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  TWD 2019 About TWD 2019 Speaker Information

TWD 2019 Speakers/Presenters
(listed in alphabetical order by last name; Updated: 07/16/19)

Joey Barnett, PhDJoey Barnett, Ph.D., is a Professor of Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Barnett received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship and served as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School before returning to Vanderbilt. For over 25 years he has taught in courses, mentored students in the laboratory, participated in the evaluation of training programs, and developed and led innovative educational programs. He has directed NIH-funded pre- and postdoctoral training programs in Pharmacology, helped establish and co-direct Vanderbilt’s HHMI-funded Program in Molecular Medicine, and developed a joint Pharm.D., Ph.D. program with Lipscomb University. As Assistant Dean of Physician Researcher Training he developed and now oversees the required 4-year research curriculum for medical students. In 2005, he established the biennial National Meeting of Directors of Graduate Study in Pharmacology and Physiology. He reviewed training programs for NIGMS from 2009-14 and now chairs the NICHD T32 study section. He is an active member of ORPHEUS which advances Ph.D. training guidelines for the European Higher Education Area. Dr. Barnett serves on the FASEB Training Committee and the Executive Committee of ASPET’s Division of Pharmacology Education. In 2017 he was awarded the American Heart Association’s Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award for developing a research mentoring partnership with minority serving institutions. His exploration of the molecular and genetic pathways that regulate formation of the cardiovascular system were recognized by election as an AAAS Fellow in 2015.

Sherilynn J. Black, PhDSherilynn Black, Ph.D., Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement at Duke University, creates strategic initiatives and implements practices that support faculty development and advancement in many areas, including mentoring, support for pre-tenure and mid-career faculty, and career pathways and professional development for non-tenure system faculty. She also leads initiatives to increase diversity among the faculty ranks and further develop an inclusive climate within academic units. Dr. Black is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education. Her research focuses on understanding effective ways to optimize interactions between faculty and trainees in mentoring relationships, and also on developing institutional models to increase effectiveness of interventions designed to promote diversity in academia.

Dr. Black previously served as the founding Director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity for the Duke University School of Medicine and provided intellectual and strategic leadership for all diversity initiatives for trainees and faculty in the basic science departments and programs. She was also a Principal Investigator of the Duke Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program referred to as the Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE), which provided extensive mentoring and scientific engagement opportunities for diverse undergraduate/graduate students and faculty in the biomedical sciences. Dr. Black holds several national appointments relating to faculty development and advancement, including serving on advisory boards, developing strategic initiatives, and holding committee appointments with the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the National Labs, and the Society for Neuroscience. She has won a number of distinctions for her work, including the Samuel Debois Cook Society award and the Deans Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education. Dr. Black earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology with highest honors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. She earned her PhD in Neurobiology at Duke University. She also completed additional studies in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dolores-Bradley-Brennan,-PhD-sm.jpgDolores Bradley Brennan, Ph.D., received a Psychology and a B.A. in English from Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN) where she was a participant in the MBRS (now RISE) and MARC undergraduate research training programs, which are sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bradley earned her Sc.M. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Brown University (Providence RI). As a graduate student, her academic honors included a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship, Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship and a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award. Her graduate work examined the relationship between visual perception and memory processes, as well as drug effects on visual processing. Dr. Bradley joined the Yerkes National Research Center of Emory University as a postdoctoral research training fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine and in the Department of Psychology of Emory University. She was part of a multidisciplinary team of visual psychophysicists, neurophysiologists, neuro-anatomists and pediatric ophthalmologists, whose work focused on identifying treatments for childhood visual disorders related to early visual experience. Dr. Bradley was awarded a National Research Service Award (NRSA) grant from NIH to study the effects of abnormal visual input on eye growth and refractive development. After establishing her own laboratory at Yerkes, she began a second line of research concerned with using a monkey model to identify optimal treatment strategies for children who have strabismus (eye misalignment).  Her primary research collaborations have included scientists and at Emory, the University of Houston, and Washington University in St. Louis MO. Dr. Bradley has been funded continually by NIH since graduate school, and is a current Principal Investigator (PI) on several grants. Dr. Bradley is a long-time grant review panelist for several federal funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF: GRFP, Neural Systems Cluster), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and various program review panels of the NIH (NIGMS, NICHD, NCMHD).

In 2001, Dr. Bradley was recruited to join the Psychology faculty of Spelman College as an Assistant Professor. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Professor in 2010. She is the recipient of the Vulcan Materials Award for Teaching Excellence. From 2002-2005 Dr. Bradley served as the Director of the Extramural Associates Research Development Award (EARDA) Program, which was an NIH-supported faculty development grant. In 2005 she became the Director of the RISE Program at Spelman College, which is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the NIH. Her RISE program enjoys considerable success in preparing young women of African descent to enter and complete doctoral programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences – it has served as a model for other RISE programs across the country. In 2011, Dr. Bradley was named to the newly created position of Director of Undergraduate Research at Spelman College. Her primary charge was to design and implement the campus-wide transformation of the curriculum, leading to a capstone undergraduate research experience in the major; this work has been supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Dr. Bradley was elected Chair of the Psychology department for the term beginning August 2014. As the largest major on campus, she oversaw a population of over 400 students – in the past 15 years, one in every five graduates has been a psychology major.

Beginning in January 2016, Dr. Bradley Brennan was asked to serve as Special Assistant to the Provost, which was, initially, a part-time administrative position; by August 2016, her role was expanded to the full-time position of Interim Vice Provost – in this role she oversaw several budgets and initiatives concerned, primarily, with faculty development and the academic curriculum. Beginning August 2017, Dr. Bradley Brennan was promoted to the position of Vice Provost for Faculty, a role that heads up Faculty Support (recruitment, tenure and promotion, retirement) and Faculty Development, for the Office of the Provost.

Andrew G. Campbell, PhDAndrew G. Campbell, Ph.D., is the fifteenth dean of the Graduate School of Brown University. His term began on July 1, 2016. 

Dean Campbell is responsible for engaging and supporting more than 2,600 students enrolled in doctoral and master’s programs in more than 40 departments, centers and institutes, including the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies.

