The Office of Postdoctoral Services sponsors the Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development, designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, with support from the Vice President for Research & Innovation and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the 2024 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards provide reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the postdoc's professional growth, including conference attendance, workshop attendance, educational courses, and other professional development activities.  Applicants with creative ideas for reaching their professional development goals are encouraged to apply. The awards are open to full-time postdocs in all disciplines. Each recipient will receive an award of up to $1000. A limited number of awards will be given in 2024.

The application deadline is Weds Feb 21, 2024 at 12 noon. Awards will be announced Weds Mar 20, 2024 on the Duke Postdoctoral Services website and email list. 

 Guidelines:

  1. Applicants must be in one of the two Duke postdoctoral job categories: Postdoctoral Associate (job code 3820) or Postdoctoral Scholar (job code 2898). Applications will not be accepted from non-postdoctoral employment designations such as Visiting Scholar, Research Associate Senior, Research Scientist, Visiting Assistant Professor, etc.
  2. Postdocs are only eligible to receive one Professional Development Award during their time at Duke.
  3. Postdocs may submit only one application per award cycle.
  4. Awards cannot be used for computers or other personal electronic devices.
  5. Awards are not meant to supplement faculty mentors' budgets, nor should the awards be treated as an opportunity to purchase miscellaneous items, such as lab supplies, that are not directly relevant to the proposal.
  6. Awards are for up to $1000. Partial funding may be awarded at the discretion of the awards committee.
  7. The award funds must be expended while the applicant is still employed as a postdoc at Duke.
  8. Funds must be expended between Mar 20, 2024, and Mar 19, 2025.
  9. Awards will not be made retroactively, such as for travel completed prior to date of application.
  10. Funds will be reimbursed once the entire sum has been expended. All original receipts, records, and similar financial documentation relating to award expenditures must be presented to the Office of Postdoctoral Services. If appropriate documentation is not provided, the award will be rescinded. An award is a reimbursement for expenditures, not a cash bonus, and will not be given as a lump sum to awardees.
  11. At the time of reimbursement, the awardee must be in Postdoctoral Associate or Postdoctoral Scholar status (i.e., still employed at Duke).
  12. Funds must be expended as outlined in the application and budget. Because award decisions are based upon the original application, the award may not be used for any purpose other than that originally proposed. If the postdoc is not accepted to a competitive workshop; decides that s/he would prefer to attend a different conference than originally proposed; the conference is cancelled or rescheduled; the postdoc receives additional funds that cover the cost; or otherwise changes his/her plans due to personal or professional reasons; the award will be rescinded.

Applications must consist of the following, submitted as one PDF. Please follow instructions exactly, or your application may be disqualified.

  1. Cover letter (no more than 1 page; see instructions below).
  2. CV/resume, including a service and leadership section if applicable (no more than 2 pages).
  3. Statement of financial need and a detailed budget (no more than 1 page). In the budget, include all costs (e.g., registration, transportation, lodging, meals, and any other anticipated expenses), not only the portion that may be covered by this award. If funding is also being provided by the faculty mentor, institutional allowance, or similar source, or if such funding is an option, this must be noted.

The cover letter should include:

  1. A brief (one paragraph) description of the applicant's research topic and its significance.
  2. Number of years as a postdoc at Duke.
  3. A description of the applicant's career goals: note that both traditional academic careers and careers beyond academia are supported by these awards.
  4. A description of how the award will further the applicant's career goals.
  5. If the application is for a conference/workshop, the applicant must provide the conference/workshop name, location, dates, and conference/workshop URL.
  6. If the applicant will be presenting at a conference, the cover letter must specify the type of presentation (eg, keynote, oral, abstract, poster). If the applicant does not plan to present or has not yet been accepted to present, this must be noted in the cover letter.  Please note that while networking at a conference is a valuable activity, this is probably not sufficient justification to merit an award.

Email application materials in one PDF to: Molly Starback, Director of Postdoctoral Services, at molly.starback@duke.edu and cc to Mark Mathison, Staff Assistant for Postdoctoral Services, at mark.mathison@duke.edu

Questions? Email Molly Starback at molly.starback@duke.edu

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, the Vice President for Research  & Innovation and the Vice Dean for Basic Science are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2024 Professional Development Award Amanda McGrosky
Amanda McGrosky, PhD, Evolutionary Anthropology

Amanda McGrosky is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology under the mentorship of Dr. Herman Pontzer. Her research focuses on energetic trade-offs between physiological systems in primates and other mammals. She received her PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology from Arizona State University.

