2015 Postdoc Symposium



The 11th Annual Postdoc Symposium will be April 2, 2015. 
Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Iqbal Hamza.



RECAP - 10th Annual Postdoc Scientific Symposium

Thursday, April 3, 2014
11:00am – 5:00pm followed by a Happy Hour  
Farrell Learning & Teaching Center Atrium & Connor Auditorium
Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the WU Postdoc Society

Congratulations to Best Poster Award winner Dr. Emily Benesh, Obstetrics & Gynecology (Moley lab), and to Dr. Prithwiraj Das, Biology & Biomedical Engineering (Ben-Shahar & Raman labs) and Dr. Kathleen Schoch, Neurology (T. Miller lab) who both won Honorable Mention. 

Congratulations also to Dr. Robert Schreiber, Pathology & Immunology, who won the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award!

If you missed it, or want to see it again, click here to access Dr. Amy Reese's keynote address.

Thanks to all who came out for a great 10th Annual event!  The 2015 date will be announced in Fall 2014.

The Postdoc Symposium is our annual opportunity to recognize and showcase the important contributions of postdocs to the scientific enterprise at Washington University.  The Symposium includes five individual postdoc talks, a keynote speaker, a poster session, presentation of the outstanding faculty mentor award and a panel discussion. To celebrate our 10th Annual event, we've invited back the original Symposium Committee from 2004 for our panel discussion.



2014 Speakers and Schedule 

Events will be in the WU School of Medicine's Farrell Learning & Teaching Center, 520 S. Euclid Ave.
 **times approximate

11am       Welcome - Evan D. Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D., WU Vice Chancellor for Research
               Life After a WU Postdoc: 10 Years Later
               A Panel Discussion with the original Symposium Committee
               Panelists:  Nicquet Blake, Ph.D., Helen Hu, Ph.D., Jeramia J. Ory, Ph.D., Douglas J. Rowland, Ph.D.,
               Catherine Woodstock Striley, Ph.D., MSW, MPE, Guoyan Zhao, Ph.D.
                 Click here to learn more about the panelists.

12:15pm   Box Lunch Distribution

                WU Postdoc Talks, Connor Auditorium, FLTC
12:30pm   Jenny Furman, Ph.D., Neurology
               Tau Seeding Activity is the Earliest Pathological Marker of Tauopathy
12:48pm   Lydia-Ann Harris, Ph.D., Int Med: Nutritional Science
               Perilipin 5 overexpression in skeletal muscle enhances metabolic flexibility through myokine release
1:06pm    Natalie Spillman, Ph.D., Molecular Microbiology
               Virulence factors of the malaria parasite that modulate host vasoregulation
1:24pm    Matthew Toomey, Ph.D., Pathology & Immunology
               Carotenoid metabolism and opsin tuning have co-evolved to facilitate avian color discrimination
1:42pm    Junjie Yao, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
               Fast Label-free Functional Photoacoustic Microscopy of Small Animal Brain in Action

2:15pm    Keynote Address, Connor Auditorium, FLTC
                  Agitate vigorously: a protocol for incubating scientists in undergraduate culture
                  Amy J. Reese, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Health Professions Advisor
                  Cedar Crest College 
               Presentation of the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award 

3:30pm    Postdoc Poster Session & Reception, FLTC Atrium
- 5pm      Posters by:
Haedar Abuirqeba Ream Al-Hasani Dhanalakshmi Anbukumar Scott Beeman Emily Benesh Somashubhra Bhattacharya Ahlem Bouhlel Chandana Buddhala Steven Chang Gengsheng Chen Tom Cohen Shahnjayla Connors Nadia Corral-Frias Prithwiraj Das Joshua Dearborn Justyna Dobrowolska Rinaldo D'Souza Adam Eggebrecht Benjamen Filas Kristen Funk Felicia Gomez Vivian Gonzalez-Perez Sundaram GSM M.Burhan Janjua Nelly Joseph-Mathurin Ningdong Kang Jungsil Kim Geraldine Kress Devesha Kulkarni Laura Lamb Sara Lange Marie Laury Shalon Ledbetter Jinyang Liang Andrew Linsenbardt Tuoen Liu Jana Mahadevan Joshua Muia Maze Ndonwi Chunzi Peng Carlos Perez-Torres Xinshuai Qi Martin Schmidt Eric Schmidt Kathleen Schoch George Schweitzer Ismail Sergin Cara Lunn Shirai Deepa Srikanta Molly Sutherland Mike Urbin Angela Verdoni Stacey Ward Jessica Williams Aki Yoneda Ali Zamani

5:30pm   Welcome Happy Hour for NPA attendees, FLTC Hearth Room
               Join us for pizza & beer to wrap up the Symposium and welcome the National Postdoctoral Association
               Annual Meeting attendees.  We will be serving St. Louis favorites Imo's Pizza and local craft beers. 