A Professor of Medical Science at Brown University, his research focuses on microbial diseases, particularly infectious diseases in neglected populations and regions. He has taught and advised Brown undergraduate and graduate students since his 1994 faculty appointment and has served as director of the University’s pathobiology program and the Marine Biological Laboratory graduate program. He is currently principal investigator of two federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and he leads the NIH-funded Initiative to Maximize Student Development in Brown’s Division of Biology and Medicine, a program found to have significantly improved recruiting and performance of underrepresented minority students in doctoral programs. 

Campbell was educated at York College, City University of New York (biology, 1981), earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (biology, 1987) and completed postdoctoral training at UCLA and at the University of California, San Francisco.  

Campbell is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, American Foundations for AIDS Research Investigator Award, Harriet W. Sheridan Center Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning at Brown University, and Brown’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Faculty Governance. His national engagement includes service to the NIH, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Meyerhoff Adaptation Program advisory board as well as several professional societies.  He is a Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology and was also recently appointed to serve as member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools.

At Brown University, his past service includes the role of chair of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning Advisory Board, vice chair of the University Resources Committee, and co-chair of the strategic planning committee for the current Brown Center for Students of Color.

Roger Chalkley, DPhilRoger Chalkley, D.Phil., Senior Associate Dean, is responsible for the overview of the activities of the office of Biomedical Research Education and Training. These responsibilities include oversight of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), postdoctoral affairs, graduate student affairs as well as minority activities and supporting training grant applications.

Dr. Chalkley was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford in Chemistry and conducted post-doctoral research in gene regulation and chromatin structure in the laboratory of James Bonner at CalTech. After almost 20 years in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa School of Medicine, he moved to Vanderbilt in 1986. He has published almost 200 papers in chromatin research. Dr. Chalkley has had an active interest in graduate education for many years and was involved in the establishment of the IGP where he served as Director for eight years.

Gabriela Chavira, PhDGabriela Chavira, Ph.D., is a professor of Psychology at California State University Northridge (CSUN). She her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Currently, she is a principal investigator and student training core co-director of the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) undergraduate research training program, BUILD PODER, aimed at preparing historically underrepresented students for graduate studies. She uses Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework to engage diverse students, who would traditionally have not engaged in biomedical research, to major in biological, social and health sciences in order to increase the biomedical workforce. Her research is interdisciplinary examining the factors contributing to the wellbeing and achievement of immigrant youth in the US. She has served on SRA’s Diversity and Equity and Social Policy committees and is currently is on the editorial board of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Melanie Cooper, PhDMelanie M. Cooper, Ph.D., is the Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University. Her research has focused on improving teaching and learning in large enrollment general and organic chemistry courses at the college level, and she is a proponent of evidence-based curriculum reform and assessment. She is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and was a member of the National Academies of Science Advisory Board on Science Education (BOSE). She has received a number of awards including the American Chemical Society Award for Achievement in Research on Teaching and Learning in Chemistry (2014), the Norris award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching of Chemistry (2013), and the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teaching (2011), and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from the University of South Florida (2016). She earned her B.S. M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Manchester, England.

Tiera S. Coston, JD, PhDTiera S. Coston, J.D., Ph.D., is an Educational Improvement Specialist in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at the Xavier University of Louisiana. In Xavier’s BUILD Program, Project Pathways, she oversees the Preparing Mentors and Advisors at Xavier (P-MAX) Mentor Training, Entering Research at Xavier University of Louisiana (ER XULA) Mentee Training and Mentee-to-Mentor (M2M) Programs. She has served in higher education for more than 15 years, and her work focuses on the improvement of undergraduate STEM education and the use of mentoring to enhance student success. She is a National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Certified Facilitator who has conducted more than 100 workshops on a variety of mentoring- and teaching and learning-themed topics.

Carlos Crespo, DrPH, MS, FACSMCarlos Crespo, Dr.P.H., M.S., FACSM, is Professor in the Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University School of Public Health and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Training in Biomedical Research at Portland State University. He graduated from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and has a Master of Science in Sports Health from Texas Tech University and a Doctor of Public Health in Preventive Care from the Loma Linda University.  Previous work experience includes working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the National Center for Health Statistics and as a public health analyst for the National Institutes of Health. His main area of research involves the epidemiology of physical activity in the prevention of chronic diseases and research on minority health issues. He lists more than 100 publications and has been a contributing author to five textbooks on minority health and sports medicine, and more than 10 government publications, including the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health.  He received the 1997 U.S. Secretary of Health Award for Distinguished Service as part of the Salud para su Corazon campaign, and in 2003 became a Minority Health Scholar from the National Institutes of Health.  He is a former member of the National Advisory Council of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research, Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Urban and Health Sustainability, Oregon Health Policy Board and is emeritus board member of the American Council on Exercise and the Oregon Public Health Institute.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine and in the Advisory Committee for the Community Guide for Physical Activity and the Built Environment for CDC. He is also in the Editorial Board of the Journal Cities and Health.

Angela DePace, PhDAngela DePace, Ph.D., received her B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco where she studied with Jonathan Weissman. She conducted her postdoctoral work at the University of California Berkeley with Michael Eisen. Angela is an expert in science communication; she co-authored Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers and co-teaches a scientific communication course for Systems Biology graduate students with Galit Lahav and Allon Klein. She received an NSF CAREER award in acknowledgment of her research and innovative teaching.  Her lab is highly collaborative and committed to strong mentoring as described in Yearly Planning Meetings:  Individualized Development Plans Aren't Just More Paperwork

Erin Dolan, PhDErin Dolan, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education at the University of Georgia ( As a graduate student in Neuroscience at University of California San Francisco, she volunteered extensively in K-12 schools, which prompted her to pursue a career in biology education. She teaches introductory biology and biochemistry, and her research group studies undergraduate research experiences and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate researchers in the life sciences, especially related to students’ psychosocial and sociocultural development. She has designed and led a wide range of professional development on active learning and mentoring, including intensive sessions for faculty to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences. Her group’s research and programming has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the leading biology education journal, CBE – Life Sciences Education (

Lourdes Echegoyen, PhDLourdes E. Echegoyen, Ph.D., is the 2010 founding director of the Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). COURI’s mission is to provide undergraduate students with impactful learning experiences through research, scholarly and creative activities, under the mentorship of faculty, and in collaboration with UTEP academic leaders, advisors and other supporting units. Dr. Echegoyen has 17 years of experience directing externally funded undergraduate research programs. Since her arrival at UTEP, Dr. Echegoyen has received several awards as PI or Co-PI from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Department of Energy, all of which are focused on undergraduate research training in the sciences and engineering. She has led several initiatives at UTEP, including a Freshman Year Research Intensive Sequence (FYRIS), an undergraduate research tracking system at the campus-wide level, a series of professional development workshops for undergraduate researchers, and the use of a large portion of the funds from the on-campus student employment program to financially support undergraduate researchers from all disciplines, regardless of citizenship status.

