My name is Ryley Hall, and I am from Tacoma, Washington. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Chapman University in 2019 as well as my Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2020. I am currently a Research Associate at Bristol Myers Squibb in Seattle, WA. I work in the Cell Therapy Development and Operations group in Process Development on the Gene-Edited Platform team. In my free time, I love to play tennis, hike, spend time with my friends and family, and read novels.
I started research as an undergraduate in Dr. Parang’s lab synthesizing peptides for siRNA delivery. Shortly after, I joined the 4+1 MSPS program and continued working on my thesis project under Dr. Parang and Dr. Montazeri. In my time as a master’s student, I was able to obtain four publications and two patents. After I graduated I stayed at CUSP and worked as a Research Assistant in collaboration with AJK Biopharmaceuticals, where I piloted a project utilizing cyclic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) for CRISPR/Cas9 delivery. Now, I am working in the cell therapy field, utilizing gene-editing tools to engineer T cell receptors (TCRs) for cancer therapy. I aspire to maintain a career focused on fostering innovation in biotechnology with the goal of making a positive impact in the lives of cancer patients.
Memories at CUSP
One of my favorite memories at CUSP was going to and presenting at the American Peptide Symposium conference in Monterey, CA. Attending this conference put me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one; presenting my research for the first time, networking with professionals in the peptide therapeutics field from all over the world, and chatting with a Nobel Prize winner, to name a few. I also had the chance to visit Pebble Beach with Dr. Parang and Dr. Tiwari. I highly recommend attending a professional conference as a student if you have the opportunity!
Messages to alumni and students
My advice to students and fellow alumni is to explore internally your strengths, and identify your weaknesses, as they apply to whatever career path you choose to follow. Keeping a journal, jotting down notes on your phone reflecting on what motivates you, and reflecting on the highs and lows of your courses throughout and after the semester are a few ways to ensure you are staying true to yourself in your endeavors. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you discover what you can rely on and what you need to actively work at to lead you to success in your career and life. For example, I am always working on not letting fear of other people’s thoughts and opinions prevent me from taking risks professionally and socially. While in the learning stages of your education and career, don’t be afraid to change your mind. Take risks, ask questions, and advocate for yourself. Put in the time and effort early on in your education and know it’s never too late to start something new.