 

Dr. McGrosky will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology, where she will be presenting her work on primate energy expenditure as an invited speaker.

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2024 Professional Development Award Jenna Merenstein
Jenna Merenstein, PhD, Brain Imaging and Analysis Center

Dr. Jenna Merenstein is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Madden Laboratory, located within the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. Dr. Merenstein received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside. She studies how age-related cognitive decline can be attributed to differences in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain structure and function.

 

Dr. Merenstein will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to complete a series of workshops and short courses at the Society for Neuroscience international conference.  

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2024 Professional Development Award Jessica Moore
Jessica Moore, PhD, Cell Biology

Jessica Moore is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Eroglu’s lab in the Department of Cell Biology, where she studies the dynamics of astrocyte-vascular interactions during development. She received her PhD in Genetics from Yale University in 2023

 

Dr. Moore will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Neurobiology: Mechanisms and Advanced Approaches course at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

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2024 Professional Development Award Francesca Scheiber
Francesca Scheiber, PhD, Behavioral Medicine & Neurosciences

Francesca Scheiber is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Rhonda Merwin’s lab. Francesca completed her degree in clinical psychology at the University of Iowa, where she studied associations between maternal mental health, parent-child interactions, and child language outcomes. During her postdoc, she is studying psychological problems that uniquely and disproportionately affect women.

 

Dr. Scheiber will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to complete a training in perinatal mood disorders, and a training focused on trauma-informed care for women who have experienced pregnancy loss and/or birth trauma. 

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Qiao Wang 2024 Professional Development
Qian Wang, PhD, Biostatistics

Qiao Wang is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics under the mentorship of Dr. Hwanhee Hong. Qiao received her PhD in Statistics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is primarily interested in developing Bayesian methods to effectively integrate data from different sources to optimize available resources, as well as generalize research findings from clinical trials to a target population of interest. She is also dedicated to interdisciplinary collaborations through statistical consulting.

 

Dr. Wang will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend an intensive workshop and a short course to advance her expertise in causal inference and adaptive platform trials.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2024 Awards Committee: Melissa Bostrom PhD, Rossie Clark-Cotton PhD, Rachel Coleman MS, Hugh Crumley PhD, and Molly Starback MSLS.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, the Vice President for Research  & Innovation and the Vice Dean for Basic Science are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2023 Prof Dev Akira Horiguchi
Akria Horiguchi, PhD, Statistical Science

Akira Horiguchi is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Statistical Science at Duke University working under Drs. Li Man and Cliburn Chan. He completed his PhD in Statistics at The Ohio State University. His Research interests include improving Bayesian nonparametric inference for flow cytometry data and developing sensitivity analysis tools for Bayesian regression trees.

 

Dr. Horiguchi will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Joint Statistical Meetings 2023 in Toronto, where he was invited to give an oral presentation.

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2023 Prov Dev Ashley Huggins

Ashley Huggins, PhD, Brain Imaging and Analysis Center

Ashley Huggins is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center under the mentorship of Dr. Rajendra Morey. Her research focuses on how the brain learns and remembers fear in the context of traumatic stress and other forms of adversity. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

 

Dr. Huggins will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, where she will be presenting her postdoctoral work as part of an invited symposium.

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2023 Prof Dev Zena Lapp

Zena Lapp, PhD, Duke Global Health Institute

Zena Lapp is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Global Health Institute studying malaria parasite transmission between humans and mosquitoes with Drs. Wendy Prudhomme-O'Meara and Steven Taylor. She received her PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan. Last year, she co-organized the first DiscovR workshop to teach data managers in Kenya foundational data analysis and visualization skills in R.

 

Dr. Lapp will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to help pay for a venue to co-teach the DiscovR workshop once again this year, alongside participants from last year's workshop.

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2023 Prov Dev Carolina Segami Marzal

Carolina Segami Marzal, PhD, Biology

Carolina Segami Marzal is a postdoc in the Yoder lab at the Biology department working on Speciation genomics of endangered mouse lemurs from southeast Madagascar. She received her PhD from Uppsala University where she investigated the genetic basis of hybrid sterility of Ficedula flycatchers.