In the past 5 years, a multi-million dollar project, funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2015 as part of their Diversity Program Consortium, has allowed Lourdes and her team of multiple PIs to develop the BUILDing SCHOLARS Center at UTEP. The center has implemented institutional, faculty and student development programs that are positively transforming the training of the next generation of biomedical researchers from the US Southwest region. In 2018, Dr. Echegoyen led conversations with UTEP higher administrators that led to their commitment to sustain center programs that have demonstrated successful outcomes.

Lourdes is an avid hiker, has traveled around the world, and is passionate about many things, including her family, her work, science, nature, democracy, education, international cooperation through research, and dancing.

Edgardo Falcón-Morales, PhD Edgardo Falcón-Morales, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and program director in the Postdoctoral Training Branch of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. He manages the Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) R25 program, Research on Interventions (R01), Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) grants, and the NIH Diversity Program Consortium’s National Research Mentoring Network​. Before joining NIGMS, Falcón-Morales was a health program specialist in the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Prior to that, Falcón-Morales conducted postd​octoral research at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a B.S. in biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Cynthia Fuhrmann, PhDCynthia Fuhrmann, Ph.D., is Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development and Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA.  She has 15 years of experience directing programs in professional skills training and career planning for early-career biomedical scientists, including at University of California San Francisco (where she established UCSF’s Preparing Future Faculty program) and at UMassMed. She founded and directs UMassMed’s Center for Biomedical Career Development, which serves the campus’s ~600 graduate students and postdocs while acting as a scholarly incubator for educational approaches in PhD career development.  Her work in this area has been funded by the NIH, NSF, and Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Fuhrmann’s 2011 study on the career interests of biomedical PhD students contributed to the growing national dialog about the training needs of PhD scientists. She co-authored myIDP, an interactive career-planning website hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and continues scholarship in the use of Individual Development Plans. She serves on advisory boards for the Association of American Universities’ PhD Education Initiative, the Texas A&M AGEP Alliance, UMassMed’s IMSD and PREP programs, and various T32 programs. She is active in the Graduate Career Consortium, AAMC GREAT Group, and NIH BEST Consortium, and engaged in national initiatives to bring together stakeholders to further advance PhD career development in the sciences. Fuhrmann holds a BS in Chemistry from University of California Davis and a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCSF.

Alison Gammie PhDAlison Gammie, Ph.D., is director of the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity, which supports the Institute's research training, career development and diversity-building activities through a number of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty levels.

Prior to joining NIGMS, Gammie served as a senior lecturer in molecular biology at Princeton University, where she also directed the university's Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment in Molecular and Quantitative Biology and its Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Molecular and Quantitative Biology. She was also an associate clinical member at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Her research focused on understanding how defects in DNA mismatch repair lead to cancer.

Gammie earned a B.A. in biology from Reed College and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Oregon Health Sciences University. She conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University.

Bennett Goldberg, PhD Bennett B. Goldberg, Ph.D., was born in Boston, MA in 1959, and is a life-long Red Sox fan. He received a B.A from Harvard College in 1982, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University in 1984 and 1987. Following a Bantrell Post-doctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Francis Bitter National Magnet Lab, he joined the physics faculty at Boston University in 1989 and was appointed as Director of STEM Education Initiatives in 2012. He joined Northwestern University in August 2016 as the new Director of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Assistant Provost for Learning and Teaching, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Goldberg is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a United Methodist Teacher/Scholar of the Year, has been awarded a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigators Award.

At Boston University, Goldberg became a Professor of Physics, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Education, and Professor of Graduate Medical Sciences. He was chair of the Physics Department, Director and founder of Boston University's Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology, and Director and founder of BU’s nanomedicine program. Goldberg was the inaugural Director of STEM Education Initiatives in the Office of the Provost, working with colleges, departments, and faculty in transforming courses to increase the amount of evidence-based and active-learning in STEM instruction, as well as to develop and implement training in teaching and learning for STEM PhDs and postdocs — our nation’s future faculty — and in creating classrooms that are inclusive to a diverse student body.

Goldberg’s research interests are in the areas of nano-optics and spectroscopy of two-dimensional crystals, exploring strain and friction in single-atom-thick layers. He is engaged in projects in near-field and solid immersion imaging, using super-resolution techniques to break the diffraction limit, and imaging through strongly scattering media like tissue and rock; and active research on novel approaches to subcellular imaging, biosensors, and single-virus imaging.

Nationally, Goldberg has been active in building a network of universities preparing future faculty to be excellent researchers and excellent teachers, has co-authored two massive open online courses (MOOCs) for PhDs and postdocs on STEM learning and teaching, and is involved in bringing together cross-sector organizations to scale effective strategies for increasing access to higher education for underrepresented groups.

Sarah Goodwin, PhDSarah Goodwin, Ph.D., is a leader in science communication, training, and education. As the founding Executive Director of iBiology, she has worked with hundreds of scientists from around the world to help communicate their research and interests to a diverse and growing global audience. As the PI for an NIGMS IPERT grant, Sarah pioneered two innovative online courses for professional development of grad students and postdocs, “Planning Your Scientific Journey” and "Let’s Experiment: A Guide for Scientists Working at the Bench." She also served as producer and chief science advisor of the upcoming documentary about genome editing, “Human Nature.” Sarah received her PhD in Cell Biology from the University of California, San Francisco.


