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.
Pedro Correa De Sampaio, Ph.D.
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 the PDAEC co-chair he plans to organize events to bring postdoctoral fellows from all corners of MD Anderson together.
Simone Punt, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Chair)
Simone is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Hwu in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology. Her research focuses on improving immunotherapy by targeting the cellular metabolism. As chair of the Communications Committee she aims to create a sense of community by providing an easy and effective way to bidirectionally communicate issues of relevance to the MDACC postdoctoral fellows. As vice chair of the Career Development subcommittee she assists the chair to improve the transition of PDAEC members through all stages of their professional career.
Amrita Mandal, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Communications (Vice-Chair)
Amrita is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. George T. Eisenhoffer Jr. in the Department of Genetics. Her research focuses on deciphering the mechanisms by which cell division and cell death is maintained for proper epithelial homeostasis. As the vice-chair of communications committee her aim is to raise awareness on career development events, awards and fellowships relevant to postdocs as well as facilitate timely update of the MD Anderson postdoc website.
Omkara Veeranki, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Career Development (Chair)
Omkara is a post-doctoral fellow in the department of GI Pathology and Translational Molecular Pathology under the mentorship of Dr. Dipen Maru. She is investigating the role of CDK9 inhibitors as a potential therapeutic target for esophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas in combination with the current standard of care. As the Career Development Chair, she is committed to the career development of the postdoctoral community at MD Anderson. She raises awareness among the postdoc community about the different career pathways and coordinates career development opportunities in the Texas Medical Center and NIH. In the capacity of Career Advancement Leadership position, she seeks to provide resources that guide postdoctoral fellows through all stages of their training towards their professional career goals.
Brian Engel, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Responsible Conduct of Research (Chair)
Brian is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Steven Millward’s laboratory in the Department of Cancer Systems Imaging. His main research interests include the development of novel PET/CT molecular imaging agents to non-invasively interrogate tumor cell death and also the expression of key markers for immune-oncology therapies. As Chair of the Responsible Conduct of Research subcommittee, Brian will facilitate the completion of the NIH requirement for Responsible Conduct of Research training for everyone with this requirement.
Truong Nguyen, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Responsible Conduct of Research (Vice-Chair)
Truong graduated from Rice University with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow in Laura Beretta lab, department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology. His research focus is to develop novel biomarkers for early detection of liver cancer. As a member of PDAEC, he works with Brian Engel to organize monthly, NIH-required seminars on Responsible Conduct of Research for postdocs at MD Anderson. In his free time, he loves to play soccer and go on hikes with his family.
Alejandro Tortoriello, M.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach (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 Ivan, he is working to offer great projects and programs for the postdoc community.
Ivan Liadi, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Outreach (Vice-Chair)
Ivan is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Amer Najjar in the Department of Pediatrics – Research. His work focuses on applying engineering techniques and approaches to screen for highly-potent immune cells at single-cell level. As the vice-chair of outreach, he works closely with Alejandro to raise awareness of the PDAEC offerings and engage postdocs through organization of social events at MD Anderson.
Therese Youssef Andraos, M.D.
Subcommittee – Mentor Award (Chair)
Therese is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology (Hematologic Section) under the mentorship of Dr. Bouthaina Dabaja. Her research focuses on studying the impact of radiotherapy on survival outcomes and local control in different types of lymphomas. As the Chair of the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award subcommittee, she supervises the selection process and the ceremony that will be held by the postdoctoral association in appreciation of the exceptional mentor finalists and the winner of the mentor award.
Lalit Sehgal, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – APCS (Chair)
Dr. Sehgal research interests focus on the communication between Lymphoma cells and stromal cells. His recent finding revealed that communication between the tumor and stroma could modulate the expression of key oncogene, which can be further targeted for effective therapy in MCL Relapse. The findings have forwarded the hematology field by exploring new targets for therapy. He Joined PDAEC in 2016 and has been associated with APSS and as a chair of the Presidential career Symposium, he aims to contribute and improve the symposium and ensures to focus on issues that help landscaping Postdoctoral researchers’ career path.
Rajan Chaudhari, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Policy (Chair)
Rajan Chaudhari is a postdoctoral fellow in laboratory of Dr. Shuxing Zhang in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics. His current research work is to develop novel computational methods to predict polypharmacology profiles of the small molecules. As a chair of Policy subcommittee, he oversees the PDAEC bylaws, annual elections and facilitates development and implementation of PDAEC policies.
Kristina Stemler, Ph.D.
Subcommittee – Policy (Vice-Chair)
Kristi is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worms in Experimental Radiation Oncology. Her work focuses on understanding how to mitigate the damaging off-target side effects of chemotherapy treatment. She joined the PDAEC in 2013 and has been an active member of a variety of subcommittees. As the returning Vice-Chair of Policy, she will assist with by-law maintenance, election cycles, and increasing the efficiency of the post doc association.
Argentina Ornelas, Ph.D.
Argentina is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Millward in Cancer Systems Imaging and is an R25T Cancer Prevention Training fellow. Her research focuses on studying the chemopreventive effects of aspirin using NMR, MRS and ABPP. She has served as chair of the Robert M. Chamberlain Mentor Award (2014 and 2015) for whom her PI was an awardee in 2016; and as chair of the communications committee (2016). Currently she enjoys supporting the PDAEC as a regular member. Argentina loves learning about all things science, advocating for science education and spending time with her family and raising her own little scientist.
Li Tian, Ph.D.
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. Li served as the PDAEC secretary, where she maintained PDA documentation and facilitated effective communication among all members. She hopes that through mutual efforts, the PDA community and all its individuals will thrive in their careers.
Xyanthine Parillon, Ph.D.
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. Xyanthine served as chair and vice-chair of the Career Development subcommittee, in which she played the key role of maintaining postdoctoral fellows informed about career initiatives in the Texas Medical Center and at NIH.
Monica E. Reyes, Ph.D.
Monica is a postdoctoral fellow in the R25T Cancer Prevention Research Training Program and Department of Epidemiology studying the mechanisms of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity using human inducible pluripotent stem cell- derived cardiomyocytes. As a regular member of the executive committee, she is actively involved with the Career Advancement Team and has served on organization committees for the Annual Presidential Career Symposium and Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium.
Triparna Sen, Ph.D.
Triparna is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Triparna was awarded PhD from Jadavpur University, India. She is currently focused on the application of genomic and proteomic platforms for identifying effective preclinical therapeutic targets for lung cancer. She is passionate about raising community awareness of importance of women in STEM at all career levels and is the current President of The Association for Women in Science-Gulf Coast Houston Chapter (AWIS-GCH).
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.