Deepak Bhere is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging within the Neurosurgery Department at BWH. His research is focused on developing novel cell based therapies for Glioblastoma. Deepak is a member of the Leadership Planning Committee for the New England events of National Brain Tumor Society. As the Director of Operations for SimplyJith Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts; he actively works on developing programs to improve healthcare and education in rural communities in India. Deepak has been a member of Networking Committee within the Postdoctoral Leadership Council since early 2017 and currently also serves at the Vice President of Communications. As an avid aviation enthusiast, Deepak enjoys spending his leisure time spotting planes and enjoys collecting models of commercial aircraft.
Co-Chair, Career Development
Yashini Govender, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow mentored by Raina N. Fichorova, M.D., Ph.D. in the Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Govender is originally from South Africa. She graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with her Ph.D. degree in Molecular & Cell Biology in 2015. Yashini initially joined the Fichorova Lab for 3 months in 2012 while doing her graduate studies. Her Ph.D. research focused on hormonal contraceptives and female genital tract inflammation. She investigated the differential effects, molecular mechanism of action and steroid receptor involvement of two progestin-only injectable contraceptives medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone enanthate in inflammatory gene expression. She returned to the Fichorova Lab in November 2016 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, and her research is focused on investigating factors that influence female genital tract inflammation and HIV-1 risk.
Ashley Ogawa-Wong, Ph.D. completed her graduate work in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaii in July 2017, where she investigated selenium metabolism in glucose homeostasis. Since September 2017, Ashley has been a postdoctoral fellow at BWH in the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Division. Currently, she studies thyroid hormone regulation in the muscle stem cell niche, which has potential implications in muscle stem cell transplantation. Ashley recently joined the PLC, and recognizes that there is a lack of readily available information regarding the many career choices available to Ph.D. holders. Through the connectors program, she hopes to help current postdocs explore both academic and alternative career options to figure out their next steps. Since learning that Massachusetts is the birthplace of the chocolate chip cookie, she has been on a mission to find the best in town. To counter that, she stays active by running, bouldering, and yoga.
Co-Chair, Career Development
Dr. Sarah Boukezzi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Division of Women’s Health. Sarah received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Aix-Marseille University, France. She has long been interested in the understanding of some psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). During her Ph.D. she studied the neural mechanisms underlying PTSD and its recovery following Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy by using behavioral, psychophysiological and neuroimaging methodologies. She particularly explored functional brain activity of the reward and fear circuitries to characterize their implication in PTSD symptomatology. As a postdoctoral fellow at BWH, Sarah aims to understand the factors that drive appetite, mood-related eating behaviors, and weight change. She is currently working on projects dealing with stress-induced eating in major depressive disorder, postmenopausal neurocognitive decline in women with obesity, and neurohormonal predictors of response to weigh loss therapies. Her goal is to contribute to the amelioration of negative health outcomes associated with stress-related psychiatric disorders.
Rafik Boudra, PhD, has completed his graduate work in Molecular Physiology and Genetics at the Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he studied the role of nuclear chaperones in the progression of prostate cancer. Since 2016, he is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Dermatology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Matthew R Ramsey, PhD. He studies transcriptional network governing squamous cell carcinoma initiation, maintenance and progression, with the ultimate goal of finding “druggable” transcriptional co-factors that may ultimately help in the treatment of these deadly cancers. Besides work, he enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and riding his motorcycle to explore New England.
Sourabh is a molecular biologist specializing in cancer biology and currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Sule Cataltepe’s laboratory at the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in ‘Autophagic Flux and Lysosomal Cathepsins in Neonatal Hyperoxia-induced Lung Injury’ for the past 3 months. His doctoral thesis from CSIR-IHBT, India was entitled, ‘Elucidating the role of MAPKAPK2 as a potential anticancer target in the pathogenesis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)’. He studied the role of MK2 in the regulation of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) targeting 3′-UTRs of the selected genes involved in HNSCC pathogenesis as well as MK2 and RBPs interactions. As a long-term goal, Sourabh would like to contribute fundamentally to the field of molecular biology which can also be of importance to the society at large. Apart from science, he has a myriad of other interests that include reading and traveling.