Giovanna-Guerrero-Medina-PhD-sm.jpgGiovanna Guerrero-Medina, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, an international network of >10,000 scientists, students and educators with ties to Puerto Rico, who are committed to promoting scientific outreach, education and careers. She is also Director of the Yale Ciencia Initiative at Yale University, where she studies the impact of scientific networks like Ciencia Puerto Rico in improving access and participation in science and works to promote diversity through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion of the Yale School of Medicine. Under her leadership, Ciencia Puerto Rico has become one of the largest networked communities of Hispanic scientists in the world, the most popular science website among Puerto Rico audiences, and has received recognition as Science Defender in 2018 from the Union of Concerned Scientist and as a Bright Spot in science education for Hispanics in 2015 by the White House. At Yale, Dr. Guerrero-Medina is Principal Investigator of the Yale Ciencia Academy, an NIH-funded program that provides biomedical PhD students with opportunities for professional development, outreach leadership, and networking. She also leads the National Science Foundation funded Ciencia al Servicio program, to promote collaborations between scientists and teachers so that students in Puerto Rico have access to culturally-relevant, engaging and effective science lessons. Dr. Guerrero-Medina’s career spans positions in government, non-profit, and academic settings. She has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Joshua Hall, PhDJoshua Hall, Ph.D., is Director of Graduate Admissions and the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at UNC School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from UNC Chapel Hill and was a SPIRE (IRACDA) postdoctoral fellow also at UNC. Josh has several recent publications on various aspects of science training and graduate admissions. For the past nine years, he directed North Carolina DNA Day, an annual event that sends over 150 scientists to high school classrooms across North Carolina. Josh is passionate about helping science trainees succeed and is actively involved in research on factors that contribute to success and productivity in biomedical graduate school. In addition, he is the creator and host of the podcast, Hello PhD, which explores the human side of science and life in the lab!

Isabel Lauren Jackson, PhDIsabel Lauren Jackson, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the Division of Translational Radiation Sciences within the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Jackson is a subject matter expert in the field of tumor and normal tissue radiobiology, with specialized expertise in medical countermeasure (MCM) development for acute radiation sickness and delayed effects of acute radiation exposure. Her expertise extends to model development, new target identification, biomarker discovery, schedule optimization, application of disease progression modeling to drug development, and product approval through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Animal Rule regulatory pathway. Studies conducted in Dr. Jackson’s laboratory are performed in compliance with the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practice regulations.

Dr. Jackson is currently a principal or collaborating investigator on a number of industry and federally sponsored contracts and research grants totaling more than $30 million, and serves as Director for theBARDA RadNuc Animal Model Development indefinite-deliverable/indefinite-quantity contract at the UMSOM. Her academic research is focused on improving the ability to translate findings from preclinical models to clinical radiation therapy. Her research takes a systems biology approach to interrogate and understand the mechanisms underlying late radiation tissue effects and identify biomarkers that correlate with tissue damage and recovery or failure in patients using state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, classic radiobiology approaches, “omics” technologies, and computational biology. She has published extensively on the characterization and refinement of animal models of radiation-induced normal tissue injury that recapitulate the response in humans. Models developed in Dr. Jackson’s laboratory have gone on to receive FDA concurrence as appropriate for use in MCM screens for radiation pneumonitis/fibrosis and have since been used to screen MCMs for industry, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)–sponsored contracts. 

Dr. Jackson has participated in more than a dozen pre-IND and IND meetings related to MCM development through the FDA Animal Rule. She serves as a member of the University of Maryland Baltimore Institutional Review Board, as an interviewer for the UM SOM admissions committee, and lecturer in the Department of Radiation Oncology board review course for radiation oncology residents and the annual Radiation Biology and Physics review courses. Dr. Jackson has presented her findings at national and international scientific conferences, academic institutions, NIH-sponsored workshops, and to the FDA. She is the senior editor for biology for Advances in Radiation Oncology, a journal of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for peer-reviewed journals including Neuro-Oncology; the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics; Cancer Research; Radiation Research; the International Journal of Radiation Biology; and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. She is the author of several book chapters on normal tissue tolerance to radiation, mechanisms of injury, and potential therapeutic interventions.

King Jordan, PhDKing Jordan, Ph.D., is Professor in the School of Biological Sciences and Director of the Bioinformatics Graduate Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He received a BA in Biology from the University of Colorado (1992) and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Georgia (1998).  Before coming to Georgia Tech in 2006, Dr. Jordan worked at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the bioinformatics division of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Members of Dr. Jordan’s laboratory at Georgia Tech ( conduct bioinformatics research with an emphasis on the analysis of ‘big data’ for understanding the molecular genetic determinants of human health.  His group’s research efforts involve both the development and application of computational tools specifically tailored for genome sequence and functional genomic analyses.  Dr. Jordan is also actively engaged in the development of bioinformatics and genomics capacity in Latin America.  He was named a Fulbright fellow to Colombia in 2012 and 2016, and he is the Co-Founder and Director of the PanAmerican Bioinformatics Network (

Robert-Kelly-PhD-sm.pngRobert Kelly, Ph.D., is currently Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He also serves as Director of the campus-wide Biotechnology (BIT) Program, which educates over 400 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students annually in molecular biology laboratory skills. Since 2000, he has been Program Director for an NIH T32 Biotechnology Training Program and a US Department of Education GAANN Fellowship Program. Kelly’s research on the biology and biotechnology of extremely thermophilic microorganisms has been recognized by national and international awards, including American Institute of Chemical Engineering’s Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award, the American Chemical Society’s Marvin Johnson Award in Biochemical Technology, and the American Society for Microbiology’s DuPont Industrial Biosciences Award. He is currently an editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Kelly holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Jon R. Lorsch, PhDJon Lorsch, Ph.D., became the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in August 2013.  In this position, Lorsch oversees the Institute's $2.5 billion budget, which supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  Lorsch came to NIGMS from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a professor in the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1999 and became a full professor in 2009. A leader in RNA biology, Lorsch studies the initiation of translation, a major step in controlling how genes are expressed. When this process goes awry, viral infection, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer can result. To dissect the mechanics of translation initiation, Lorsch and collaborators developed a yeast-based system and a wide variety of biochemical and biophysical methods. The work also has led to efforts to control translation initiation through chemical reagents, such as drugs. Lorsch continues this research as a tenured investigator in the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Lorsch received a B.A. in chemistry from Swarthmore College in 1990 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1995, where he worked in the laboratory of Jack Szostak, Ph.D. He conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the laboratory of Daniel Herschlag, Ph.D.Lorsch is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters and other papers. He has also been the editor of six volumes of Methods in Enzymology and has been a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. He is the author on two awarded U.S. patents. His honors include six teaching awards from Johns Hopkins.