 

Dr. Segami Marzal will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend a workshop organized by the Network for the Integration of Speciation Research to be held in Tvärminne, Finland. Dr.Segami Marzal is one of 30 accepted participants out of a pool of more than 150 applicants.

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2023 Prov Dev Meltem Yucel

Meltem Yucel PhD, Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Meltem Yucel is a Postdoctoral Associate at the ECC Lab in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Dr. Yucel received her PhD in Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Virginia. She is primarily interested in social cognition and morality, specifically focusing on how and when children become moral beings.

 

Dr. Yucel will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend an intensive 5-day online Multilevel Modeling workshop. 

 The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2023 Awards Committee: Melissa Bostrom PhD, Rossie Clark-Cotton PhD, Rachel Coleman MS, Hugh Crumley PhD, and Molly Starback MSLS.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, the Vice President for Research & Innovation and the Vice Dean for Basic Science are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

 

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2022 Prof Dev Yuerong Liu PhD
Yuerong Liu PhD, Social Work

Yuerong Liu is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Center for Child and Family Policy within the Sanford School of Public Policy, working under the mentorship of Dr. Elizabeth J. Gifford. Her research focuses on understanding how societal mechanisms drive child maltreatment and the subsequent adverse health outcomes among children involved with Child Protective Services. She received her PhD in Social Work from New York University.

 

Dr. Liu will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to virtually attend the course “Online Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research” at the University of Michigan.

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2022 Prof Dev Juliann Stalls, PhD

Juliann Stalls, PhD, Health Psychology

Juliann Stalls is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, under the mentorship of Drs. Rebecca Shelby and Caroline Dorfman in the Cancer Symptom Management and Support Program and Pain Prevention and Treatment Research Program. She earned her PhD in Health Psychology, Clinical Health Concentration, from East Carolina University in 2020. Her research focuses on addressing symptom management concerns among cancer survivors and she is particularly interested in supporting survivors to address reproductive and sexual health concerns following cancer treatment.

 

Dr. Stalls will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to virtually attend the 2022 International Psycho-Oncology Society’s World Congress Meeting.

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2022 Prof Dev Erica Washington, PhD

Erica Washington, PhD, Biology

Erica Washington received her PhD in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her primary research interests include studying molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis using tools and techniques in structural biology. Dr. Washington is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Richard G. Brennan’s laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry, where she investigates the structures and function of trehalose biosynthesis proteins in fungal pathogens using x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.

 

Dr. Washington will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to purchase reagents that will enable her to extend her current independent project by studying fungal-specific DNA-binding domains and their role in the regulation of trehalose biosynthesis.

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2022 Prof Dev Shujie Yang, PhD

Shujie Yang, PhD, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Shujie Yang received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University in 2021, after which he became a Postdoctoral Associate working under the mentorship of Prof. Tony Jun Huang. His research focuses on developing acoustic and microfluidic platforms to efficiently manipulate cells and particles for disease diagnosis.

 

Dr. Yang will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to virtually attend the 17th IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems (NEMS).

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2022 Awards Committee: Melissa Bostrom PhD, Rachel Coleman MS, Hugh Crumley PhD, Cameron Prigge PhD, and Molly Starback MSLS.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, the Vice President for Research & Innovation and the Vice Dean for Basic Science are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2019 Prof Dev Charles Bartlett, PhD

Charles Bartlett, PhD, History

Charles Bartlett is a Postdoctoral Associate in the History Department. His research examines the political, legal, and economic institutions of several periods of European and international history, especially antiquity and the early modern and modern periods; he is particularly interested in the development of Roman law and the history of political economy. Charles received his PhD in Classics (Ancient History) from Harvard University in 2017.

 

Dr. Bartlett will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Celtic Conference in Classics in Coimbra, Portugal, where he will present a paper on a consequential topic in economic and legal history as part of the panel that he is co-organizing.

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2019 Prof Dev Loneke Blackman Carr, PhD

Loneke Blackman Carr, PhD, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity

Loneke T. Blackman Carr earned her PhD in Nutrition (Intervention and Policy) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017. She is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, working under the mentorship of Dr. Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards. Addressing health inequities in obesity and obesity treatment are the focus of her work. Her research involves examining the sociocultural context of weight, dietary and physical activity behaviors, in order to maximize the effectiveness of behavioral weight loss interventions for black women.