Viorel Simion, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Previously he was a postdoctoral researcher in France, at Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, developing molecular tools to monitoring the microRNAs expression and nanomedicine therapeutics. He earned his Ph.D. in Cell Biology at the Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology, Romania, and the Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands, studying Nanomedicine applications in Cardiovascular Diseases. His current research focuses on discovery of long non coding RNAs (lncRNAs) with implication in Coronary Artery Diseases and Inflammation. He is interested in entrepreneurship and business development, and is currently involved in the PLC Networking Committee. He enjoys playing soccer and mountain hiking.
Co-Director, Mentoring Circles Program 19-20
Priyadarshini Kachroo, Ph.D. is a bioinformatician by training and has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Systems Genetics and Genomics Unit, Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH since June 2017. She obtained her PhD at University of Kiel, Germany in 2016. Her current research focuses on applying computational and network approaches for integrative omics of asthma and COPD. Due to her strong enthusiasm for supporting and empowering postdocs, she has been a member of the Advocacy committee of the BWH Postdoctoral association and was recently appointed as the co-director of the BWH Mentoring Circles Program. She has also been a volunteer Reiki practitioner and board member of the BWH Reiki program and enjoys traveling, cooking and meditation in her spare time.
Co-Director, Mentoring Circles Program 19-20
Anna Marneth, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral molecular biologist with a strong interest in molecular hematology. During her PhD at the Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, she studied gene expression regulation in acute myeloid leukemia and platelet disorders. Her postdoctoral studies in the Mullally Lab at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, are focused on the effect of aberrant megakaryopoiesis and RNA splicing on disease progression of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Anna has participated in the post-doc mentoring program at BWH as a mentee (2017-2018), mentor (2018-2019) and is currently (2019-2020) co-directing the largest mentoring program since the start of this program in 2013. Additionally, she is part of the American Society of Hematology Trainee Council where she actively contributes to organizing events for hematology trainees and to the publications workgroup.
Sadaf Atarod, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Christou Lab, in the Division of Newborn Medicine, and her current research focuses on understanding the role of long non-coding RNAs in pulmonary hypertension. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Regenerative Medicine of Boston University and Boston Medical Center, studying embryonic lung development for tissue engineering applications. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (Newcastle University, UK), discovering a set of microRNAs that have biomarker potential in the transplant clinic to predict and diagnose acute graft-versus-host disease. She is passionate about translational research and therefore, embarked on her first startup journey upon completion of her PhD degree. Sadaf is interested in STEM education as well as entrepreneurship and is now involved in the PLC Career Development Committee. Outside of lab, she enjoys running, painting, and baking.
Ark has been a postdoctoral research fellow in the System Biology and Computer Science Program in Department of Neurology at BWH and Broad Institute since June 2018. He completed his Ph.D. in Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and B.S. in Mechanics. His current research focuses on using false discovery rate control and sex-specific genetic variants discovery in multiple-sclerosis. He enjoys homebrewing and sharing with friends.
Christian has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Orthopedics at BWH since July’18 working in the laboratory of Dr. Julia F. Charles. He is a national of Mexico and received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Universidad de las Americas-Puebla. Christian earned his Ph.D., in Immunology from the University of Connecticut Health Center and since then has been studying osteoclasts and macrophage biology. He is currently focused on the development of osteoclasts and how these cells control bone growth and the formation of the bone marrow niche from embryogenesis to adulthood. He discovered that some types of osteopetrosis can be explained by the lack of specific populations of osteoclasts and can be treated by monocyte transfusions. Christian is currently investigating the mechanisms of bone destruction that occur in diseases like inflammatory arthritis. He is the recipient of the ASBMR Young Investigator Award. Christian enjoys hiking, skiing, playing and watching soccer!
Parikshit is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Golby Lab in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, since July 2018. He completed his medical school training at K. J. Somaiya Medical College in Mumbai, India. Prior to graduation, his research pursuits focused on Pharmacology and Natural Product Chemistry with a definitive shift toward Neurosurgery during his clinical years.
His current research interests include projects pertaining to intra-operative brain shift, intra-operative fluorescence imaging, tractography using DTI, brain plasticity using fMRI and the development of tools to visualize the growth of meningiomas. Subsequent to his fellowship, he hopes to pursue a Neurosurgery Residency Training Program in the United States.
In his spare time, he enjoys freelance graphic design, self-learning programming languages, philanthropic ventures and live music.