Lorsch's other activities have included membership on the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's mentoring committee, the RNA Society's board of directors and NIH review committees.

Since joining NIH, he has taken on several leadership roles, including serving on the NIH Scientific Data Council, Administrative Data Council and Extramural Activities Working Group, which he co-chairs.

P. Kay Lund, PhDP. Kay Lund, Ph.D., is Director of a new Division of Biomedical Research Workforce in the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The division has responsibilities for policy and extramural programs related to training, career development and diversity of the biomedical research workforce.  The division also performs research and economic analyses to predict workforce trends and future needs.

Dr. Lund joined NIH from a career in academia including appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has mentored large numbers of biomedical researchers from undergraduate students to faculty including Ph.D. and MD scientists.  Dr. Lund has published widely in her scientific discipline and has also written articles about broadening definitions of career outcomes for Ph.D. scientists see (The Flexible Ph.D. Gastroenterology, 203 125:1301).

Dr. Lund serves as co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Strengthening the Biomedical Workforce which advises on the BEST program geared towards Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training.

Kim-McCall-PhD-sm.pngKim McCall, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Biology at Boston University.  She received her B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, her Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at M.I.T. She joined the faculty at Boston University in 1998. She served as Director of the interdisciplinary Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Graduate Program from 2005-2007, was Director of Graduate Studies in Biology from 2010-2015, and was appointed Chair of Biology in 2016. Her research focuses on cell death and phagocytosis using Drosophila melanogaster  as a model system, and she has over 50 publications.  She was elected the Northeast Representative of the Drosophila Board in 2017.  She has taught courses in Genetics, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Cancer Biology. Dr. McCall has served on the advisory committee of over 80 Ph.D. students, and has trained 18 Ph.D. students, 14 Master’s students and over 50 undergraduate researchers in her own lab, many of them women and members of groups under-represented in STEM.  She received the Boston University College Prize for Excellence in Student Advising in 2007.  She has served on a number of committees at BU including the Academic Policy Committee, the University Council Committee on Graduate Academic Programs and Policies, the University Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Strategic Planning Task Force and the steering committee of BU’s BEST, an NIH-funded program aimed at training graduate students and postdocs for a wide range of careers. She has served on several NIH and American Cancer Society grant review panels, and has reviewed for over 35 different scientific journals. Her research has been supported by the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, and NIGMS.

Rick-McGee-PhD-sm.jpgRichard (Rick) McGee, Ph.D., is currently the Associate Dean for Professional Development at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In that role, his primary responsibility is to support the development of independent research programs of early career faculty. To achieve this, he has developed a novel approach to teaching grant wiring by leading coached writing groups that last 2-4 months. At any point in time 4-6 groups will be ongoing with 3-6 people/group. His career path to creating this unique role began with 20 years of laboratory research in basic neuroscience and cellular pharmacology. His roles then evolved to designing and leading research training at multiple levels, during which he began developing novel coaching models to complement research mentoring. During this evolution, he became interested in actually studying how young scientists develop using sophisticated qualitative research methods and established social science theories and models. A strong theme throughout his career has been in diversity efforts related to both gender and racial/ethnic equality. Today, in addition to his professional development role, he leads a team of social science and education researchers in the NIH-funded National Longitudinal Study of Your Life Scientists. They are also following the outcomes of PhD students who took part in a novel career coaching experiment, The Academy for Future Science Faculty. Dr. McGee also leads a diversity-focused professional development program for early PhD students at Northwestern (the CLIMB program), and is deeply involved with new approaches to promoting effective mentoring relationships, culturally aware mentorship, and grant writing skills through the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).

Craig A. Merlic, PhDCraig A. Merlic, Ph.D., obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry as a Hertz Foundation Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University he joined the faculty in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Professor Merlic directs a research group that focuses on applications of transition metal organometallic chemistry to organic synthesis.

He has published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Fund and various corporate sponsors.

He created award-winning Internet-based educational projects for course management and teaching spectroscopy in organic chemistry. These projects earned a MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources, a StudySphere Award of Excellence and a StudyWeb Excellence Award. In addition, he received a Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for his in-class teaching.

Professor Merlic has been very active promoting chemical safety at UCLA, the University of California system, and academic institutions nationwide.  He serves as chair of the Department Safety Committee, chair of the campus-wide Chemical and Physical Safety Committee, and member of the UCLA Safety Oversight Committee. At the University of California system-wide level, he is the executive director of the UC Center for Laboratory Safety that has ongoing projects to improve laboratory safety policies, procedures, and training based on scientific studies. Through the Center, he also manages the Safety Training Consortium that provides safety training courses to several dozen universities across the nation ( 

Frederick-Meyers,-MD,-MACP-sm.jpgFrederick (Fred) Meyers, M.D., M.A.C.P., is associate dean for precision medicine and professor of internal medicine / hematology-oncology at UC Davis School of Medicine. He has served UC Davis as chief of hematology-oncology, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and vice dean of the School of Medicine.

Meyers has a long-standing interest in cancer biology, with a focus on advanced and metastatic malignancies. His earliest publications in the molecular oncology of urologic cancers emphasized clinical trials with laboratory correlative studies. He recognized the inherent ethical conflict between early-phase cancer clinical trials and the need to deliver palliative and end-of-life care. Many of his early grants and publications highlighted this apparent paradox that he resolved by developing a model of simultaneous or concurrent care. The systems-based improvement of cancer-care delivery integrated cancer therapy and palliative care at the same time, rather than sequentially, and changed the paradigm of the care of patients with both advanced malignancy and nonmalignant illnesses, successfully introducing palliative care earlier in the trajectory of illness.  This forms the basis for his ongoing commitment to quality of care improvement, and he has long been an advocate for integrating QI into health sciences education.

