initiative, I’ve come into contact with various industry professionals who are keen on communicating with graduate students and post-doc who are interested in transitioning into the industry (in various capacities). I will use this network as well as the existing network of the FOBIP to fulfill my role a member of the Alumni Network Executive Committee.

As a member of the ANEC I plan on focusing on Career Development through organization of networking and professional development events. I believe that our alumni network will benefit greatly from the knowledge and expertise of pharmaceutical and biotech industry professionals working in a variety of positions and fields. It will be my goal to provide opportunities to interact with these professionals by organizing professional development and networking events. Moreover, I will strive to expand the current relationships between industry professionals and the FOBIP Alumni and reach out to new partners with the aim of establishing internship opportunities with our partners. Finally, I envision a liaison between the FOBIP Alumni and career development clubs in the various academic institutes in the NYC area. This will strengthen our Alumni network presence as well as our networking opportunities with new partners.”


  1. Jenne Relucio

    Congratulations, everyone! I have not visited this site for a while and I am glad to see the many events that have happened since our term as ANEC. Best wishes to this year’s Committee!

  2. Lidia Sobkow

    Thank you Jenne!

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