ABE Massachusetts Team

Site Director

Alia Qatarneh

Alia Qatarneh joined the ABE Massachusetts Team in 2012 as the site's lab technician. Since then, she has served as Site Coordinator and is now Site Director. She is interested in making sustainable and impactful changes to life sciences and life sciences education. Her passion for equity and interdisciplinary learning and teaching has led her to explore laboratory research, curriculum design, community outreach, and ed-tech platform development. She currently serves on numerous high school biotechnology advisory boards. Alia holds a master's degree in biotechnology and is an Ed.M. candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Site Technician

Hege Lizarralde

Hege Lizarralde earned degrees in Petroleum Engineering and Geology from Texas A&M University. Before moving into biotechnology, she worked as an engineer in the energy industry, a scientist in a chemical research laboratory, and a developer in information technology.  Hege now works at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) on Cape Cod as coordinator and lab technician for the Amgen Biotech Experience at the MBL distribution site.

Site Technician

Kara Haller Markham

Kara Haller Markham received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology from the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) in West Hartford, CT. Kara works at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in Springfield, MA as the biology and biotechnology lab coordinator and ABE MA STCC site technician. Kara is currently also an adjunct professor at both STCC and USJ, teaching a wide range of courses including General Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology and Principles of Infectious Disease. 

Site Technician

Deb O'Reilly

Deb O'Reilly is a Biotechnology Teacher, Career and Technology Educator at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School. Her teaching career spans over 20 years, beginning in 1998. She has taught all levels of chemistry and physics and even forensics. Currently and for the last 5 years, she has been teaching Biotechnology at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School. Deb has served as a master ABE teacher for the LabXchange initiative and assists in delivering PDI for ABE MA. Deb holds a BS from UMass Dartmouth in Chemistry and a minor in Biochemistry. She received her Master's of Ed from Salem State.