Meyers is strongly committed to the career development of junior scholars, MD and PhD, pre-and postdoctoral. He directs the Research Education and Career Development core of the UC Davis NIH-funded Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC). His commitment is reflected in his service as principal investigator of several training grants including the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program, a California stem cell research training grant and a grant from HHMI Integrating Medicine into Basic Sciences. He is PI of the UC Davis NIH Common Fund Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) award. His current focus is leading and integrating precision medicine across all of the colleges and schools at UC Davis and the communities it serves.

Sharon L. Milgram, PhDSharon Milgram, Ph.D., received a B.S. in physical therapy from Temple University in 1984 and a Ph.D. in cell biology from Emory University in 1991. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994.

At UNC, Dr. Milgram rose to the rank of Full Professor with Tenure in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology. Dr. Milgram founded and advised the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Services and served on the advisory committee of the Sigma Xi National Postdoc Survey. In 2007 Dr. Milgram joined the NIH Office of the Director as the Director of the Office of Intramural Training and Education. There she directs a trans-NIH Office dedicated to the career advancement of over 5000 trainees, ranging from high school and college students to postdoctoral and clinical fellows. Dr. Milgram frequently gives lectures on science careers, mentorship, leadership, and management in research environments.

Nancy P. Moreno, PhDNancy P. Moreno, Ph.D., is Associate Provost of Faculty Development and Institutional Research, and Professor of Health Professions and Family & Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Trained as a biologist, she has devoted most of her career to science and health education, and is Senior Associate Director of Baylor's Center for Educational Outreach. Her funded research has included development of interdisciplinary science educational materials, creation of local school and national partnerships to promote systemic change in STEM teaching and learning, and application of web-based technologies for educator support and professional development. Many of these efforts have been directed toward improving access by students at all levels to careers in STEM and the health professions. In her current role as Associate Provost, she guides career advancement, leadership development, educational innovation and recognition of Baylor faculty members. Dr. Moreno is principal investigator of education partnerships funded by the Science Education Partnership Award Program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH), BHP Billiton and Phillips 66, and has received support from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Space Biomedical Research Institute and National Science Foundation, among others. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2010 received the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, Baylor’s most prestigious award for faculty educational contributions. She received her Bachelor's degree in botany with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned her Ph.D. in biology from Rice University.
Link to Baylor Faculty page:

Carol Muller, PhDCarol B. Muller, Ph.D., is Executive Director of WISE Ventures. Dr. Muller joins with individuals and organizations at Stanford to amplify the impact of programs, research, and other projects to advance equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and works collaboratively to enhance existing and establish new initiatives to meet needs aligned with this mission for Stanford University. She also provides executive support for Stanford’s Faculty Women’s Forum and serves as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Coupling leadership experience across a wide range of responsibilities in higher education with entrepreneurial skills honed through her work in engineering education, she founded MentorNet in 1997, a nonprofit online global mentoring network supporting diversity in science and engineering, serving as its chief executive until 2008. Her prior work includes service as consulting professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, as associate dean for administration at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College (where she co-founded the Dartmouth Women in Science Project and the Dartmouth Project for Teaching Engineering Problem-Solving), and as department manager for Stanford’s Electrical Engineering department.

A Fellow of the Association for Women in Science, her work has been recognized with national awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. She has authored and presented numerous papers, presentations, and workshops, and has created projects, programs, and fellowships developed with funding from private foundations, corporations, and the federal government, contracts, and individuals. She earned a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in education administration and policy analysis at Stanford University.

Christine Ortiz, PhDChristine Ortiz, Ph.D., is a scientist, engineer, professor, scholar, and social entrepreneur. Ortiz is the (tenured and chaired) Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ortiz is the founder of a new nonprofit institution, Station1 (, that is building a new model of higher education and a foundation for the university of the future through an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to socially-directed science and technology education, research, and entrepreneurship.

Ortiz served as the Dean for Graduate Education at MIT between 2010 and 2016, supporting approximately 7,000 graduate students from 100+ countries. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Ortiz has led cross-institutional initiatives in global education, technology-enabled learning, new methods of learning assessment, fostering diversity and inclusion and postsecondary financial models. Ortiz has served on over 50 MIT departmental and Institute committees and working groups.

As a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, Ortiz is a distinguished scientist and engineer with over 175 scholarly publications, has supervised the research projects of more than 80 students from 10 different academic disciplines, and received 30 national and international honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering which was awarded to her at the White House by President George W. Bush. She is the founder and faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technologies Initiatives – Israel program which has given approximately 600 students global internship opportunities. Ortiz serves on numerous boards, including as a regional accreditation commissioner for the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Christine Pfund, PhDChristine Pfund, Ph.D., is a senior scientist with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). Dr. Pfund earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, followed by post-doctoral research in Plant Pathology, both at University of Wisconsin-Madison. For almost a decade, Dr. Pfund served as the Associate Director of the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning and the co-Director of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching helping to train future faculty to become better more effective teachers. Dr. Pfund is now conducting research with several programs across the UW campus including the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and the Center for Women’s Health Research. Her work focuses on developing, implementing, documenting, and studying interventions to optimize research mentoring relationships across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). Dr. Pfund co-authored the original Entering Mentoring curriculum and co-authored several papers documenting the effectiveness of this approach. Currently, Dr. Pfund is co-leading two studies focused on the impact of training on both mentors and mentees and understanding specific factors in mentoring relationships that account for positive student outcomes. Dr. Pfund is one of the principal investigators of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). She is also director of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research at UW-Madison (CIMER). She is currently serving on a committee of the National Academies to explore the science of effective mentoring in STEMM.