 

Dr. Blackman Carr will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society on Behavioral Medicine.

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2019 Prof Dev Zhiying Lu, PhD

Zhiying Lu, PhD, Duke Marine Lab

Zhiying Lu received his PhD in Environmental Science from the University of China Academy of Science. Dr. Lu is a Postdoctoral Associate under the mentorship of Dr. Zackary Johnson at the Duke Marine Laboratory. His research focuses on developing economic and environmental-friendly algal cultivation and separation technologies for biofuel and co-products production. His primary research interests include integrating algal cultivation with membrane filtration and algal culture media reuse.

 

Dr. Lu will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 9th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts (9th AlgalBBB) at Boulder, Colorado, where he will give an oral presentation.

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2019 Prof Dev Victor Ruthig, PhD
Victor Ruthig, PhD, Cell Biology

Victor Ruthig is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Capel Lab in the Department of Cell Biology. His research focuses on molecular regulation and maintenance of the developing mammalian male germline at the intersection of cell cycle, epigenetic and pluripotency controls. He received his MS and PhD in Developmental and Reproductive Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

 

Dr. Ruthig will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to travel to Hong Kong to attend the biennial Gordon Conference on Germinal Stem Cell Biology, where he will present a poster on his work (Dead End 1 (DND1) In Developing Embryonic Male Germ Cells Targets Transcripts Associated With Pluripotency and Male Fate Regulation), and stop over in Honolulu, where he will give a methods seminar at his alma mater (Transgenic and Molecular Tools for Studying Germinal Stem Cell Regulation of Differentiation in the Developing Mouse).

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Prof Dev Miranda Scalabrino, PhD

Miranda Scalabrino, PhD, Neurobiology

Miranda Scalabrino received her PhD in Biomedical Science with a concentration in Genetics from the University of Florida in 2016. She is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Greg Field’s lab in the Department of Neurobiology, where she investigates mechanisms of bipolar cell plasticity during retinal degeneration and subsequent genetic rescue, while also discovering how bipolar cell types contribute to functional vision.

 

Dr. Scalabrino will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the course "Vision: A Platform for Linking Circuits, Perception and Behavior" at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2019 Awards Committee: Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Paige Cooper, Dr. Hugh Crumley, Dr. Cameron Prigge, and Ms. Molly Starback.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2018 Prov Dev Alessandro De Simone, PhD

Alessandro De Simone, PhD, Cell Biology

Alessandro De Simone’s interests revolve around understanding how multi-cellular tissues are organized in time and space using imaging-based quantitative methods. Alessandro received a PhD in Cell Biology from the Swiss Institute of Technology of Lausanne. Alessandro is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Stefano Di Talia in the Department of Cell Biology.

 

Dr. De Simone will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2018 Physiology Course at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. The Physiology Course is a 7-week-long intensive laboratory experience that offers a training environment at the interface between physics, computer science and biology.

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2018 Prov Dev Robert Fitak, PhD

Robert Fitak, PhD, Genetics

Robert (Bob) Fitak received his PhD in Genetics from the University of Arizona in 2013. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate in Duke’s Department of Biology since May 2015, under the mentorship of Dr. Sönke Johnsen. Bob’s research utilizes various genetic and statistical techniques to understand how organisms like trout and sea turtles sense Earth's magnetic field and use it to navigate.

 

Dr. Fitak will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 4th Annual Summer Institute in Statistics for Big Data workshop at the University of Washington for specific training in "Supervised Methods for Statistical Machine Learning".

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2018 Prov Dev Sairam Jabba, PhD

Sairam Jabba, PhD, Pharmacology

Sairam Jabba earned his PhD in Pharmacology at Creighton University. He is a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke Neurobiology (Jorg Grandl lab) and Duke Anesthesiology (Sven-Eric Jordt lab). His research involves investigating the addictive and toxicological effects of novel tobacco products and understanding the role of sensory ion-channels (like TRP-ion channels) in mediating these effects.

 

Dr. Jabba will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Duke Science Policy Summer Institute.

