BPDA Careers Academic Career Panel and Speed Networking

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Tosteson Medical Education Center

260 Longwood Avenue


Boston, MA

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Please join the Boston PDA for an evening of learning about life on the tenure track.

Meet junior faculty and tenured professors and learn about their path to the tenure track. Listen to a panel discussion where faculty members discuss their time on the job market, interviewing, negotiating their starting packet, hiring and managing lab members, getting funding and getting tenure. We'll have representatives from R1, undergraduate and teaching intensive institutions as well as a discussion on diversity in Academia.

Following the panel discussion, we will have a speed networking event where individuals can speak one-on-one to to faculty members.

Bring your friends and your questions and make some new friends and contacts! Availability is first come, first served and is filling up quickly.

Here is a partial list of our wonderful speakers:

Jason Kuehner

Jason Kuehner earned a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cornell College, a small liberal arts institution in Iowa. He received his Ph.D in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to his graduate research on the molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription, Jason participated in the Wisconsin Institute for Scientific Teaching, helping to design classroom teaching materials and mentor undergraduate students.

During his postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University, Jason participated in the NIH/NIGMS-sponsored TEACRS program, which aims to train scientists with a broader collection of career skills that assist in their transition to faculty positions. As part of the TEACRS program, Jason taught Genetics at Bunker Hill Community College and helped to revamp the laboratory component. Jason joined the Biology Department at Emmanuel College (Boston, MA) in 2012, where he teaches introductory biology, genetics, and experimental biology. Jason’s research interests focus on fundamental mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription, particularly the role of RNA processing factors in cell stress responses.

Zhiping Weng

Zhiping Weng earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 1997. She was an instructor in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University for the next two years, when she had primary responsibility for the development of the Bioinformatics program and the core curriculum in Bioinformatics, until the department recruited her as a tenure-track assistant professor. In 2003, Dr. Weng was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Until 2007, Dr. Weng research had been focused on developing computational methods for obtaining a predictive understanding of transcriptional regulation and protein-protein interaction. Dr. Weng was recruited to University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2008 to build and direct a new Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology. She is a full professor, with tenure in Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. She continues research on computational analysis of transcriptional regulation and protein-protein interaction. She expands her research into two areas: epigenomics and nucleosome positioning, which play important roles in transcriptional regulation, and function and regulation of small silencing RNAs in metazoan. For more information, please visit Dr. Weng lab Website (http://zlab.umassmed.edu/).

Jason Green

Professor Jason Green is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He holds a B.S. from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Theoretical Chemistry. He was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago and the University of Cambridge, and a Postdoctoral Researcher at Northwestern University. His research in the area of statistical mechanics is funded by the American ChemicalSociety’s Petroleum Research Fund and the Department of Defense, ArmyResearch Office. He currently advises four postdoctoral researchers, two Ph.D. students, and one undergraduate.

Linda Huang

Dr. Linda Huang is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has served on and chaired several faculty search committees for the Biology Department, and is also the Graduate Program Director.

Dr. Huang’s PhD is from Caltech, where she worked with Paul Sternberg, followed by postdoctoral training with Ira Herskowitz at UCSF. Her lab studies the meiotic cytokinesis process in budding yeast. She teaches Cell Biology to sophomore students, as well as Advanced Cell Biology and Genomics/Biotechnology to Graduate Students.

Linc Sonenshein

Abraham L. (“Linc”) Sonenshein, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the MIT and received postdoctoral training at the University of Paris. He has been a member of the faculty at Tufts University since 1972 and has served as Interim Chair at three times. In addition to teaching medical and dental students, he has trained 20 Ph.D. graduates and 37 postdoctoral fellows.

Two aspects of Dr. Sonenshein’s current research focus on prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. The first project is directed to understanding and overcoming the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile, a major cause of hospital-acquired infection. Dr. Sonenshein’s group has discovered a regulatory system that controls synthesis of C. difficile toxins and is searching for chemicals that keep toxin synthesis repressed under all conditions. He and his colleagues have also discovered a mechanism by which spores of C. difficile (the infectious form of the bacterium) germinate in the intestinal tract, a step that is a prerequisite for successful infection, and have found naturally occurring compounds that prevent the germination. In the second project, his laboratory is investigating mechanisms that coordinate regulation of metabolism and virulence in Listeria monocytogenes, the cause of listeriosis. The focus is on CodY, a global regulator of metabolic genes in nearly all low G+C Gram-positive bacteria.

Karl Munger

Karl Munger obtained his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School from 1993 to 2014. After his promotion to Professor of Medicine, he moved to Tufts University School of Medicine, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology.

Research in his laboratory is focused on delineating the molecular mechanisms of human papillomavirus-associated cancer development. He has published more than 190 articles and serves on the Editorial Boards of Molecular Cancer, the International Journal of Cancer, Genes and Cancer, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, Virology and the Journal of Virology. He is also an Associate Editor for Cancer Biology and Therapy and a Section Editor for PLOS Pathogens. He has mentored more than 50 students, fellows and visiting faculty in his group. His research has been continuously supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years.

Steve van Hooser

Stephen D. Van Hooser is an Assistant Professor at Brandeis University who studies the development and function of brain circuits, with a particular emphasis on the cerebral cortex. He is an engineer-turned-scientist with 30 years of computer programming experience. He is an expert in electrophysiological recordings of the brain and nervous system using single channel and multi-channel electrodes, advanced in vivo imaging of calcium indicator dyes in living mammals, and advanced data analysis and statistical processing of large biological data sets with heterogeneous measurements. He has been principle investigator on 3 major grants from the National Science Foundation, National Eye Institute (National Institutes of Health), and the Charles H. Hood Foundation. He received a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA), and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA). He was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University Medical School (Durham, NC) before re-joining Brandeis University as a member of the faculty in 2010.

