Lillyann Asencio

Lead R&D Scientist

CDI Labs - Mayagüez

Stay curious, stay adaptable, and never underestimate the power of collaboration.

Meet Lillyann

Just read Lilly’s profile and you’ll feel the infectious passion and fun she shows in her life and shares with all those around her. Lilly has been part of the CDI Labs team for over 10 years, joining after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez.

What is your role at CDI Labs?

I'm the go-to person for cell culture protocols at CDI Labs. If a project needs some R&D magic or doesn't quite fit the mold of other labs in the company, it finds its way to our laboratory. It's like our creative hub for brainstorming and making things happen. Currently, we're diving deep into the Virion Display Technology, and it is pretty exciting stuff!

What’s the best part of your job?

The highlight of my role is diving into projects that demand brainstorming and collaboration and the incredible vibe cultivated with my coworkers. We're not just colleagues; we're a tight-knit crew with a seriously fun and upbeat dynamic. The camaraderie transforms the job into something I genuinely enjoy - so much so that it doesn't feel like work at all.

Lillyann Asencio

Why did you join CDI Labs?

CDI Labs marked the beginning of my professional journey. Before CDI Labs, I was still in college finishing my Bachelors in Industrial Biotechnology, primarily focused at the time in Genomics research, alongside a part-time job as a waitress. Interestingly, I had actually submitted an application for an internship about a year before joining CDI Labs, and the thought slipped my mind entirely. It came as a pleasant surprise when I received a call, not for an internship, but for a full-time position! It’s been more than 10 years!

How do you see your career developing at CDI Labs?

Looking ahead at my journey with CDI Labs, I see a path of continuous growth and exploration. I am eager to dive deeper and lead innovative projects and play a part in contributing to groundbreaking discoveries. The prospect of contributing to the dynamic and innovative landscape at CDI Labs is both inspiring and motivating.

What do you do for fun?

Outside the lab, I'm all about creating hilarious impromptu song and dance sessions at home with my partner and our dog - who's got a surprisingly strong musical opinion. I'm a binge-watching expert, diving into series, docu-series, and a fair share of K-dramas. I enjoy reading, mostly mystery books. I also try to set aside some weekends to have relaxed get-togethers with friends. It's my way of adding some humor and lightness to life.

If you could cure any disease, what would it be and why?

If I could cure any disease, it'd be anxiety and depression. These conditions mess with the mind and affect countless lives, creating a heavy impact on individuals, families, and communities. A cure would lift that weight, bringing resilience, joy, and renewed hope. It's not just about transforming lives directly, but also about making a society that puts mental health front and center, with empathy and understanding.

Who is your favorite influencer and why?

My grandmother! It was mostly just us two, and we had a blast together. A hardworking woman who never gave up on anything, she raised me and left an indelible mark. Despite facing challenges, including a series of strokes eight years before her passing that left her with low mobility and no speech, her spirit never wavered. She danced through life until the end.

What would be your best career advice?

The best career advice I can offer is to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Each obstacle is a chance to learn and innovate. Stay curious, stay adaptable, and never underestimate the power of collaboration.