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2018 Prov Dev Alessandro De Simone, PhD

Melissa Kay, PhD, Nutrition

Melissa Kay is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Center for Childhood Obesity Research and at the Duke Global Digital Health Science Center. Her research focuses on the implementation and dissemination of innovative digital health interventions to prevent early life obesity prevention. Melissa received her PhD in Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MPH/MS at Tufts University.

 

Dr. Kay will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Pediatric Academic Societies conference in Toronto, where she will present her work titled “Toddler dietary intake: Results from a multi-site study of low-income families.”

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2018 Prov Dev Rosa Li, PhD

Rosa Li, PhD, Psychology and Neuroscience

Rosa Li received her PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University in 2017, after which she became a Postdoctoral Associate in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. Her research investigates whether and how decision-making changes across development from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and she also teaches courses for Duke's undergraduate certificate in decision sciences.

 

Dr. Li will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Neurohackademy Summer School in Neuroimaging and Data Science at the University of Washington's eScience Institute.

 

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2018 Awards Committee: Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Hugh Crumley, Dr Cameron Prigge, Dr. Jory Weintraub, and Ms. Molly Starback.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

 

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2017 Prov Dev Rachel Harris, PhD

Rachel Harris, PhD, Biological Sciences

Rachel Harris received her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Tasmania, Australia. She has been a Postdoctoral Associate in Duke’s Department of Evolutionary Anthropology since February 2016, under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Drea. Rachel’s research focuses on the relationships between beneficial bacteria, animal health, and olfactory communication in ring-tailed lemurs and meerkats.

 

Dr. Harris will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 14th triennial meeting of the Chemical Signals in Vertebrates group in Cardiff, Wales, where she will present her research on the effects of health and injury on olfactory cues in ring-tailed lemurs.

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2017 Prov Dev Bonnie Kaiser, PhD

Bonnie Kaiser, PhD, Anthropology

Bonnie Kaiser earned a PhD in Anthropology and MPH in Epidemiology at Emory University. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Duke Global Health Institute since 2015, working with Dr. Brandon Kohrt and Dr. Eve Puffer. She conducts global mental health research in Haiti, Nepal, and Kenya, with a focus on cultural aspects of measurement, communication, and intervention design.

 

Dr. Kaiser will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend a conference in Rwanda that focuses on global mental health interventions developed in low-income settings.

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2017 Prov Dev Marta Mulawa, PhD

Marta Mulawa, PhD, Health Behavior

Marta Mulawa is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Duke’s Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS (IRTPA) T32 Program. She is based in the Duke Global Health Institute and works under the mentorship of Dr. Kathleen Sikkema. Marta received her PhD in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MHS in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on improving our understanding of how social networks influence HIV-related behaviors.

 

Dr. Mulawa will use Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the XXXVII Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis in Beijing, China, where she will present her research titled, "Structural network position and performance of popular opinion health leaders within an HIV prevention trial in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania."

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2017 Prov Dev Cameron Prigge, PhD

Cameron Prigge, PhD, Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Cameron Prigge received her PhD in 2015 from Oakland University, where she examined dopaminergic neuron pathophysiology in retinal degenerative disease. Cameron is now a Postdoctoral Associate under the mentorship of Dr. Jeremy Kay in the Department of Neurobiology where she uses the retina as a model system to study the development of neural circuits. She is particularly interested in determining how neurons utilize repulsive interactions to avoid crosswiring during development.

 

Dr. Prigge will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2-week-long course “Vision: A Platform for Linking Circuits, Behavior & Perception” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

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OPS 2017 Prov Dev Jennifer Rocca, PhD

Jennifer Rocca, PhD, Ecology

Jennifer Rocca received her BS in Botany from the University of Florida, a Masters in Plant Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, and her PhD in Ecology from Colorado State University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Bernhardt Aquaterrestrial Biogeochemistry Lab in the Biology Department, where she examines microbial community coalescence during seawater intrusion of freshwater wetlands. Jenny’s research interests include unraveling the assembly mechanisms driving microbial community structure, and understanding the impacts of environmental perturbations on functional redundancy and community resilience.

 

Dr. Rocca will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present at the 2017 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, where she was invited to the special session, “Microbes in Modernity: Microbial Responses to Anthropogenic Change”, to present her postdoctoral research on microbial community coalescence.