Rao-Rajini-PhD-sm.pngRajini Rao, Ph.D., is professor of Physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Her laboratory investigates ion transporters in human disease, ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration. Dr. Rao is an active educator and mentor. In her role as principal investigator and director of the NIGMS-funded T32 training program in Cellular & Molecular Medicine, she oversees a multi-departmental program that includes 125 faculty and 130 Ph.D. students. Rao is a long standing advocate for women in science, having chaired the Committee on Professional Opportunities for Women at the Biophysical Society for nearly a decade, and co-founded, a site that raises awareness for gender disparity in STEM. She is a frequent panelist and speaker on gender equity at local and international STEM venues. Rao has held multiple elected leadership roles in the Biophysical Society, chaired FASEB and Gordon conferences, and served on journal editorial boards and grant review panels at the NIH, DOD, and HHMI, including the NIGMS TWD-A review panel for T32 training grants.

Desiree-Salazar-PhD.jpgDesirée Salazar, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity.  She administers Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) and Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) grants and Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) awards. Salazar also manages Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and Research Supplements to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers program and oversees predoctoral T32 cellular, biochemical and molecular sciences grants. She also manages research grants in the area of stem cell biology and regeneration in the Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

Salazar was most recently a scientific program manager at the American Society for Cell Biology. Formerly, she was a program education coordinator for the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) program at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a B.S. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Salazar conducted postdoctoral research and was an IRACDA fellow at the University of California, San Diego.

Jason Sheltzer, PhDJason Sheltzer, Ph.D., is an Independent Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. His laboratory studies the consequences of gene dosage imbalances during tumorigenesis, and his work is supported by grants from the NIH, the DoD, the Damon-Runyon Foundation, the AACR, and the Breast Cancer Alliance. He obtained a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Sheltzer is also a recent recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.


Ann Stock PhDAnn Stock, Ph.D., is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Resident Member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM). Together with Martin Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D., she co-directs the Rutgers Graduate Training Program in Biotechnology. Dr. Stock's research on bacterial signal transduction has been funded by the NIH, NSF, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and other foundations. She is an Editor for Journal of Bacteriology, Advisory Board and Editorial Board Member for PLoS Biology, and Faculty Member of F1000.  Dr. Stock is a member of the Peer Review Committee for the Life Sciences Research Foundation and chair of the External Advisory Committee for the Oklahoma COBRE in Structural Biology at the University of Oklahoma.  She has served on NIH and NSF review panels, including as member and chair of the NIH-NIDCR Board of Scientific Counselors.  She served on the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Education and Professional Development Committee for more than 10 years and currently serves on the ASBMB subcommittee for Accreditation of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Programs and on the FASEB subcommittee on Training and Career Opportunities for Scientists.
Dr. Stock obtained an A.B. in Biochemistry in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Comparative Biochemistry in 1986 from the University of California, Berkeley.  She did postdoctoral work as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow at Princeton University and as a Lucille P. Markey Scholar at Brandeis University before joining the CABM at Rutgers University in 1991. 

Susan Strome PhDSusan Strome, Ph.D., is a distinguished professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmenal (MCD) Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz.  Her lab’s research focuses on chromatin-based epigenetic inheritance, using C. elegans as a model.  She is the Chair of the MCD Biology Graduate Advising Committee and Director of the NIH T32 Training Program in MCD Biology.

Joann-Trejo-PhD-sm.pngJoAnn Trejo, Ph.D., M.B.A., is a professor of Pharmacology and assistant vice chancellor for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs at UC San Diego. In 2014, she was appointed Vice Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, associate dean for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs in 2015, and assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs in 2019. Dr. Trejo is a basic science researcher with expertise in cell signaling by G protein-coupled receptors in the context of vascular inflammation and cancer. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH, including a recent NIGMS R35 Outstanding Investigator Award. She was the recipient of the prestigious American Heart Association Established Investigator Award and the American Society for Cell Biology EE Just Award for outstanding scientific achievement. As assistant vice chancellor, Dr. Trejo is responsible for developing and implementing strategies, initiatives and programs for enhancing the success, recruitment and retention of an engaged diverse faculty within Health Sciences. Dr. Trejo is also an excellent educator, mentor and a leader actively engaged in numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing the inclusive excellence of UC San Diego. She is the principal investigator of an NIGMS K12 IRACDA postdoctoral training program, NHLBI R25 PRIDE early career academic program and a summer undergraduate program in pharmacology, these programs promote the career development and success of women and underrepresented minorities in biomedical sciences. In 2014, Dr. Trejo received the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring and the UC San Diego Inclusive Excellence Award in 2016. Dr. Trejo is Mexican-American, a native of California and was the youngest of five children in a family of migrant farm workers raised by a single mother. She earned her BS at UC Davis, PhD and MBA at UC San Diego. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Francisco. She was elected to serve on leadership Council for the American Society for Cell Biology and leadership Council for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Trejo has also served on multiple NIH and HHMI Study Sections and currently serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences.

Linda Tunstadm PhDLinda Gutierrez-Tunstad, Ph.D., is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University Los Angeles. She has been Director of Bridges to the Baccalaureate at Cal State LA since 1996 after serving as Associate Director since 1993. A first-generation Angeleno of Mexican and Norwegian heritage, she is the fifth of ten siblings. She earned the B.S. chemistry degree at Cal State Los Angeles as a MARC Scholar after beginning college as a biology major. She was the first Latina to earn the Ph.D. in Chemistry at UCLA in 1990 and was supported with a MARC Predoctoral Fellowship. Her research advisor was Nobel Laureate Donald J. Cram. Post-doctoral studies were conducted at UC Berkeley in bio-inorganic chemistry with Kenneth Raymond. Dr. Tunstad joined the faculty at Cal State Los Angeles in 1992. Her research group investigates structural design effects on molecular capsule conformational switching with implications for controlled selective binding. The MORE Programs at Cal State LA is home to the NIH RISE, MARC and Bridges Programs and was founded by Dr. Carlos Gutierrez in 2000. In 2018, Dr. Tunstad became Co-Director of the MORE Programs and also assumed the Directorship of the MARC USTAR Program after serving as Associate Director.