George Kavalam is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Transplantation Research Center of Brigham and Woman’s hospital. He works in the renal division under the guidance of Dr. Anil Chandraker. His research interests involve the expansion and characterization of regulatory T cells and aims to develop a novel therapy for the organ transplant recipients. Originally hailing from India, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai. He aspires to complete his Internal medicine residency and continue his pursuits in Nephrology. George is passionate about photography. In his spare time, he likes to swim and play basketball.
Jasneet Khalsa, Ph.D. is an immunologist by training and has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging, Department of Neurosurgery at BWH since 2017. She obtained her Ph.D. in immunobiology at National Institute of Immunology, India in 2015. Her current research focuses on understanding immune response and further immune-cell based therapies for Glioblastoma. Jasneet has a strong interest in teaching and mentoring, and she was the recipient of the BWH Postdoc Mentoring Award in 2018 following which she joined the Mentoring Circles Program as a co-director. She is passionate about music and enjoys traveling, hiking and baking in her spare time.
MCP Co-Director 18-19
Adrien Lupieri, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiology at BWH since December 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in Pathophysiology at University of Toulouse in France, focusing his work on cellular mechanisms of arterial healing following surgical intervention. His current research focuses on the development of nanoparticles to image and detect early vascular thrombosis. Outside of research, Adrien loves mountain trail running and road biking as well as exploring the countryside on his motorcycle.
Brittani Price, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the mentorship of Cynthia Lemere, Ph.D. in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases (ARCND) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Brittani completed her Ph.D. in Physiology under the mentorship of Dr. Donna Wilcock at the University of Kentucky in 2019 where she focused on preclinical targeting of TREM2 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as well as molecular mechanisms underlying vascular cognitive impairment and dementia. Currently, she focuses on preclinical targeting of post-translationally modified forms of amyloid-beta for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of the lab, Brittani enjoys hiking, kayaking, cycling, and yoga.
Guyu (Tracy) Qin is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Genetics. She earned her Ph.D. in Fish Genetics at Auburn University in May 2019. Her research in Li lab is focused on developmental oncology of epithelial cancer including ovarian epithelial cancer, fallopian tube cancer and breast cancer. She also hold a Master of Statistics, which helps her to conduct more multidisciplinary research. Outside of work, she enjoys delicious food, pop music and jazz dance.
Andreea Stancu, M.D. is a research fellow in the Department of Dermatology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, working under the supervision of Dr. Hans Widlund. Her research focuses on the immune checkpoint resistance mechanisms in melanoma. During her medical school training at the Carol Davila University in Romania, she joined Roya Khosravi-Far’s laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to study the molecular mechanisms in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Outside of work, Andreea enjoys going to symphony concerts, exploring New England and playing boardgames with friends.
Yupeng Tu’s Research interests include mechanisms and biophysical interaction at the protein, RNA, and DNA level, and their potential clinical implications. His general research questions are on protein and genetic evolution. He received his Ph.D. training in x-ray crystallography and biochemistry from Brandeis University. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, tennis, and snowboarding.
Vanessa Wacleche is a post-doctoral research fellow with Assistant Professor Deepak Rao at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She first obtained a bachelor degree of Science in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University, then continued her training at the Université de Montréal where she received a Masters (2010) and PhD degree (2016) in Microbiology and Immunology. Her research background is focussed on basic Immunology in the context of HIV pathogenesis where she gained extensive experience in identifying and characterizing T-cell and dendritic cell populations. In the lab, Vanessa is currently working on characterizing the transcriptional regulation of TpH using cutting edge technologies, including CRISPR and Single-cell RNA sequencing, and on identifying cell populations affecting autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Career Development, Networking
Oana Zeleznik, PhD is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Group at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Oana is originally from the beautiful city Timişoara in Romania. She received her PhD in Bioinformatics from the Graz University of Technology in Austria. Her doctoral research focused on the integrative analysis of multiple omic data types. As a PhD-student Oana was awarded the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation scholarship for a research visit at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. During her postdoctoral training in cancer epidemiology, she is working on various genomics and metabolomics analyses, including the identification of novel and potentially modifiable risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer. Oana was awarded the Scholar in Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research in 2018. In her spare time she enjoys to read, cook, travel, and learn and practice foreign languages.