Haley Peters, Ph.D.
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 tumor immune components. As co-chair for the Postdoctoral Association Executive Committee, she is focused on improving the postdoctoral experience at MD Anderson primarily by increasing awareness of the multitude of postdoc resources available and directly addressing concerns.
Tara Dobson, Ph.D.
Tara is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Vidya Gopalakrishnan in the Department of Pediatrics Research. Her current work is investigating the role of epigenetic regulation in pediatric brain tumor development and dissemination. She joined the PDAEC in 2013 and has been an active member of numerous subcommittees. As one of the two co-chairs, she is dedicated to the continual work of enhancing the postdoctoral experience for the MD Anderson community.
Li Tian, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Secretary (Chair)
Li is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Marites Melancon in the Department of Interventional Radiology. Her research focuses on combining nanotechnology with external stimuli in the development of new anti-cancer theranostic agents. As the secretary, she maintains the PDA documentation and helps facilitating effective communication among all the members. She hopes that through our mutual efforts, we thrive as a community and as individuals in our careers.
Lindsay Kelderhouse, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Policy (Chair)
Lindsay Kelderhouse is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Millward in Cancer Systems Imaging. Her research focuses on the development of novel imaging agents against specific in vivo targets. As the Policy Chair, she runs elections, maintains the by-laws, and assists with the creation of new policies.
Argentina Ornelas, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Chair)
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.
Kristina Stemler, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Mentor Award (Chair) and Policy (Vice-Chair)
Kristi is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worms in Cancer Biology. Her work focuses on understanding how to mitigate the damaging off-target side effects of chemotherapy treatment. As Chair of the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award committee she helps to oversee the selection and presentation ceremony recognizing outstanding mentors to postdoctoral fellows at MD Anderson.
Christine Vinci, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Responsible Conduct of Research (Chair)
Christine is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Health Disparities Research under the mentorship of David Wetter. Her current work seeks to elucidate relevant mechanisms implicated in the relationship between trait mindfulness and smoking relapse. As chair of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) subcommittee, she coordinates monthly speakers for the RCR seminar series in accordance with NIH guidelines.
Omkara Veernaki, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Career Development (Chair)
Omkara is post-doctoral fellow in the department of GI Pathology under the mentorship of Dr. Dipen Maru. She is investigating the role of CDK9 inhibitors as a potential therapeutic target for esophageal adenocarcinomas in combination with the current standard of care. As the Career Development Chair, she raises awareness among the postdoc community about the different career pathways and coordinates career development opportunities in the Texas Medical Center and NIH.
Nabihah Tayob, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium (Chair)
Nabihah is a postdoctoral fellow in the Biostatistics department working with Drs Kim-Anh Do and Ziding Feng. Her current research focuses on developing statistical methodology for biomarker studies. The Presidential Career Symposium is developing into an important event for postdoctoral fellows across the Texas Medical Center. Together with other postdoctoral associations, her aim for 2016 is to continue to improve the symposium and ensure it will address issues relevant to the ever changing career landscape of PhD’s.
Zeinab Abou Yehia, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium (Chair)
Zeinab is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Her research focuses on the importance of certain prognostic factors on lymphoma patients’ outcomes in an attempt to tailor treatment plans by applying population-based research to the bedside of individual patients. She is particularly passionate about research that addresses the continuing challenge of decreasing treatment toxicities while optimizing disease control. As Chair of APSS she will be taking the lead to organize this commemorative event and to spot light on the postdoctoral fellow efforts and contributions in the medical center to the scientific community.
Pedro Correa De Sampaio, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach (Chair) and Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium (Vice Chair)
Pedro is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Raghu Kalluri’s laboratory at the Department of Cancer Biology. His main research interests are the different roles of the tumor microenvironment in regulating cancer progression and metastatic spread, particularly in the context of prostate cancer bone metastasis. As Chair of the Outreach subcommittee, he plans to organize social events to bring postdoctoral fellows from all corners of MD Anderson together, as well as social and volunteering projects sponsored by the PDA.
Kiera Rycaj, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Science Park (Chair)
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.
Figen Beceren-Braun, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Vice Chair)
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 Vice-Chair of Communications subcommittee, she makes PDA members aware of all the opportunities and events offered by the PDAEC.
Midan Ai, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Mentor Award (Vice Chair)
Midan is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Curran in the Department of Immunology. Her research focuses on combination of immunotherapy and hypoxia specific chemotherapy for prostate cancer. As a vice chair of the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award committee, she helps to oversee selection and presentation ceremony recognizing outstanding mentors to postdoctoral fellows at MD Anderson.
Matthew Chrisman, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Responsible Conduct of Research (Vice Chair)
Matthew is a postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Department working with Drs. Hua Zhao and Wong-Ho Chow. His current research focuses on the role of physical activity in cancer and chronic disease development. Together with Christine Vinci, he is working to ensure all postdocs are provided with appropriate and relevant seminars on responsible conduct of research as required by NIH.
Xyanthine Parillon, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Career Development ( Vice Chair)
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 vice chair of the Career Development subcommittee she will assist the chair and keep postdoctoral fellows informed about career initiatives in the Texas Medical Center and at NIH.
Monica E. Reyes, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Presidential Career Symposium ( Vice Chair)
Monica is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology in the laboratory of Dr. Michelle Hildebrandt. Her current research focuses on identifying mechanisms of anthracycline-induced acute and late-effect cardiotoxicity in childhood cancer survivors. As Vice Chair of the Presidential Career Symposium sub-committee, she works with the Chair to help coordinate advertisement, recruitment of volunteers, and communicate meeting updates to the PDAEC.
Alejandro Tortoriello, M.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach ( Vice Chair)
Alejandro is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Roberto Adachi. His research focuses on designing and creating mouse models using CRISPR-Cas9 Technology to study vesicular traffic in mast cells. Together with Pedro Correa De Sampaio, he is working to offer great projects and programs for the postdoc community.
Zhe Wang, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium (Member)
Zhe is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Hwu in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology. His research involves elucidating the tumor resistance mechanisms in response to T cell immunotherapy. As a member for the APSS subcommittee, he would like to help organize an integrated platform that enhances learning experience and scientific interactions among postdoctoral fellows.
Qingshan Yang, Ph.D.
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.
Brittany Parker, Ph.D.
Brittany is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Neurosurgery in the laboratory of Dr. Frederick Lang. She is interested in the development of more personalized and less invasive diagnostic and treatment options for patients afflicted with glioblastoma, the most deadly type of brain cancer. Brittany is a Regular Member of the Postdoctoral Association, and is Editor-In-Chief of the Trainee Editing Service here at MD Anderson.
Georges E. Khalil, Ph.D.
Georges is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Behavioral Science under the mentorship of Alexander Prokhorov. His current work involves the design and evaluation of entertaining and interactive intervention programs for stress management and smoking prevention. As a member of the postdoctoral executive committee, Georges is proud to be actively involved in the different events designed by the Postdoctoral Association.
Tracy Jennifer Costello, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Tracy is charged 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.