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KANOA COOK CHEMICAL ENGINEER 

Hi my name is Kanoa Cook, and I am a fourth year student at UC Berkeley studying chemical engineering.  I am currently interested in learning more about biochemical process engineering industries; however, I have acquired a passion for advancements in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and nanotechnology.  In my experience, I have enjoyed working on interdisciplinary teams and setting my focuses outside of the laboratory; focusing on how research can benefit the consumer market, or the scientific community.

 

Aside from education, ice hockey has been a big part of my life; I moved to New Hampshire at 15 years old to pursue a childhood dream of playing in the NHL.  Without a moment's notice, I relocated myself across the country to seize the opportunity.  This journey taught me what it truly meant to follow my dreams.  During my time there, I played varsity hockey in one of the nation's hotbeds for hockey.  Leaving high school, I chose to walk away from the sport in order to focus on my schooling; school had always been secondary to athletics while I was growing up.  I was forced to transition my focuses and apply many of the same practices from sports into my education.  Here is a collection of the cool projects I've been fortunate enough to be a part of!

Experience

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Drug Product Technologies Intern @ Amgen Thousand Oaks, CA (2019) 

During the Summer of 2019, I worked on a monoclonal antibody therapeutic that simply did not work!  My research was catered around understanding the factors causing the drug to have such poor absorption at high concentrations.  Additionally, I proposed a workflow that would optimize lead drug candidates early in the discovery process.  It was a healthy mix of molecular engineering and wet lab techniques. The internship provided a unique opportunity to present my research to executives, scientists, and various other employees at Amgen on multiple occasions with approximately 50 attendees.

Co-Founder @ Clean-Slate (2018-2019)

Clean-Slate started off as an idea in Dr. Luke Lee's BioMems and Biotechnology class, and developed into an pre-seed startup geared towards STD Detection via microfluidics. We developed a prototype and raised $5,000 in seed funded.  We participated in NSF I-Corps Area Node, received 5th place at UC Big Ideas and 2nd place at UC LAUNCH in Spring 2019.

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Conducted research in a protein engineering laboratory on my own project under direct guidance of my PI and mentor.  The focus of this project was to modify a highly thermostable protein into functioning as enzymes.

Undergraduate Research Assistant @ University of California, Berkeley (2018-2019)

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Engineering Consultant @ Chec Consulting (2017-2018)

Chec is a student-run consulting organization providing pro-bono professional technical consulting to up-and-coming startups and established industry leaders.  Currently I have worked on contracts for Everycs, and Hawkwood Biotech where I've learned to conduct simulations on Aspen, and collected theoretical data in order to model projected cost, environmental implication, and yield.

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Spent one summer working in Louisiana as part of an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Program in a microfluidics lab.  The focus of the project was centered around creating a novel hydrogel that would support the growth of cancer spheroids in a microfluidic device.  During this time, I was co-advised by the chemistry and chemical engineering departments. 

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Undergraduate Research Assistant @ Louisiana State University (2018)

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Spent two summers participating in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at San Diego Mesa College in a synthetic organic chemistry laboratory.  The research was focused around creating novel Vitamin C derivatives for increased membrane solubility and inhibition of PFK-1/LADH Enzymes.

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Undergraduate Research Assistant @ University of California, San Diego (2015-2017)

Volunteering

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Co-Founder @ People's Park Podcast (2017)

People's Park was a hotbed for activism in the 1960s. Now, it's a haven for the homeless. Students at Berkeley live side by side with homeless individuals, but we don't know them. This podcast shares their stories, hoping to bring empathy and lasting change.  We produced 3 episodes that amassed 500+ listens amongst a team of 6 full-time students.

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President @ San Diego Mesa AMSA (2016)

The purpose of the AMSA Foundation is to support the activities of the American Medical Student Association including education and career development, research projects and innovative community impact programs aligned with the strategic priorities of the organization.  During my time as President, I led a group of 50+ pre-medical students to volunteer with UCSD's Border Health Project, and various medical conferences.

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Hockey Coach 

@ San Diego Salvation Army (2005-2011)

@ Winnisquam Whalers (2013-2014)

West Hills High School (2015-2017)

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I've always made it a purpose to "pay-it-forward" throughout my hockey career; I'm thankful for every coach's help developing my skills as a player that would eventually allow me to travel throughout my childhood.  For the Salvation Army and Winnisquam, I served as an assistant finding ways to help wherever needed.  For West Hills, I served as the head coach.

Miscellaneous

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eCommerce Manager @ Four Seasons Candy (2015-2017)

Helped launch the eCommerce website in order to expand a brick-and-mortar store to generate multiple streams of income.  This involved developing a competitor analysis of other wholesale distributors, setting price margins, marketing, advertising, and managing inventory.

Bartender @ Oggi's Pizza (2016-2017)

Throughout my chemistry education, I've learned of its application to alcohol and have become fascinated.  During my time in community college, I worked part-time to financially support myself.  I found that this particular experience taught me more than other food/customer service jobs I've previously worked.  There is a level of professionalism or culture that comes with serving alcohol.