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Appreciation Week

GW Postdoc Appreciation Day - September 21st, 2018

Every year the National Postdoc Association selects a week in September to appreciate the great work done by Postdocs in the US. This year, the National Postdoc Appreciation Week is September 17th through 21st. This year we've chosen Friday, September 21st, as the GW Postdoc Appreciation Day. We have a variety of events planned for our GW Postdocs this year including a Keynote address from Dr Josh Henkin (Entrepreneur/FDA Program Manager), Postdoc Research Competition, Careers after PhD Networking Luncheon, Awards Ceremony and Reception. Please register here for attending all of these events.

Registration Link: GW Postdoc Appreciation Day Registration or copy and paste the following link to your web browser

Registration deadline: September 14th, 2018 @ Midnight


From To Event Location Person
8.30 AM 9.30 AM Registration/Coffee SEH B1167
9.30 AM 9.45 AM Welcome and Introduction SEH B1270 Sharon George
9.45 AM 10.45 AM KeyNote Address SEH B1270 Josh Henkin
10.45 AM 11.00 AM Identifying Retroviral Remnants that Drive an Immune Response to Cancer SEH B1270 James MacDonald
11.00 AM 11.15 AM Immunomodulatory effects through inhibition of monocarboxylate transporters in melanoma SEH B1270 Satish Noonepalle
11.15 AM 11.30 AM Role of sphingosine-1-phosphate in productive and latent HIV infection SEH B1270 Rachel Resop
11.30 AM 11.45 AM Critical Volume of Ventricular Myocardium Is Necessary for Sustained Ventricular Fibrillation SEH B1270 Kedar Aras
11.45 AM 12.00 PM p53 regulation of repetitive elements and the interferon response in cancer: SEH B1270 Elisa Arthofer
12.00 PM 1.30 PM Lunch (Postdocs + Invited Guests only) SEH B1167
1.30 PM 1.45PM Synthesis and Evaluation of Chain-constrained Reverse Fosmidomycin Analogues as Inhibitors of 1-Deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate Reductoisomerase SEH B1270 Rene Chofer
1.45 PM 2.00 PM Unveiling the origin of gold in the Universe SEH B1270 Paz Beniamini
2.00 PM 2.15 PM Evaluating the mode of inhibiting HDAC6 in metastatic breast cancer to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy SEH B1270 Debarati Banik
2.15 PM 2.30 PM Do you really know your relationship with your heart? SEH B1270 Rokhaya Faye
2.30 PM 2.45 PM Kinetic studies on the interaction of isomeric volatile organics over zinc ferrite chemi-resistor SEH B1270 Kalisadhan Mukherjee
2.45 PM 3.15 PM Break SEH B1167
3.15 PM 3.30 PM Can we model a (really) complex brain in a simple animal model? SEH B1270 Chloe Bouarab
3.30 PM 3.45 PM Effects of experience on brain development in a facultatively social bee SEH B1270 Sarah Jaumann
3.45 PM 4.00 PM Low frequency stimulation of the piriform cortex in epilepsy SEH B1270 Lalitha Kurada
4.00 PM 5.00 PM Reception/ Awards Ceremony SEH B1167


Postdoc Appreciation Day Research Competition:

GWPA is proud to host its second annual Postdoc Research Competition where we showcase the excellent work done by postdocs at GW. Please submit an abstract of 400 words or less at the link below. Postdocs of each selected abstract will be giving a 12 minute TED talk-style presentation followed by a 3 minute Q&A session from the audience. This is a great opportunity to let the GW community know the great work you do and maybe set up new collaborations. Presentations with the top three scores will be awarded cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200, respectively!

Abstract Submission or copy and paste the following link to your web browser

Abstract Deadline: Sep 7th, 2018 @ Midnight.


Faculty Volunteering Opportunity:

We would greatly appreciate volunteers from among GW faculty members to help us with the judging process of the abstract and the presentations. If you’d like to support the GWPA in this event, please fill in the Volunteer form at the link below and indicate your availability.

