Ruben Ceja, Ops Manager Extraordinaire
The Catalyst team member voted most likely to have a secret scientific laboratory in his basement – and believe us, he faced some pretty stiff competition for this distinction – Ruben grew up in Ontario, CA, a suburb approximately one hour from Los Angeles (assuming you're driving in some parallel universe where the 10 East is blissfully devoid of bumper-to-bumper traffic and/or traveling by hovercraft). After graduating with top grades from Colony Ontario High School, Ruben made the academic all-star pilgrimage to UCLA, where he indulged his passion for science by majoring in Microbiology & Immunology and minoring in Apocalyptic Zombie Outbreaks. (Just kidding on the Zombie Outbreak minor, but in all seriousness, Ruben is THE man you want to call if you spot one of your neighbors looking a little decayed and lurching around your front yard. Ruben probably won't be able to help you as our society, as we know it, degrades into some hellish approximation of The Walking Dead, but he'll at least be able to tell you how long you've got before you start groaning BRAAAAINS.) During his time as a Bruin, Ruben also participated in the Intercollegiate Gaming and Kung Fu clubs, the former to spend social time with other video game enthusiasts and the latter to protect himself while wearing "League of Legend" t-shirts. After graduating from UCLA in 2010, Ruben moved to Cambridge, MA, to continue his scientific research by studying pediatric allergies at Boston Children's Hospital. Although he loved New England and sneezy children, Ruben eventually grew weary of Boston's grey skies and longed to return to his native Southern California, where he currently resides with his brilliant, beautiful, and somewhat Xbox-tolerant wife.
Why He Works for Catalyst
Prior to Catalyst, Ruben toiled in a research lab where his daily companions were a series of test tubes, a handful of petri dishes, and a trio of lab mice. Though Bristol, Myers, and Squibb were wonderful, if somewhat squeaky, pals to hang out with during the day, their water cooler stories began to grow a little tiresome (there's only so many times you can hear about snatching bits of cheese from discarded Oscar Mayer snack packs), and Ruben longed to once again work with members of his own species (or at least species that don't leave droppings). Fortunately, Catalyst satisfies both of those basic desires, especially now that Jethro is off our payroll.
How the Universe Has Punished Him for Being a Freakishly Good Test-Taker
When Ruben was in 5th grade (picture a younger version of his photo, with just a slightly less bristly beard), he was constantly in trouble for being disruptive in class. Ruben was such a little entropy-maker, in fact, that his teacher called in his parents and informed them that he was in the habit of finishing his class work super fast and then distracting all the other kids around him, which is a big no-no in elementary school, if it's been a while since you were prepubescent. Well, Ruben's parents did a lot of nodding and apologizing, but in the end, it turned out that poor misunderstood Ruben was just academically-gifted and bored with the standard curriculum. Thus, ten-year-old Ruben was placed on the honors track in middle school, where the increased academic challenge made him happy, content, and no longer at risk for being placed on prescription medication.
Favorite 80s Movie / Favorite Nobel Laureate
Top Gun / George D. Snell (Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1980)