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Executive Board

  • Viktoria Steck, Ph.D. - Chair and Recording Secretary

    Viktoria Steck, Ph.D. - Chair and Recording Secretary

    vsteck@ucsd.edu 
    Department: Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    My research in 12 words or less: I study the role of metalloenzyme transformations within the marine microbial phosphorus cycle.
    Favorite thing about the PDA:

    Meeting new people, solving escape rooms with fellow postdocs, and creating science outreach and teaching engagement opportunities.
    Favorite quote: "You can only see from where you're standing." - One of my good friends

  • Tyler Bell, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Marketing and Communication

    Tyler Bell, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Marketing and Communication

    trbell@health.ucsd.edu
    Department: Psychiatry 
    My research in 12 words or less:  I study how chronic pain leads to cognitive decline and dementia. 
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Great way for UC to provide a platform for professional development and community engagement for post-doctoral scholars. 
    Favorite quote: "Every storm runs out of rain" - Maya Angelou 
  • Federica Klaus, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Exposure to Industry Program (EIP)

    Federica Klaus, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Exposure to Industry Program (EIP)

    fklaus@ucsd.edu 
    Department: Psychiatry
    My research in 12 words or less: I investigate biological mechanisms underlying serious mental illness.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: The opportunity to contribute to the postdoc community and learning new perspectives through working together.
    Favorite quote: "Life must not be a novel that is given to us, but one that is made by us." ― Novalis
  • Jorge A. Masso-Silva, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of External Relations and Finance

    jmassosilva@ucsd.edu

  • Sameena Wani, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of External Relations and Finance

    swani@health.ucsd.edu
  • Varsha D. Badal, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Career Development Programs

    Varsha D. Badal, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Career Development Programs

    Department: Psychiatry 
    My research interests: Computational approaches to cognition, aging, mental health and healthy living in general. 
    Favorite thing about PDA: Opportunity to network and communicate emerging trends in STEM industry careers and help plan, organize events with fellow members. 
    Favorite quote

    “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” Buddha 

  • Satarupa Bhaduri, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Career Development Programs

    Satarupa Bhaduri, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Career Development Programs

    sbhaduri@ucsd.edu
    Department: Biological Sciences
    My research in 12 words or less: I study the mechanisms of eradication of misfolded proteins from the body and their roles in various life-threatening diseases.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Networking and team building
    Favorite quote: "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life" - Bilbo Baggins
  • Mahta Moinpour, Ph.D. - Vice-Chair of Community Engagement

    Mahta Moinpour, Ph.D. - Vice-Chair of Community Engagement

    Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry 

    My research in 12 words or less: Using bottom-up biology to develop synthetic organelles

    Favorite thing about the PDA: Meeting other postdocs and have an impact on my community

    Favorite quote: “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” by Omar Khayyam 

    moment is your life.” by Omar Khayyam 
  •  Laura Cimoli, Ph.D. - Vice-Chair of Community Engagement

    Laura Cimoli, Ph.D. - Vice-Chair of Community Engagement

    Department: Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    My research in 12 words or less: How is the deep ocean circulation changing in a warming climate?
    Favorite things about the PDA: Meeting new people and contributing to creating a sense of community, which can be difficult to achieve during the challenges of postdoc life.
    Favorite quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."   Dr Seuss - The Lorax.
  • Bastian Ramms, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Exposure to Industry Program (EIP)

    Bastian Ramms, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Exposure to Industry Program (EIP)

    bramms@ucsd.edu
    Department: Pediatrics
    My research in 12 words or less: 
    Curing diabetes – so we can eat more chocolate.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: The PDA is a great opportunity for postdocs enhancing communication, socialization, and career development between students and beyond.
    Favorite quote: "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding." - Leonardo da Vinci
  • Jianhua Gong Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Wellness & Sustainability

    Department: Scripps Institution of Oceanography                                                                               
    My research in 12 words or less: Using seismology methods to study the structure and earthquake hazard of tectonic plate boundaries.   
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Meeting new people, organizing interesting events, and learning more about wellness and sustainability.
    Favorite quote: As you begin this new stage of your lives, follow your passion. If you don't have a passion, don't be satisfied until you find one. Life is too short to go through it without caring deeply about something. By Steven Chu.
  • Juliana Maria Navia Pelaez, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Wellness & Sustainability

    Juliana Maria Navia Pelaez, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Wellness & Sustainability

    Department: Medicine
    My research in 12 words or less: I am trying to understand how lipid metabolism in microglia, immune cells of the nervous system, affects pain.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: it gives some sense of belonging
    Favorite quote: “ just keep swimming “ Dory from Finding Nemo
  • Signe White, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    Signe White, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    p1white@ucsd.edu
    Department: Division of Biological Sciences; Section in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution
    My research in 12 words or less: Can the microbiomes of marine algae help them adapt to climate change?
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Being a part of a group of postdocs who care about improving the postdoctoral experience at UCSD.
    Favorite quote: "To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” - Mary Oliver
  • Jose Martinez-Claros, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    Jose Martinez-Claros, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    Department: Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    My research in 12 words or less: What is the role of tropical moisture in atmospheric river generation?
    Favorite thing about the PDA:  Helping the postdoc community navigate through their time at UCSD in these complicated pandemic times.
    Favorite quote: "It's not a sin to get knocked down; it's a sin to stay down." - Carl Brashear
  • Ivonne González-Gamboa, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Science Outreach & Teaching

    Ivonne González-Gamboa, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Science Outreach & Teaching

    Department: Nanoengineering
    My research in 12 words or less: Developing virus-based biomaterials for nano agricultural applications and precision farming.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Being able to help improve the postdoc experience at UCSD and meet great people in the process. 
    Favorite quote: 
    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
  • Jennifer Chik, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Science Outreach & Teaching

    Jennifer Chik, Ph.D. - Co-Vice Chair of Science Outreach & Teaching

    Department: Biological Sciences
    My research in 12 words or less: Characterizing proteins that function in two critical pathways - metabolism and chromatin regulation.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Working with like-minded postdocs and creating opportunities to connect with the greater San Diego area.
    Favorite quote: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein
  • Heather Dillon, Career and Professional Development Program Manager

    Heather Dillon, Career and Professional Development Program Manager

    hadillon@ucsd.edu
    Department: Office of Postdoctoral and Research Scholar Affairs
    My research in 12 words or less: Develop, coordinate, and present professional development workshops, programs, and seminars for postdoctoral trainees.
    Favorite thing about the PDA: Working with our talented and dedicated team to enhance the postdoctoral community at UC San Diego by provide opportunities for networking, socializing, and career development.

    Favorite quote: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

  • Your Name Here!

    We are always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a part of the 2020-2021 Executive Board, it all starts by attending our monthly Postdoc Association Lunch. Find more about becoming a volunteer.