Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Isaiah is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cheeky Scientist. He is an internationally recognized industry consultant and founder of several successful biotechnology startups. He is an expert in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare industries. Isaiah specializes in helping PhDs transition into cutting-edge industry careers.
Isaiah founded Cheeky Scientist platform with the goal of helping academic PhDs transition into industry careers, and has grown this platform to over 100,000 monthly readers and over 100,000 online subscribers. Isaiah went on to create the Cheeky Scientist Association, a private, PhD-only industry career development network, which now has over 4,000 active members worldwide. He has given over 400 keynote seminars in 30 different countries.
Isaiah stays Cheeky by writing nonfiction personal development books. He has published a bestselling business book, Black Hole Focus: How Intelligent People Can Create A More Powerful Purpose For Their Lives (Wiley) and more recently The Science of Intelligent Achievement: How Smart People Focus, Create And Grow Their Way To Success (Wiley).
Chief Financial Officer
Laura is the Chief Financial Officer of Cheeky Scientist, bringing over 10 years of management experience, in both the private and government sectors to the company. Laura has been with the company since its conception and was a key stakeholder in the creation and development of the Cheeky Scientist Association.
Laura specializes in finance, executive training, operations, and event management. By always asking “How can we better serve our community of PhDs”, she has helped grow the Cheeky Scientist Association from less than 30 members in 2014 to over 4,000 members today.
Laura stays Cheeky by traveling, eating street food and mingling with local cultures. Her mission with Cheeky Scientist is to help PhDs see their own worth, and show them how to take their advanced knowledge to continue to contribute to the advancement of STEM fields in industry.
Catherine Sorbara, Ph.D.
Chief Operations Officer
Cathy is the Chief Operations Officer of Cheeky Scientist where she manages the operations of all company programs and initiatives. Cathy is a lead developer of Association’s training programs and the chair of the Associations’ private group.
Cathy specializes in program management, people management, and product development. She was a key stakeholder in the creation and development of Cheeky Scientist’s advanced programs, including ScientistMBA, the Research Scientist Society, the Medical Science Liaison Society, and the International PhD Community.
Cathy stays Cheeky by promoting women in STEM. She is chair of a regional network for women in science, engineering and technology in Cambridge. She was also chosen to participate in an all-women expedition to Antarctica to promote women in STEM leadership roles.
Aja Davis Isble, M.B.A
Chief Marketing Officer; ScientistMBA Program Manager
Aja is the Chief Marketing Officer of Cheeky Scientist, bringing a decade of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience to Cheeky Scientist. She oversees marketing, sales and business development strategy and operations and through team leadership, implements them on a day-to-day basis. Aja is also the Program Manager for the ScientistMBA program.
Aja stays Cheeky by body surfing at rock concerts. She also serving as the culture maven for Team Cheeky as well as for Associates in the many forums they collaborate. She is notorious for using her own journey and life experiences to inspire bold action in PhDs. Aja is a member of an nation wide association for business women and has served as a mentor to young professionals through her time in leadership roles of employee resource groups at previous companies.
Joanna Garcia-Mansfield, Ph.D.
Lead Account Manager; Executive Task Manager
Joanna is the Lead Account Manager at Cheeky Scientist and is an expert at ensuring the timely flow of information between all Cheeky Scientist departments. Joanna oversees all customer service operations, managing responses to all service inquiries and related tasks. She also manages all of the private and public Cheeky Scientist webinars and is the Cheeky Scientist Executive Task Manager.
Joanna stays Cheeky by staying healthy and being active every day. She loves fitness in general, especially workouts that include squats and deadlifts. She loves spending time with her baby girl Victoria who also stays Cheeky by socializing with other babies at daycare. Joanna cares about women in science and encouraging stay-at-home moms to return to work after a career break.
Jeanette McConnell, Ph.D.
Jeanette is the Editor-in-Chief of Cheeky Scientist where she oversees all of our blog content, including managing our team of writers, researchers and editors. She ensures our content reflects the needs of PhDs and covers all areas of their industry transition.
Jeanette stays Cheeky by cultivating the next generation of Cheeky Scientists through her work as a STEM educator and mentor. She is passionate about spreading her love of science by creating fun and engaging learning experiences for students of all ages. When Jeanette is not geeking out over science, she stays busy crocheting and keeping her bowtie game strong.
Jack O’Sullivan, Ph.D.
Enrollment Specialist; Sales & Marketing Manager
Jack is the Enrollment Specialist at Cheeky Scientist, providing guidance to PhDs are are interested in joining the Cheeky Scientist Association. He is passionate about introducing PhDs to the Cheeky Scientist Association program and helping them recognize their value in industry. Nothing gives him more satisfaction that seeing PhDs succeed and find their ideal careers in industry.
Jack stays Cheeky by always challenging himself to reach new heights when hiking and climbing. He is happiest when adventuring outdoors in nature, regardless of the weather! Jack has always wanted to make a difference in the world and continues to be a community organizer and strong supporter of diversity in his hometown of Dublin. He has worked in the nonprofit sector and has also designed and delivered corporate trainings on how to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Mary Truscott, Ph.D.