Volunteer Form or copy and paste the following link to your web browser

Volunteer Deadline: Sep 14th, 2018 @ Midnight.


NEW GWPA Awards:

This year, the GWPA would like to introduce two new awards, one for Postdocs and one for Faculty.

Gold Star Postdoc:

We appreciate active attendance and participation of GW postdocs in the various professional development and social events we organize throughout the year. As a note of thanks from the GWPA, we’d like to honor one postdoc who has been most active in all GWPA events on the Postdoc Appreciation Day. This postdoc will be awarded with travel expenses to the 2019 National Postdoc Association, in Orlando, Florida. To get a hint of how great an opportunity it is, please see here the comments from two GW postdocs, Lalitha Kurada and Debarati Banik who attended the 2018 NPA Conference.

GWPA Mentorship Award:

Mentoring is a crucial component of postdoctoral training that can shape the career and future of the postdoc. GWPA would like to highlight the great work done by mentors to GW Postdocs with the new GWPA Mentorship Award. Postdocs, if you know of a GW Faculty member who has provided you or another GW postdoc you know of excellent mentorship, please fill in this brief nomination form. Each postdoc has to individually nominate mentors and can vote only once per mentor. But you can nominate as many mentors as you like.

Mentorship Award Nomination Form or copy and paste the following link to your web browser

Deadline: Sep 7th, 2018 @ Midnight



Invited Guests

Keynote Speaker - Dr Josh Henkin

Dr Josh Henkin, Keynote Speaker at GW Postdoc Appreciation Day

After years of successfully mentoring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job seekers, Josh founded STEM Career Services, a career coaching company aimed at helping STEM graduates launch and sustain careers outside of academia. Josh conducts workshops at conferences, universities and institutes across the country and provides career coaching to STEM graduates at all career levels. These efforts have earned Josh a position on the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Board of Directors, where he sits on the executive committee and serves as the nonprofit’s treasurer. In addition, Josh is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Career Development Center subject matter expert.

Concurrent with his work at STEM Career Services, Josh is a program manager at The Tauri Group, a science and technology consulting company. At the Tauri Group, Josh builds and leads teams that provide a full range of technical and programmatic support to Department of Defense (DoD) vaccine and therapeutic development programs. He contributes a blend of management support, subject matter expertise, strategic planning, risk management and knowledge of the FDA regulatory landscape.

Prior to these roles, Josh worked at Medtronic as a principle field scientist in its cardiac rhythm disease management division, where he managed a portfolio of investigator-initiated clinical trials to promote innovative research with implantable cardiac devices.

As a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Josh worked closely with the DoD as a scientific advisor for the Undersecretary of Defense for Laboratories and Basic Sciences, creating policies and managing basic science programs.

A lifelong athlete, Josh played rugby for 20 years at the collegiate, national and international levels. He has authored research articles on muscle biology, exercise physiology and fitness, is a certified strength and conditioning expert and has started several companies in the exercise/fitness space. He holds a BS in business administration, a MS in nutritional sciences and a PhD in cell and molecular biology, all from the University of Vermont.

Dr Yvette Seger

Dr Josh Henkin, Keynote Speaker at GW Postdoc Appreciation Day

Yvette Seger, PhD, is the Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Director of Science Policy for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a coalition of 30 scientific societies collectively representing over 130,000 individual biological and biomedical researchers. In these roles, she contributes to the overall strategic vision for the Office of Public Affairs, specifically guiding the efforts of FASEB’s Science Policy Committee and the work of its seven topical subcommittees. Dr. Seger launched her policy career at the National Academies as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow where she worked on a report examining processes for identifying and appointing scientists to key federal advisory positions. After leaving the Academies, Dr. Seger held senior policy analyst positions at the research advocacy group FasterCures, the National Institutes of Health, and Thomson Reuters before joining FASEB in 2013. Dr. Seger holds a PhD in Genetics from Stony Brook University, and received a BA in Zoology (Genetics Concentration) and Politics & Government from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Dr Raphael Attie

