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Executive Committee

Melissa Singh, Ph.D.
PDAEC Chair

MSingh3@mdanderson.org

Melissa is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Joya Chandra in the Department of Pediatrics Research. Her current research focuses on targeting histone deacetylases and demethylases as a rational combination therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma.

 

Kristine von Maltzan, M.D., Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Secretary (Chair) 

KVMaltzan@mdanderson.org

Kristine is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratoty of Dr. Steven Lin in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology. Her current project focuses on the contribution of the adaptive immune system to the abscopal or distant bystander effect induced by localized cancer radiation therapy.

 

Haley Peters, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Policy (Chair)

HPeters@mdanderson.org

Haley is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Molldrem in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. She is investigating changes to the peptide repertoire of cancer cells mediated by immune components of tumors. As the Policy Chair, she runs elections, maintains the by-laws, and assists with the creation of new policies. 

 

Figen Beceren-Braun, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Chair)

fbeceren@mdanderson.org

Figen is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Tomasz Zal in the Department of Immunology. Her research focuses on restoring the anti-tumor immunity of lymphocytes in tumor microenvironment. As a chair of Communications subcommittee, she makes PDA members aware of all the opportunities and events offered by the PDAEC.

 

Argentina Ornelas Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Mentor Award (Chair)

AOrnelas@mdanderson.org

Argentina is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Millward in Cancer Systems Imaging. Her research focuses on the development of imaging probes to target the cell death mechanisms autophagy and apoptosis. As part of the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award committee see oversees the selection and presentation ceremony recognizing outstanding mentors to postdoctoral fellows at MD Anderson.

 

Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – RCR Seminar Series (Chair)

EFuentes1@mdanderson.org

Enrique joined in 2010 the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology as fellow of the NIH-NCI Molecular Genetics of Cancer Training Grant. His research work involves the study of the role of obesity and its underlying biological mechanisms promoting breast cancer and pancreatic cancer aggressiveness. It is always of his great interest and honor to continue serving an active leadership role contributing in the development of future cancer investigators.

 

Xyanthine Parillon, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Career Development (Chair)

XOParillon@mdanderson.org

Xyanthine is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Shao-Cong Sun in the Department of Immunology. Her research focuses on autoimmunity and T-cell tolerance.  As chair of the Career Development subcommittee she has incorporated initiatives to enhance postdocs awareness of career development opportunities and seminars in the Texas Medical Center and at NIH.

 

Dimpy Shah, M.D., Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium (Chair) and Career Development (Vice Chair)

dshah@mdanderson.org

Dimpy is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Infectious Diseases under the mentorship of Dr. Roy Chemaly. She aims to apply translational research methods to identify host factors/biomarkers that may predict the susceptibility to infections and complications in immunocompromised patients. As a Chair for Presidential Career Symposium subcommittee, she organizes this multi-institutional event to help postdoctoral fellows understand different career paths.

 

Fabiola Gomez, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – APSS (Chair)

fgomez@mdanderson.org

Fabiola is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Varsha Gandhi in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics. She works in the area of translational cancer research. Her project focuses on developing combination strategies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. As the Chair of the Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium Committee she wants this to be an event that exposes all postdocs in the medical center to prominent scientist in the biomedical sciences in addition to allowing them to present their research to their peers.        

                

Cheukkai Becket Hui, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach (Chair), APSS (Vice-chair) and Communication (Member)

ckhui@mdanderson.org

Becket is a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation Physics Department researching on 4D MRI acquisition techniques and liquid scintillator dosimetry. He joined the postdoc association since early 2013 and has been active since. Currently, his major contribution is to organize social events for postdocs to offer them various networking opportunities. He is also involved in coordinating the postdoctoral science symposium as well as assisting different tasks in  the communication subcommittee.

 

Kiera Rycaj, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Science Park (Chair)

krycaj@mdanderson.org

Kiera is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Dean Tang in the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis at Science Park. Her research focuses on experimental modeling of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) development and identification of novel CRPC-targeting therapeutics. As the Science Park Subcommittee Chair, she is responsible for coordinating meetings and events for fellows at Science Park.