2014 Call for Nominations for the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
Do you consider your mentor to be outstanding?  Does he or she go out of their way to ensure your success?  Then nominate him or her for the 10th Annual Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award!  The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award will be presented at the Postdoc Symposium on April 3rd. You must be a current WU postdoc to submit, and you may only nominate current WU faculty members.
We are no longer accepting nominations.  Please attend the Symposium to find out who will receive the award this year.
2014 Call for Abstracts 
The call for abstracts is now closed.


Please read below for submission details and eligibility or download the Complete Abstract Submission Instructions document below.

Abstract Submission Criteria

  • You must have an official university title of either Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the time of submission and on April 3rd.
  • Abstracts may be submitted for a talk or poster, talk only or poster only. Abstracts will be accepted for either a talk or poster, not both.
  • Postdocs who presented a talk in the past are not eligible to present another talk. Postdocs who presented a talk in the past or received the best poster award are not eligible for poster judging.


  • To submit for a talk, you must have at least one year of WU postdoctoral training experience.
  • Those chosen for talks must attend a practice session held 4-10 days prior to the Symposium.


  • Poster judging is optional and postdocs may present "works in progress" posters.
  • To submit for a judged poster, you must have at least 6 months of postdoctoral experience in your current lab.
  • Judged Posters must be set up the day before the Symposium. If you cannot set up your poster during this time, you may drop off your poster at the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs by end of day Monday, March 31st.

Abstract Details

  • Please submit the cover page and an abstract page (total of two pages).
  • Abstracts must be 300 words or less using Arial font, 11pt.
  • Abstracts may be submitted on any topic or in any field
  • Please do not use tables or graphs.
  • References, citations and funding sources are not required.
  • The abstract submitted should be for your research project. Please do not submit a standard lab abstract. The abstract should focus on your personal scientific contributions to the lab and your specific project, though it may also include general information about the lab and its activities.
  • Please use clear, simple language and a general vocabulary that can be understood by anyone. The Abstract Review Committee and Symposium attendees represent a variety of departments, fields and backgrounds. Please write so that all can understand.
  • The Abstract Packet will be posted online for 2-3 weeks around the time of the Symposium. Please make sure you do not include confidential information or data that cannot be posted online.

Talk Selection Process

An Abstract Review Committee comprised of Washington University faculty will review and select the five postdoc talks. The talk abstracts will be chosen based on:

  • Significance
  • Originality
  • Clarity of abstract
  • Interest to a general scientific audience and
  • Illustrating the breadth and diversity of our scientific community

The goal of the talks is to showcase great science and illustrate the range of research areas of our postdocs at Washington University.

Poster Selection & Judging

All posters will be accepted unless we have space constraints. Poster judging is a two part process and all judged posters must be set up by 9am on April 3rd. Part 1 will occur prior to the Symposium. The poster judges will review and evaluate the posters without postdocs present, and narrow it down to the top posters, approximately 10. The judges will then visit the top posters during the poster session. A formal presentation is not required - you are expected to present and discuss your research with all those who visit your poster. (Poster judges may or may not identify themselves.) The suggested judging criteria for the posters are:

  • Clarity – poster and oral explanation are understandable to a non-expert
  • Significance of the research
  • Originality of research design, technique, focus or idea
  • Interest to a general scientific audience
  • Poster is well designed and well organized with fonts in an appropriate size, an appropriate number of graphics, etc
  • Information can be understood and followed (in a basic sense) without a person present
  • Presenter can succinctly explain their research
  • Presenter can address questions appropriately
  • Presenter can relate their research to the “big picture” and provide relevance

Instructions for Submission

  • Electronic submissions only. Visit http://postdoc.wustl.edu and click on the Symposium link under Announcements, or click on “Events & Seminars” on the left, then “Postdoc Symposium” to access the cover sheet. Please submit the cover sheet and the abstract.
  • Email the completed documents to postdoc@wusm.wustl.edu by February 12, 2014 at 5pm.  One submission per person please.  This deadline will not be extended.
  • Abstracts may be submitted for a talk or poster, talk only or poster only. Accepted abstracts will be for either a talk or poster, not both.

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