2017 Postdoc Symposium

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 a panel discussion, a keynote speaker, a poster session, and presentation of the outstanding faculty mentor award. Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the WU Postdoc Society.

View photos from this event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/OPA.WUSTL/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1301282136573778


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Farrell Learning & Teaching Center
520 S. Euclid Ave.


13th Annual Postdoc Scientific Symposium Schedule

1:00 pm Welcome & Panel Discussion, Connor Auditorium, FLTC
   Samuel Achilefu, Ph.D., Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology 
Changing Course: Navigating Career Trajectories
   Lindzy Dodson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University Department of Biology
   Joshua Fischer, Ph.D., Environmental Scientist, Monsanto 
   Angela Bowman, Ph.D., Executive Director, Washington University Center of Regenerative Medicine

2:20 pm Keynote Address, Connor Auditorium, FLTC
   Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, Northwestern University
Mentoring and Leading from Within: Ensuring Your Success
Presentation of the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

3:30 pm-5:00 pm  Postdoc Poster Session & Reception, FLTC Atrium


Keynote speaker: Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D.

Dr. Bennett serves as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern University. In addition, he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. As the university’s chief diversity officer, he is responsible for leading and coordinating efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all Northwestern community members. Prior to joining Northwestern, Dr. Bennett served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Dean for Diversity in the Division of Biology and Medicine, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Bennett received his B.S. in Biology and minor in Spanish from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University, and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Meharry Medical College. 


2017 Call for Poster Abstracts 

The call for abstracts is now closed. All WU postdocs in STEM fields are encouraged to submit. Postdocs may submit for either a judged or unjudged poster. Accepted postdocs will be notified by March 6, 2017 via email. Judged posters must be set up by 8 am on March 30, 2017. Please see below for abstract details, submission criteria, poster judging, and instructions for submission. 

2017 Poster Competition Winners

Best Poster – Dr. Hamid Salimi, Postdoc Research Associate, Internal Medicine: Infectious Diseases
“Encephalitic Alphaviruses: Neurotropism and Mechanisms of CNS Entry”

Honorable Mention – Dr. Kavita Agarwal
, Postdoc Research Associate, Molecular Microbiology
“Sialidase Mediated Polymicrobial Interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)”

Honorable Mention – Dr. William Wilson
, Postdoc Research Scholar, Internal Medicine:
Medical Oncology
“Dnmt3a Regulates T Cell Development and Suppresses T-ALL Transformation”

Abstract Submission Criteria

  • You must have an official university title of either Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral  Research Scholar at both the time of submission and on March 30th.
  • 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 may be set up the day before the symposium, and must be displayed and ready for judging by 8 am on March 30, 2017.

Abstract Details

  • Abstracts must be 1800 characters or less (about 250 words or less).
  • Abstracts may be submitted on any topic or in any STEM field.
  • Please do not use figures, tables, or graphs.
  • Please do not include references, citations, or funding sources.
  • The abstract submitted should be for your current postdoctoral research project. The abstract should focus on your personal scientific contributions to the lab and your specific postdoctoral research project, though it may also include general information about the lab and its activities. Please do not submit a standard lab abstract. 
  • Please use clear, simple language and a general vocabulary that can be understood by anyone.  Symposium attendees represent a variety of departments, fields, and backgrounds. Please write so that all can understand.
  • Abstracts 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.

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 8 am on March 30, 2017. 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

The Best Poster Award will be announced via email after the symposium.

Instructions for Submission

Abstracts will be accepted from January 13, 2017-February 13, 2017. One submission per person please. This deadline will not be extended.

  • Electronic submissions only.
  • Submit abstracts here: https://wustl.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9nqYHtsu2eyNhVr
  • Abstracts may be submitted for either a judged or unjudged poster. Reminder: You must have 6 months of WU postdoc experience in your current lab to submit for a judged poster.
  • The title and abstract will be posted online and printed in the symposium program. Please review and spell check before submitting.

2017 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 13th Annual Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award! The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award will be presented at the Postdoc Symposium on March 30th. You must be a current WU postdoc to nominate someone, and you may only nominate current WU faculty members. Nominations have now closed. The winner will be acknowledged at the symposium on March 30.

2017 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award Winner

Dr. Clay Semenkovich. Clay Semenkovich, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research, Professor of Medicine and of Cell Biology and Physiology

Nominated by Dr. Larry Spears, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Internal Medicine: Endocrine/Metabolism



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