Dr Josh Henkin, Keynote Speaker at GW Postdoc Appreciation Day


Raphael Attie, PhD​, is a NASA postdoctoral fellow in Solar Physics at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)​, where he works on analyzing the solar activity with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a NASA mission that sends ~1.5 Terabytes of solar observations per day. Dr. Attie is specialized into the tracking of optical flows for which he published new paradigms to track more accurately various kinds of plasma flows at the solar surface. He currently develops a solar tracking framework that aims at better understanding the interior of our nearest star and predicting its energetic activity.

Dr. Attie has also started a project in robotics and computer vision where these systems face and solve digital imagery problems similar to those encountered in solar observations. For this reason he develops and builds custom robots and drones to test computer vision and Machine Learning techniques for object tracking and classification.

He holds a B.S. in fundamental physics and M.Sc. in astrophysics from the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse (France), and a PhD in Solar Physics from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany. Before starting his postdoc at NASA in 2017 he worked as a solar astronomer at the Royal Observatory of Belgium where he applied
Machine Learning techniques for the prediction of solar flares. In the meantime, he was in charge of the calibration pipeline of the three ground-based solar telescopes of the observatory.

Raphael is also a keen astrophotographer and co-owns an automated remote observatory in Spain to support a team of enthusiasts that produce high quality observations of deep sky objects with modest instrumentation.

Dr Philip Stuckey

Dr Josh Henkin, Keynote Speaker at GW Postdoc Appreciation Day


Philip A. Stuckey, PhD is a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inquiry Technologies, LLC.

At the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Dr. Stuckey examines patent applications focused on fuel cell and battery technologies within the Chemical Engineering Technology Center.  He is responsible for conducting complex literature searches, negotiating with applicants and their attorneys to identify patentable subject matter, and preparing office actions that formulate final determinations of rejection or patentability.

As co-founder and CEO of Inquiry Technologies, LLC, Dr. Stuckey led a research team to successfully complete three Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) awards.  The company was recently awarded a Phase II USDA SBIR to develop STEMClips™ a software platform that includes a performance/assessment tool that assists learners who struggle with literacy and understanding complex STEM concepts and features a novel combination of a portable storage device combined with a file management system that provide integration among student and teacher digital files between school and home, including households that lack access to broadband Internet in rural communities.   STEMClips™ will improve community awareness of STEM-related opportunities and provide rural students with greater chances for success in science while having a positive effect on education and career opportunities, narrowing the digital divide, enhancing rural prosperity, reducing outmigration, increasing broadband adoption, and ultimately returning much of the capital currently being invested in rural youth.

Dr. Stuckey earned a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western University. He then served as a Post-Doctorate Fellow jointly at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.  Dr. Stuckey’s research focused on electrochemical kinetic process at proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes and the development of nanomaterials and catalysts including growth of carbon nanotubes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Dr Lisa Van Pay

Dr Josh Henkin, Keynote Speaker at GW Postdoc Appreciation Day

Lisa Van Pay is the Director of Research Communications at the George Washington University (GW). She is currently involved in strategic communications at the university, working to communicate GW’s research efforts in key areas.

Prior to accepting a position at GW, Dr. Van Pay spent four years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.  She spent two years in the office as a Science and Technology Policy fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and as an NSF employee she handled communications for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate. At NSF, Van Pay was involved in establishing a social media presence and other efforts to communicate science to broad audiences.

Before moving to the Washington, DC area, Lisa was a postdoctoral fellow in nephrology at Children’s Hospital Boston. In addition to her lab duties, she pursued outreach opportunities at the Museum of Science in Boston and the MIT Museum, working to engage the public with basic science as well as cutting edge research.  Lisa received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Environmental Toxicology from the University of Wisconsin.




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