Ever since interacting with patients’ families during a high school genetics project, Leona has been passionate about science with a purpose. While she started off with the desire to work in a patient-facing environment, Leona set her sights on maximizing the opportunity to explore the biotechnology industry while getting her undergraduate degree in biology from Northeastern University. This included working at companies like Agenus and Bluebird Bio, working with clinical trial coordination at Tufts Medical Center, and ubiquitin proteasome research at the Ramachandran Lab (now at Columbia University). Leona then went back to Northeastern for her MS degree in molecular biotechnology during which she worked at TCR2 Therapeutics and focused on a kill switch functionality for their platform. A desire to expand her learning beyond the field of CAR-T therapeutics led her to Kernal, where she is excited to be part of the team that is developing mRNA 2.0. Leona is also regarded as Kernal’s resident baker, often providing homemade banana bread or cookies for the team.