Shiva Gojgini, PhD

Scientist, Quality Control Analytical and Operational Senior Lead at Kite A Gilead Sciences, Santa Monica, CA

Shiva received her M.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biotechnology from Sharif University of Technology before joining the Segura lab at UCLA in 2009. Her PhD thesis was focused on the presentation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that modulates endothelial cell signaling and vascular branching in engineered matrices in vitro and in vivo. Funny story – Shiva recalls there was a day that Tatiana came into the office and found someone’s laundry bag…then subsequently learned that the office couch was being used for sleeping overnight (because people were working so hard of course). Needless to say, that couch was gone the next day LOL. But Shiva has too many fun memories from lab, including her epic defense day #accomplishments, Segura lab holiday parties, the lab family, lab venting over frustrating experiments, bi-weekly meetings with Tatiana, and late-night lab work with her mentor Leo…or mice…both were good company.

She offers three pieces of advice for students: 1) Emotional intelligence is as important as technical skills – don’t forget to focus on both; 2) Never give up when an idea is not giving you results – sometimes the dead end results come together and produce a huge success from a different direction that you wouldn’t even expect. 3) There is no failure in a PhD – even those ‘not working’ results offer knowledge and experience that you may use later in your professional or personal life.