Who We Are

Our Mission

To foster entrepreneurship among UC Berkeley’s postdocs and graduate students, through education, awareness, and hands-on opportunities. We connect aspiring entrepreneurs with mentors, resources, and partners. Situated in a vibrant business climate and with access to the greatest pool of postdoc talent in the world, BPEP catalyzes productive collaboration on scientifically complex challenges with lasting economic benefits.

Our Team

The Executive Committee 2018-2019

We are a group of postdocs and visiting scholars with diverse backgrounds. 


Dr. Adrian Grzybowski, JBEI


Dr. Adrian Grzybowski is a post-doctoral fellow at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville. In 2018, Adrian was awarded PhD degree in a field of Cellular and Molecular Biology by the University of Chicago. His PhD thesis work resulted in creation of the intellectual property, which was licensed out to EpiCypher Inc. and is now successfully commercialized. Adrian has experience with intellectual property formulation, SBIR grants and licensing. He is interested in the business development, healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. 

Alexandre Graeml

Dr. Alexandre Reis Graeml, VSPA

Alexandre Graeml holds a Doctor and a Masters degree in Business Administration (Operations Management and Information Systems Management, respectively) from Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV-EAESP), in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a full professor at the Federal University of Technology - Parana (UTFPR), in the Graduate School of Applied Computing (PPGCA) and the Graduate School of Business (PPGA). He's currently a visiting scholar at UCB, committed to fostering entrepreneurship among academics, using collective intelligence, one of his research interests to try and bring postdocs and startup companies closer. He believes that being an academic and having some 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur can help BPEP in reaching its goals.

Bodo Parady

Dr. Bado Parady, 
Sphinx Pharma, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute


Established a Sphinx Pharma to develop new markers and treatments for Alzheimer's disease working through NIH Metabolomics Center, Davis. Started as a physics PhD, then UCB postdoc, industry. 13 patents, publications in geophysics, computer performance, mathematics, computer architecture, and biochemistry. Dr. Parady latest paper describing new model for Alzheimer's disease being published end of July in Journal of Azheimer's Disease Reports.

Benson Jung,
Materials Science and Engineering Department





Benson is a PhD student working with Prof. Ting Xu on a nanocarrier platform for drug delivery to the brain. 

Hesham Issa

Dr. Hesham Issa 




Dr. Issa is a Professor or architecture and Urban Design at Cairo university, Egypt and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley researching on building technology, materials and building syndromes. Lately he becomes interested in traditional environments and city resilience in the age of telecommunication. Dr. Issa holds a Ph.D. and MSc in architecture and urban design. He is also is a senior architect and urban planner with over 25 years of experience.


Karin Graeml, VSPA 

Karin Graeml is A geographer and holds a doctoral degree in City Environment Issues from the Federal University of Paraná. For many years she's been involved with Distance Learning research and practice at FAEL and PUCPR, in Brazil. The fact that she always believed it was an effective way to take education to remote areas in her country has turned it into a major object of study for her. As a BPEP board member, Karin wishes to use her distance education expertise to help building an electronic environment in which BPEPers can find relevant information and tools to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Lei Meng

Lei Meng
Center for African Studies




Lei Meng is a visiting Ph.D. student at the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley. 

Naresh Sunkara

Dr. Naresh Sunkara, VSPA


Naresh Sunkara is a Visiting Scholar and previously a postdoctoral scientist at UC Berkeley who worked on developing novel technologies for delivery of RNAi therapeutics for fighting viral infections. Naresh is the founder and currently the Executive Director of the Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneurship Program and the Berkeley Science Fellows Program. Naresh works closely with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Intellectual Property and Industry Alliances Office (IPIRA) and is a Special Advisor to the Vice Chancellor for Research (Postdoctoral affairs). He is also the founder and CEO of a startup- Nosocom Solutions Inc., developing technologies to reduce Healthcare Associated Infections in hospitals. 

Nitin Kapania

Dr.Nitin Kapania, 
Dynamic Design Lab, Stanford & Model Predictive Control Lab, Berkeley



Nitin Kapania is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where his research is focused on path planning and control of self-driving vehicles. He is also currently a visiting scholar at Berkeley's Model Predictive Control library. After completing his PhD in 2016, Nitin served as a management consultant at Bain and Company, focused primarily on the technology industry. 

Saad Mouti

Dr. Saad Mouti, 
Consortium for Data Analytics in Risk (CDAR)


Saad Mouti completed his Ph.D in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics at Pierre and Marie Curie University in 2017. Prior to that, he obtained a financial engineering diploma from the National School of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science of Grenoble in 2010 and an M.Sc. in Statistical Processing of Information from Paris-Dauphine University in 2011. Saad’s thesis was funded by AXA to address different financial risks for the life insurance industry englobing pricing and hedging of life insurance products, policyholders’ behavior, rough volatility modeling, and market impact. His current research interests include SRI investing, market impact and volatility modeling and forecasting.

Our History

We are the Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program (BPEP), made for, by, and of postdocs at UC Berkeley.  We are passionate about educating postdocs on entrepreneurship, fostering collaborations with scientists, faculty, MBAs and the entrepreneur community in the Bay area. In November 2010, Naresh Sunkara came up with the idea of establishing an organization aimed at fostering entrepreneurship amongst postdocs. Upon receiving enthusiastic support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) office, he collaborated and set up an advisory board of faculty members from UC Berkeley, QB3, and the Lester center for entrepreneurship.