Hannah Valantine, MD, MRCP, FACCHannah Valantine, M.D., M.R.C.P., F.A.C.C., received her M.B.B.S. degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery; the United Kingdom’s equivalent to an M.D.) from St. George’s Hospital, London University in 1978. After that, she moved to the University of Hong Kong Medical School for specialty training in elective surgery before returning to the U.K. She was awarded a diploma of membership by the Royal College of Physicians (M.R.C.P.) in 1981. In addition, she completed postgraduate training and numerous fellowships, serving as senior house officer in Cardiology at Brompton Hospital and Registrar in Cardiology and General Medicine at Hammersmith Hospital. In 1985, Dr. Valantine moved to the United States for postdoctoral training in cardiology at Stanford University, and in 1988, she received a Doctor of Science (DSc), Medicine, from London University. Dr. Valantine became a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Cardiology Division at Stanford and rose through the academic ranks to become a full Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of Heart Transplantation Research. She came to the NHLBI in 2014 to continue her research while also serving as the first NIH Chief Officer of Scientific Workforce Diversity. Dr. Valantine has received numerous awards throughout her career including a Best Doctor in America honor in 2002. She has authored more than 160 primary research articles and reviews and previously served on the editorial boards of the journals Graft and Ethnicity & Disease. Dr. Valantine is a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the American Heart Association, and past President of the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate.

Maria da Graça Vicente PhDMaria da Graça Vicente, Ph.D.,  is the Charles H. Barré Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. She is also the Program Director for the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program at LSU, and in 2016 she was named a Distinguished Research Master in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at Louisiana State University. Dr. Vicente is co-author of twelve book chapters, 200 peer-reviewed publications and 4 patents. She has been honored with several awards, including the 2015 LSU Foundation Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, and most recently a 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).


Elizabeth Watkins, PhDElizabeth Watkins, Ph.D., is Dean of the Graduate Division, Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs, and Professor of History of Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.  She came to UCSF in 2004 and has served as dean since 2012 and as vice chancellor since 2013.  As dean, she serves as the chief academic officer for UCSF’s graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. As vice chancellor, she oversees career and professional development, disability services, educational technology services, financial aid, first generation to college support, institutional research, international services, learning resources, registrar, student government, student health and counseling, student information systems, student life, and veterans support.
Watkins earned her B.A. in biology and her Ph.D. in history of science at Harvard.  She is the author or co-editor of five books and numerous articles on the history of birth control, sex hormones, and pharmaceuticals. Her work has been funded by NIH, NSF, NEH, and the National Academy of Education.
As dean, Watkins has implemented new programs to build community and to improve the graduate student experience, and she has overseen the establishment and growth of an $80 million endowment for basic science Ph.D. students. Watkins is dedicated to broadening diversity and fostering inclusion in graduate education, and serves as PI on UCSF’s NIGMS IMSD grant. She is very interested in supporting graduate students and postdocs in meaningful career exploration and development, and she co-leads the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science.

Marenda Wilson-Pham, PhDMarenda Wilson-Pham, Ph.D., earned her PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  In 2013, Dr. Wilson-Pham joined the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School (GSBS) Deans’ Office to assist in improving the recruitment and retention rates of underrepresented minority students through retention and bilateral recruitment programming. In 2015, she became the Assistant Dean of Diversity and Alumni Affairs where she was responsible for strategic planning and implementation of diversity and recruitment programs, management and support of student organizations, and alumni engagement and programming.  During her time at the GSBS she published two peer-reviewed manuscripts in CBE Life Sciences Education titled “Institutional Interventions that Remove Barriers to Recruit and Retain Diverse Biomedical PhD Students” and “A Model for Holistic Review in Graduate Admissions that Decouples the GRE from Race, Ethnicity, and Gender.”  Dr. Wilson-Pham is currently the Associate Dean at Rush University Graduate College with a purview over academic affairs, curriculum, and admissions.

Carrie D. Wolinetz, PhDCarrie D. Wolinetz, Ph.D., is Associate Director for Science Policy and Director of the Office of Science Policy (OSP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As leader of OSP, she advises the NIH Director on science policy matters of significance to the agency, the research community, and the public, on a wide range of issues including human subjects protections, biosecurity, biosafety, genomic data sharing, regenerative medicine, the organization and management of NIH, and the outputs and values of NIH-funded research. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Wolinetz worked on biomedical research policy issues as the Deputy Director for Federal Affairs at the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). She also served as the President of United for Medical Research, a leading NIH advocacy coalition. Outside of NIH, Dr. Wolinetz teaches as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service’s program on Science, Technology & International Affairs. She has a BS in animal science from Cornell University, and she received her PhD in animal science from The Pennsylvania State University, where her area of research was reproductive physiology.

Henry H. Wortis, MDHenry H. Wortis, M.D., earned his M.D. at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and went on to a medical residency at NYU Bellevue and a rheumatology fellowship at Stanford. Dr. Wortis turned to full time research as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. There he developed a technique for identifying individual IgG producing cells, studied the role of T cells in inducing antibody isotype switching and the cellular basis for T cell deficiency in nude mice. During that time, he received mentoring from Sir Peter Medawar, Avrion Mitchison and Len & Lee Herzenberg. When Dr. Wortis established his own laboratory, he began studies of B cell development and the functional defects in mice with mutations of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase and CD22, resulting in immune- deficiency on the one hand and auto-reactivity on the other. Dr. Wortis was particularly interested in the development and function of B-1 cells. More recently he turned his attention to a completely new area, the analysis of age- associated loss of resistance to infection. He and his collaborators have pioneered in the use of a genetic approach to analyze this problem.

Dr. Wortis has a major interest in understanding best practices in graduate and post graduate training in biomedical research. He directed an immunology training program for many years in addition to training 13 successful PhDs who are all still engaged in research and served on several study sections concerned with training awards. In addition, Dr. Wortis developed the Tufts/Sackler Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) and has served as its director since its founding. These interests led him to participate in the national activities of the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Graduate Research Education and Training (GREAT) group. He served as its national chair in 2009.  Dr. Wortis retains a strong commitment to training, focused on enhancing the diversity of the biomedical workforce. He is interested in fostering the sharing of best practices in biomedical education and the adaptation of evidence-based teaching approaches.

2019 TWD Program Directors' Meeting is managed and organized by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology under a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by T36GM008637-21S1 and U13GM133156-01 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the NIH; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.