 

Courtney Donica, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Policy (Vice-Chair), Outreach (Member)

CLDonica@mdanderson.org

Courtney is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Gutstein in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. Her research focuses on the role of growth factors in the development of morphine tolerance. As a Vice-chair of the Policy subcommittee, she assists in the maintenance of PDAEC bylaws and PDAEC elections.

 

Sarathi Kalra, M.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Vice-Chair)

skalra@mdanderson.org

Sarathi is a postdoctoral fellow, training with Dr. Eric Jonasch in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology. His research focus is on VHL disease and outcomes of patients with renal cell cancer. As the vice-chair of Communications subcommittee, he keeps the post-docs and the members of PDAEC informed of the opportunities and events offered by the PDAEC.

 

Tara Dobson, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach (Vice Chair) and Mentor Award (Vice Chair)

THDobson@mdanderson.org

Tara is a postdoctoral fellow in Experimental Pediatrics in the laboratory of Dr. Vidya Gopalakrishnan. Her research focuses on identifying mechanisms by which the neurogenesis regulator REST drives medulloblastoma development and dissemination. As a vice chair of Outreach and Mentor Award subcommittees, she works with the chair of each to coordinate all PDA social events / service projects and organize the annual Mentor Award ceremony sponsored by the PDAEC.

 

Lisa Brackenbury, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Responsible Conduct of Research (Vice Chair)

LBrackenbury@mdanderson.org

Lisa is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Don L. Gibbons in the Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology Department. Her research is investigating novel genes involved in metastasis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer. Her role in the PDAEC is to assist in the organization of the Responsible Conduct of Research seminar series.

 

Nabihah Tayob, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium (Vice-Chair)

NTayob@mdanderson.org

Nabihah is a postdoctoral fellow in the Biostatistics Department working with Drs Kim-Ahn Do and Ziding Feng. Her current research focuses on developing statistical methodology for biomarker studies. Together with Dimpy Shah and other postdoctoral associations from various institutions in the Texas Medical Center, she will be organizing the 2015 Presidential Career Symposium.

 

Beate Christiane Litzenburger, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium (Member)

BCLitzenburger@mdanderson.org

Beate is currently a NCI R25T postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Powel Brown in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention. Her research focuses on investigating mechanism-based strategies for the prevention of triple negative breast cancer. After serving as the Chair for the 2013 and 2014 Presidential Career Symposium, she assists the current subcommittee to develop, coordinate and organize the events.

 

Dong Yang, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium (Member)

DYang4@mdanderson.org

Dong is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Khandan Keyomarsi in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology. His research focuses on targeted therapy in TNBC. As a member of Presidential Career Symposium subcommittee, he assists organizing this annual event.

 

Qingshan Yang, Ph.D.
Regular Member

QYang2@mdanderson.org

2nd year postdoctoral fellow working in Dr. Varsha Gandhi’s lab in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics. Research focus is biomarker identification of small molecule inhibitors in pre-clinical or clinical trial development phases in hematologic malignancies.

 

Oksana Zagorodna, Ph.D.
Regular member

OZagorodna@mdanderson.org

Oksana is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Xiangwei Wu in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention. Her current work is on chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer by targeting KRAS mutations for apoptosis. Her broad scientific interests include cancer prevention, translational research, and advancing health and longevity. Oksana has been a member of PDAEC since 2012.

Tracy Jennifer Costello, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

tjcostello@mdanderson.org

Tracy is charged with assisting Martha Skender with the planning, organization, direction setting and evaluation of the academic and career development programming for the Institution's research postdoctoral fellow population, including strategic oversight of the MD Anderson Postdoctoral Association.

 

PDAEC Meetings

Get involved! Participate in our meetings:

  • September 9, 2014 12-1pm 1MC2.2460ab
  • September 23, 2014 12-1pm, 1MC2.2460ab

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center