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Leadership and Committee Chairs

PRESIDENT

Sourabh is a molecular biologist by training and specializes in cancer and pulmonary biology. He has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, BWH since April 2019 and his research focusses on investigating the role of AMPK-activation and autophagy in neonatal hyperoxia-induced lung injury mouse models. 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’. As a long-term goal, Sourabh would like to contribute fundamentally to the field of molecular biology with an aim of being helpful to the society. Apart from science, he is a sports enthusiast and has a myriad of other interests that include reading and traveling. He has been involved with the Postdoctoral Leadership Council since 2019, including as the Co-chair of the Networking Committee and Vice President before becoming President.

Contact
ssoni4@bwh.harvard.edu

Vice President

Co-Chair, Communications

Bidisha (Eshaani) Mitra is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Benjamin Gewurz’s Laboratory in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases. Her research currently focuses on understanding Epstein-Barr virus latency through viral-host interactions through elaborating how EBV LMP1 interacts with host NF-kB pathway and activates downstream signaling. Dr. Mitra graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019 where her doctoral thesis focused on Hepatitis B virus biology. A transplant from India, one would often find Eshaani cooking up ethnic dishes in her leisure time while enjoying eastern and western classical music or hiking or exploring microbreweries in and around the area!

Contact
bmitra@bwh.harvard.edu

Vice President

A Rwandan by birth, Robert Nshimiyimana came to the United States as a presidential scholar for undergraduate education. He obtained his BA in biochemistry with a minor in art from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California. His dissertation work was on the total (multistep) synthesis of complex natural products with medicinal properties. In the summer of 2020, Robert joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow where he’s currently part of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Repurfusion Injury (CETRI) within the Department of Anesthesiology. His research is focused on structural elucidation of bioactive molecules involved in the acute inflammatory resolution, as well as the cellular pathways central to this process and their connection to human disease. He’s interested in pursuing pharmaceutical drug discovery, at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine. During his spare time, Robert enjoys playing soccer, reading, biking, and taking strolls in and around the area.

Contact
rnshimiyimana@bwh.harvard.edu

Co-Chair, Career Development

Kok Siong Chen is a Research Fellow at the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging (CSTI) in the Department of Neurosurgery at BWH. The main focus of his research is to develop a cancer vaccine for treating glioblastoma. Kok Siong is originally from Malaysia and he graduated from the University of Queensland with his PhD in Neuro-oncology in 2018, where he investigated how the apply the knowledge in brain development for brain cancer treatment. After his graduation, he joined CSTI as a research fellow until now. By joining the PLC, he hopes to help current postdocs to figure out their next steps by exploring both academic and alternative career options.

Co-Chair, Career Development

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.

Chair, Communications

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.

Contact
astancu@bwh.harvard.edu

Co-Director, Mentoring Circles Program 21-22

Co-Director, Mentoring Circles Program 21-22

Co-Chair, Networking

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.

Contact
pjuvekar@bwh.harvard.edu

Members

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Communications,
Networking

Gholami S

Shadi is a physiologist by training and currently she is a post-doctoral research fellow in division of endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research focus is on hormonal mechanism of cardiovascular injury and currently she is working on projects to study the genetic underpinnings of endocrine factors related to cardiovascular disease.

Prior to this she has been teaching physiology for 3 years to wide range of undergraduate students (medical, dental, biomedical, etc) in Malaysia. Her Ph.D. was at University of Malaya, Malaysia with focus on steroid hormones in females.

She enjoys reading, watching documentaries and spending time with friends.

Contact: kgholami@bwh.harvard.edu

Career Development

McCarthy E

Elizabeth McCarthy has been a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension since 2018. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in Biology in 2017. Her research in the Navarro Lab at BWH focuses on the neural mechanisms that regulate reproductive function, and she is currently working to characterize the contribution of kisspeptin neurons in the medial amygdala to luteinizing hormone release and reproductive function using chemogenetic techniques. Elizabeth served as the Co-Director of the BWH Mentoring Circles Program for 2020-2021.

MCP Co-Director 20-21

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Career Development

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Communications

Saferali A

MCP Co-Director 20-21

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Andrew serves an international community of doctors, who share anonymized patient cases on social media.

He implemented an artificial-intelligence-driven social media bot on Twitter to help pathologists find similar patient cases and connect with other pathologists.

With Prof Mariam Aly of Columbia University, he started pathobotology.org to share free computational tools with pathologists.

In light of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3 “Good health and well-being”, he makes and gives away 3D-printed equipment to attach a smartphone to every microscope.

In this way, Andrew seeks to give back to the community and help doctors help each other (2020 paper in Modern Pathology).

He is currently a postdoc in Prof Faisal Mahmood’s laboratory, and holds a PhD from the Tri-Institutional training program in Computational Biology & Medicine across Cornell, Weill Cornell, and Memorial Sloan Kettering. He was awarded a Research Excellence Award for his poster at Discover Brigham 2020.

Career Development

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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.

Networking

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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.

Communications

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