Advisory Board

Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio

Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio, Ph.D. is Science Communicator, Educator, Principal Investigator, and Outreach STEAM Director for the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), Faculty Researcher at Caltech, and Scientist-Astronaut candidate with Project Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM).

She is an analog astronaut dedicated to pushing the boundaries of science and promoting STEM education, research accessibility, and social and environmental justice.

Aidly focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM/STEAM, addressing social and environmental issues, and increasing access to STEM/STEAM education and research opportunities for individuals of all ages. Watch 2024 Engaging Girls in STEM Virtual Keynote with Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio.

In 2020, she was recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Listen to Inspiration through Representation from Full STEAM Ahead.

At Caltech since 2023, Aidly is a researcher in the laboratory of Paul Sternberg, the Bren Professor of Biology, where she studies Microbes, Nematode Behavior in Extreme Environments, Dementia Research, Microgravity, and High-Pressure Conditions. She also explores astrobiology, researching soil health and microbiomes in extreme environments from the Arctic to an Azores lava tube cave.

Read Azorean Lava Tube Systems: A Proposal For A New Planetary Analogue Site Towards Future Lunar And Martian Exploration Research. Watch CAMoes 2023 – Interview with Dr Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio.

She was recently named to the Explorers Club 50 Class of 2024 for her commitment to STEM access and advancing scientific exploration and societal progress. An advocate for Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (JEDIB), she holds advisory and executive roles in organizations like SparkReach Leadership, iGIANT (impact of Gender/Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies), and STEAM Superheroes, her commitment to advancing scientific exploration and societal progress.

Aidly joined the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) in 2019. In 2020, she became the STEM Coordinator, Co-Chair, and Ambassador of PoSSUM 13. Created to honor the legacy of the Mercury 13, the PoSSUM 13 is a talented group of 13 female scientist-astronaut candidates from Project PoSSUM who serve as global ambassadors for STEM and space.

With a combined number of ~450K followers across its members’ social media platforms, the PoSSUM 13 is on a mission to create opportunities for young girls in space research. Through their annual International Microgravity Contest, students 13–17 years of age are selected to serve as mission specialists, test their payloads, and experience weightlessness during parabolic flights — in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada.

In 2022, Aidyl became the Director of Outreach at IIAS, strengthening the relationship between IIAS initiatives like PoSSUM13, OutAstronaut, and Space for all Nations and the international community.

While at IIAS, she also worked as Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Facilitator, Researcher, and Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator in STEM at The Brentwood School for three years until 2023.

Aidyl co-created and mentors an internationally student-driven STEAM-based magazine, MIND. MIND magazine’s mission is to make science universally accessible to everybody.

In 2022, Aidyl spearheaded the Soil Science Lab International Research Initiative, a citizen science project focused on teaching students how to conduct research, work collaboratively, and present their findings. Through a simple soil science experiment, they hope to show the world’s future scientists the power of science for good. Their project is a longitudinal study to analyze the impact of climate change by taking atmospheric, soil, and nematode data and locations for students, educators, and social justice warriors. Read #SoCaltech: Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio.

Previously, she was the Science Department Co-Chair, STEAM Director, and Science Educator at The Buckley School for almost seven years, between 2013 and 2020. There, she initiated and co-led the school’s involvement with a nationwide STEM competition, the Science Olympiad, and led students’ involvement in science competitions such as the First Robotics Team 1661: The Griffintron.

As NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2018 and as an amateur magician, Aidyl captivates audiences with her unique fusion of science and enchantment.

In 2011, she cofounded and co-directed a nonprofit organization called the Gift over Learning Differences Initiative (GoLD Initiative). She delivered after-school Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, STEAM enrichment, and project-based programs for youth. She modified teaching strategies to accommodate students with learning differences such as ASD, ADHD, and ADD.

Between 2010 and 2013, Aidyl was the STEAM Director and Head High School Science Teacher at Bridges Academy. She oversaw the STEAM interdisciplinary instructional framework and established and mentored the First Robotics Team 4019: Mechanical Paradise.

Aidyl earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the California Institute of Technology in 2000. She developed and adapted a genetic tool for C. elegans which targets the green fluorescent protein (GFP) via the E. coli lac repressor (LacI) to a specific DNA sequence, lac operator (lacO), allowing the visualization of chromosomes in yeast and mammalian cells. Her thesis was titled Negative Regulation of Cell Fate Specification by the lin-15 Locus during Vulva Induction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Molecular Biology in 1994 from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

After earning her Doctorate, she continued her post-doctoral work on myotonic dystrophy at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the University of California. She conducted developmental genetics research on the nematode worm, C. elegans, and investigated the impact on rat hearts of doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Dox), a cardiomyopathic drug. Her academic journey was propelled by her pivotal postdoctoral research. Read Developmental roles of the muscleblind and CUG-BP homologues in C. elegans, (page 50).

She continued as Research Associate, Lecturer, and Co-PI at Cal Poly Pomona in 2004. She researched sperm motility and mitochondrial inheritance in C. elegans. She devised and taught course material for “Fundamentals in Cell and Molecular Biology” and “Experimental Traditions in Medical Genetics”. Read A persistent mitochondrial deletion reduces fitness and sperm performance in heteroplasmic populations of C. elegans.

While at Cal Poly, Aidyl learned she likes to mentor and help with improving STEAM education. She continued her journey at Caltech in 2007 and was the Senior Post-doctoral Research Fellow there until 2011. She looked for the link between the synapsin II gene and spinal cord injury in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and further worked designing project-based learning experiences involving hands-on research for high school students and teachers.

In 2021, Aidyl earned her eligibility to fly research airborne and suborbital spaceflight missions as part of Project PoSSUM by attending the Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere Scientist-Astronaut Class 1902 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019.

Between 2020 and 2021, she also attended the PoSSUM Course and Capstone Field Experience in San Francisco Volcanic Field on Planetary Field Geology and EVA tool development.

In 2017, Aidyl won the Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Senior Division Award at the 2017 California State Science Fair. She also won an award from Latino Thought Makers: Women Who Rule. In 2017, she was interviewed by award-winning comedian and television writer Rick Najera for his podcast show Latino Thought Makers.

In October of 2018, she was featured in Ventura Blvd’s online magazine: Women We Love. In 2018, Aidyl presented at the Research Teachers Conference sponsored by Regeneron in Washington D.C. titled, “STEAM Funding for the iGen’s New Science Curriculum: Applied Science Research.”

In 2019 at the Research Teachers Conference, Aidyl was selected as a Research Teacher Captain to oversee seven teachers and present on scientific research in secondary education. In 2020, she was recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Los Angeles Educator for Aspirations in Computing. In December of 2020, she spoke at a National level at PoCC titled,” “How to end inequity in STEM education.”

Watch Interview with Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez.

Listen to What It’s Like To Be a Dynamic High School STEAM Teacher & Scientist w/ Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio and her other podcasts at T4C Podcasts.

Read Meet Mind Magazines’ Executive Board and From Entrepreneurs to Industry Disruptors, Valley Women Are Forces of Nature.

Visit her LinkedIn profile, her Homepage, and her ORCiD profile. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.