Len Zon

Dr. Leonard I. Zon is the Grousbeck Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Director of the Stem Cell Program, Children’s Hospital Boston. He is founder and former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and chair of the Executive Committee of the recently formed Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). In 2005, he completed a term as President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. In that same year, Dr. Zon was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2008, Dr. Zon was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and in 2010, Dr. Zon was awarded the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize from American Society of Hematology. In 2013, Dr. Zon received the ISEH Donald Metcalf Lecture Award.

Dr. Zon received a B.S. degree in chemistry and natural sciences from Muhlenberg College and an M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College. He subsequently did an internal medicine residency at New England Deaconess Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His postdoctoral research was in the laboratory of Stuart Orkin.

Dr. Zon is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in the fields of stem cell biology and cancer genetics. He has been the pre-eminent figure in establishing the zebrafish as an invaluable genetic model for the study of the blood and hematopoietic development. The laboratory focuses on the developmental biology of hematopoiesis and cancer. They have collected over 30 mutants affecting the hematopoietic system. Some of the mutants represent excellent animal models of human disease. They also have undertaken chemical genetic approach to blood development and have found that prostaglandins upregulates blood stem cells. This has led to a clinical trial to improve engraftment for patients receiving cord blood transplants. They recently developed suppressor screening genetics and found that transcriptional elongation regulates blood cell fate.

The laboratory has also developed zebrafish models of cancer. They have generated a melanoma model in the zebrafish system using transgenics. Transgenic fish get nevi, and in a combination with a p53 mutant fish develop melanomas. They recently found a histone methyltransferase that can accelerate melanoma, and discovered a small molecule that blocks transcription elongation and suppresses melanoma growth.

Philip G. Haydon

Philip Haydon is President of GliaCure and the Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at Tufts. In 1994, Phil Haydon’s laboratory discovered that astrocytes can release the chemical transmitter glutamate in response to receptor-induced Ca2+ elevations and that this glial-mediated signal can activate neighboring neurons. Since then his studies have focused on determining the impact of this process of gliotransmission on neuronal network function and behavior. In 1999, he coined the expression “the tripartite synapse” to recognize the important role that astrocytes play in tuning and modulating synaptic transmission. Through the integration of molecular genetics, electrophysiology, adenosine biosensors, two photon imaging and behavioral evaluations his laboratory provided the first evidence demonstrating that astrocytes regulate the levels of extracellular adenosine and that this signal is critical for controlling the function of neural circuits in vivo as well as being an essential element of the sleep homeostat.

Phil Haydon is recognized as a world leader in the study of neuron-glial interactions with studies focusing on how astrocytes regulate sleep, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders and depression. He has received several prestigious awards, including a McKnight Investigator Award and the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and served for many years as a peer reviewer of National Institutes of Health grant proposals.

In addition to his academic background Phil Haydon has significant experience in commercial enterprises. He was a founding partner in three small businesses, including Prairie Technologies, Inc. This company, founded in 1995, sprang from Phil’s need for new imaging technology to optimize his neuroscience research. In concert with his business partners he developed a biological near-field microscope, the first microscope capable of sub-diffraction biological imaging. Initial development of this project led to a successful grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding mechanism.

Natalie Karagodsky

Natalie Karagodsky is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Fitchburg State University. She holds a Sc.B. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her current research focus is on understanding the role of fatty acids in longevity and stress resistance, using the model organism C. elegans. She has several students working in her lab, and has a close collaboration with the Blackwell lab at Harvard University. She teaches 12 "face-time" hours each semester, advises 17 students, and is a member of several departmental and campus-wide committees. She has taught Genetics lecture and lab, Anatomy and Physiology lecture and lab, General Biology, and is developing a research-based course on the molecular regulation of aging.

Keith Reeves

Dr. Keith Reeves is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Associate Director of the HMS Center for AIDS Research Advanced Technologies Core, and has worked in the area of infectious disease immunology for over 15 years. He first received his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the laboratory of Dr. Patricia Fultz where his research focused on both pathogenesis and basic immunologic properties of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the SIV-infected macaque model. Specifically, he showed that pDCs are depleted from blood, bone marrow, and secondary lymphoid organs during lentivirus infection, but can be restored with hematopoietic cytokine therapy and even targeted to enhance antiviral immunity. In late 2007 Dr. Reeves began postdoctoral work at HMS and the New England Primate Research Center in Dr. Paul Johnson’s laboratory characterizing natural killer (NK) cell responses in HIV and SIV infections. Since starting his own laboratory at HMS and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Reeves has provided some of most comprehensive characterizations of NK cells in multiple nonhuman primate species and revealed previously unknown heterogeneity among primate NK cells in tissues outside peripheral blood, including identification of a unique subpopulation of mucosa-restricted regulatory NK cells. Furthermore, he identified a novel mechanism of inflammation-induced loss of mucosa-restricted innate lymphoid cells in the SIV-infected gut, and provided the first description of antigen-specific memory NK cells in any primate species. Dr. Reeves’ ongoing research programs continue to focus on the role of innate immunity in vaccine and curative strategies in HIV and HCV disease models.

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Tosteson Medical Education Center

260 Longwood Avenue


Boston, MA

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