Association Program Manager; Executive Task Manager
Mary Truscott is the Association Program Manager at Cheeky Scientist. She manages all internal communications and operations of the Cheeky Scientist Association program. Mary works closely with all Association members in the Association’s private group, ensuring each member is supported in their transition. She also creates and curates content for Cheeky Scientist, including the weekly “Best of Transition” articles.
Mary stays Cheeky by playing make-believe with her 2-year-old child, and brewing and sampling craft beer with her husband. Mary has had a long-standing interest in helping PhDs reach their goals. She represented her peers on departmental committees and co-founded and led a university postdoc association. She is thrilled be on Team Cheeky, and to also have started her own communications consulting business.
Abha J. Chalpe, Ph.D.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Abha is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Cheeky Scientist. She helps manage all communications for the Cheeky Scientist Association’s private group. Abha’s responsibilities include training new members in the Association’s private group, developing written and video training content for Cheeky Scientist, and helping to guide PhDs who want to enroll into the Association. She is also the Cheeky Scientist Ambassador for “Associates from India” and a Program Manager for the International PhD Community.
Abha stays Cheeky by adhering to the belief that all PhDs should “create or be a phenomenon”. Be it in the lab or in the field, Abha believes that all PhDs should recognize their value as both independent thinkers and collaborative team players. With her rich corporate experience, Abha love to train PhDs how to present themselves as successful business professionals.
Luis A. Gomez-Sarosi, Ph.D.
Manager of Special Projects
Luis is the Manager of Special Projects at Cheeky Scientist. He plans, develops, and executes projects related to Cheeky Scientist Radio, “Best of CSA”, “Best of Transition” articles, new program development, and all special content creation tasks.
Luis stays Cheeky by combining helping PhDs combine their technical expertise with innovation and entrepreneurship. As an award-winning recipient and former fellow of a prestigious European innovation association, Luis continues to promote technologies that support healthy living and quality of life improvements around the world.
Stephen Bernardini, Ph.D.
Social Media Manager
Stephen is the Social Media Manager at Cheeky Scientist, overseeing the day-to-day operations of all Cheeky Scientist social media. Stephen produces and posting online content across Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook, facilitating customer service through these channels.
Stephen stays Cheeky by supporting equality initiatives in and beyond higher education. He is a member of a university-based council of diversity and inclusion, and volunteers as a community advocate for local youth organizations.
Arunodoy Sur, Ph.D.
International PhD Community Program Manager
Arunodoy is the Program Manager for the International PhD Community, a program he developed to help PhDs understand U.S. visa options and get sponsored for an industry position. Having gone through this himself, Arunodoy is now a Technology Licensing Officer, responsible for translation of innovation from the lab to the “real world”. Arunodoy provides assistance in fostering industry-academia strategic partnerships and in the formation of startups to facilitate this process of translating an invention to a viable product.
Arunodoy stays Cheeky by keeping up with current trends in the life science industry and the opportunities for alternative careers resulting from these new trends. He loves to read and write articles that promote awareness about industry trends and alternative careers. He enjoys networking and helping other PhDs achieve their career goals. In his free time, Arunodoy plays sports and spends time outdoors. He enjoys nature photography, scuba diving, underwater photography and is passionate about ocean conservation.
Yuri Klyachkin Ph.D.
Medical Science Liaison Alliance Program Manager
Yuri is the Program Manager for the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) Alliance, a program he developed and manages on a day-to-day basis. His goal is to help all members get hired as MSLs and thrive as MSLs. He has extensive experience as an MSL himself and in hiring MSLs in industry. He currently works in a management-level Regional Medical Liaison position.
Yuri stays Cheeky by keeping up to date on the latest industry breakthroughs in clinical research, which allows him to help aspiring MSLs to execute a productive career search. Yuri is heavily involved in Central Kentucky youth sports as a hockey coach and as a board member of a local tennis association. He enjoys competing in tennis, working out at the gym, and playing an occasional hand of poker.
Klodjan Stafa Ph.D.
Research Scientist Society Program Manager
Klodjan is the Program Manager for the Research Scientist Society where he is responsible for both program development and program application. He has extensive experience as a Senior Scientist in industry, having worked at some of the largest companies in the world. He devotes his spare time to helping PhDs transition into industry roles in R&D.
Klodjan stays Cheeky by inspiring PhDs across the world to remember their value as PhDs. He enjoys networking and is a member of several professional societies and associations, including those that support disruptive technologies in the biotechnology sector. In his free time, Klodjan enjoys sports, traveling and any pursuit that helps enhance his creativity and the creativity of others.
Vanessa Wood Braband, Ph.D.
Lead Producer, Cheeky Scientist Radio Show
Vanessa is the Lead Producer for the weekly Cheeky Scientist Radio Show. She manages the Radio Show team, orchestrating each aspect of the show from inviting high-profile guests from across industry sectors to delivering the most relevant and up-to-date information to PhDs on transitioning into industry. She also appears live each week on the Radio Show, sitting in the control room to ensure the show runs smoothly and handling the technical controls.
Vanessa stays cheeky by event planning. Her favorite is Women in Science events targeting youth. In her spare time, she enjoys running, skydiving, scuba diving, blue ocean networking events, reading and discussing books, and gardening. She loves her standard poodles and traveling (42 countries and counting).