David Hirschberg, PhD

Founder & Catalyst

Senior Scientist and Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma; Science and Technology advisor supporting Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC, US Army RDECOM).

Dr. Hirschberg is the visionary founder and leader of RAIN. A Tacoma native, he created RAIN to drive BioTech jobs and companies in Tacoma. His vast network of scientific collaborators extend across the US and to nations around the world. 


Rebekah Ryan


Chief Financial Officer

University of Oregon.

Rebekah was an HR & Account manager for a national finance company and started a successful bookstore in Illinois that she sold prior to joining the RAIN team. She manages all RAIN finances, and oversees many other business team functions.    


Judy Nguyen, PhD

Head Scientist 

PhD (BCMB, Neuroscience) from John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Nguyen is a molecular biologist with an interest in developing detection methods for health- or environmentally-related targets. She previously worked to characterize a novel gene using mutational analysis and investigated previously uncharacterized behavior by glia cells in the nervous system. Dr. Nguyen works to expand the life sciences capabilities for the region and to provide scientific opportunities for students and military members and their families.


Mandy Galuszka, MS Ed

Education coordinator 

M.Ed. from Walden University.

Mandy graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Biology and has taught high school and middle school science for 13 years. She collaborates with local educational organizations to perform STEAM outreach for local schools. 



Kristine Grace, DDS, MS, MBA

Director of Business Development

Director of Marketing at IntellaHealth, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Medical Teams Intl, Entrepreneur. 

After completing a Masters degree in Cellular Biology and residency program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kristine went to private practice in Pierce County for 18 years. She retired after completing a MBA and started several companies. She is passionate to grow BioTech in her hometown of Tacoma.


Matt Wiener 

Operations manager

BS (Physics, Math), University of Puget Sound, Entrepreneur.

Matt was the Founder and Director of a digital tutoring company while at UPS.  As a serial entrepreneur, his passion for the Tacoma community and business development drove him to RAIN where he helps grow our network, foster local business relationships, and raise funds for our educational programs.  


Andrew Struthers

Logistics Coordinator

South Puget Sound Community College 

Andrew brings an extensive background in logistics and shipping coordination.  He spent 15 years utilizing all major shipping software and retail distribution of packages prior to going RAIN. He is passionate about the minutia of details, customer service, human resources, and small business management. Andrew is in charge of all shipping and logistical concerns for RAIN, its contract work, and collaborating companies.


Brendan Studebaker

research assistant

Biomedical Science, University of Washington Tacoma

Brendan is a high-achieving 4th year Biomedical Science student at the University of Washington Tacoma and was one of RAIN’s earliest interns! He contributes now as a Research Assistant, both helping our Science Team execute research objectives as well as training the next wave of student-interns and iGEM students. Brendan also brings his RAIN lab training back to campus with him, where he is currently engaged in a Neuroscience research project.


Catherine Ryan

research assistant

Catherine joined RAIN as a volunteer in September of 2017 before quickly converting that into an internship under Head Scientist, Dr. Judy Nguyen.

After a year and a half of consistently exceeding expectations and going above-and-beyond in her assignments, she now fulfills her role as Research Assistant with the same level dependability and attention to detail she always has.

Currently, she is developing an isothermal DNA amplification technique for the detection of environmental DNA, building assays for RAIN's educational programs, and leading the iGEM Team's Wet Lab work.


Ian Gutierrez

RAIN Intern

Ian came to RAIN as an iGEM intern in February of 2018 and has worked his way into a number of collaborative projects under Dr. Judy Nguyen.

Ian now serves as a Student Leader for the 2019 RAIN iGEM Team, helps run RAIN’s Bioengineering Summer Camp, and assists on Class Demos.

He is heading to Pacific Lutheran University in the fall with a 4-year Full-Ride scholarship to study Computer Science and pursue a double major in Biology. Ian will continue to work at RAIN in a limited capacity during his time at PLU.


Katherine Tannehill

RAIN Urban kitchen, manager

BS (Economics), University of Puget Sound

While at UPS, Katherine was an active campus leader. As founder and president of the Women in Economics club, Katherine left behind a legacy of support and community in the Economics department which continues after her.

Katherine joined the RAIN Team immediately after graduation as the RAIN Urban Kitchen Manager and aspires to grow the program to a point where it can spin-out, expand, and support the growth of more local small businesses. She’s also a heck of a baker!