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Okan Yurduseven, PhD

Okan Yurduseven, PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Okan Yurduseven received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northumbria University, United Kingdom, where he developed multiband and ultrawideband photovoltaic antennas, and a phaseless microwave holographic imaging technique for security-screening applications. Dr. Yurduseven is now a Postdoctoral Associate with Prof. David R. Smith at Duke University. His research interests include computational imaging, microwave and millimeter-wave imaging, metamaterials, antennas and propagation, antenna measurement techniques, and wireless power transfer. He is the author of more than 70 research articles and two provisional patents, and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

 

Dr. Yurduseven will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present his research and chair several sessions at the 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation (AP-S) in San Diego, California. In addition, he will organize and chair a special session at AP-S on emerging techniques in imaging at microwave, millimeter-wave and THz frequencies.

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2017 Prov Dev Jiayin Zheng, PhD

Jiayin Zheng, PhD, Probability & Statistics

Jiayin Zheng received his BS in Statistics from Zhejiang University and PhD in Probability & Statistics from Peking University, China. Since April 2016, he has been a Postdoctoral Associate under the supervision of Dr. Shein-Chung Chow in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, where he studies statistical methodology related to clinical trails and pharmaceutical development. His current research interests include biomarker evaluation, adaptive/multi-regional clinical trials, survival analysis and biosimilar/generic interchangeability.

 

Dr. Zheng will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Summer Institute of Statistics for Clinical Research (SISCR) at University of Washington. SISCR introduces participants to state-of the art methodology for biomedical studies, including clinical trials and observational studies.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2017 Awards Committee:  Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Hugh Crumley, Dr. Jory Weintraub, and Ms. Molly Starback.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2016 Prof Dev Marina Blanco, PhD

Marina Blanco, PhD, Biological Anthropology

Marina Blanco received her degree in Biological Anthropology at the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and her PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During her tenure at UMass, she became intrigued by the nocturnal lemurs of Madagascar. Since 2012, she has been investigating hibernation in lemurs as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Lemur Center, under the supervision of Dr. Anne Yoder. Her current research interests include the ecology of rainforest mouse and dwarf lemurs and community-based conservation activities in Northern Madagascar. 

 

Dr. Blanco used the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to lead a 2-day workshop on the modeled effects of climate change on lemurs in the city of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Dr. Blanco writes about her experience here.

 

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2016 Prof Dev Hayley Estrem, PhD
Hayley Estrem, PhD, Nursing

Hayley Estrem received her PhD in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is now a Postdoctoral Associate under the mentorship of Dr. Debra Brandon at the Duke University School of Nursing. Her research focuses on child and family centered care for pediatric feeding disorder, measure development, and symptom and care trajectories for infants and young children with feeding problems.

 

Dr. Estrem will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend NIH NINR's "Precision Health: from 'Omics' to Data Science" bootcamp this summer in Bethesda, MD.

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2016 Prof Dev Mohammadreza Imani, PhD

Mohammadreza Imani, PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mohammadreza Imani received his BS and PhD in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate in the David Smith Group of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since January 2014, where he studies aspects of dynamic and frequency diverse apertures for microwave imaging. His research interests include microwave imaging, analytical and applied electromagnetics, and wireless power transfer.

 

Dr. Imani will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, where the work of his graduate student mentee has been nominated for the student paper competition and will be presented. In addition, Dr Imani has proposed, organized, and will chair a special session on computational imaging at microwave, millimeter wave, and THz.

 

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2016 Prof Dev Nikki Sullivan, PhD
Nikki Sullivan, PhD, Computation and Neural Systems

Nikki Sullivan is a Postdoctoral Associate in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Scott Huettel lab. She received her PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech, and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she also worked as a researcher for the Departments of Psychology and Economics. At Duke, Nikki investigates the neural mechanisms underlying decision-making, including those involving dietary and financial self-control using a combination of techniques from economics, neuroscience, and psychology.

 

Dr. Sullivan will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the invitation-only 10th Triennial Invitational Choice Symposium in Alberta, Canada, where she will present her research on process trace methods.

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2016 Prof Dev Max Villa, PhD

Max Villa, PhD, Materials Science and Engineering

Max Villa received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut, where he developed biomaterials and imaging tools to heal bone injuries with progenitor cells. Max's research interests involve the development of new technology to investigate biomedical questions. Max is now a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Lawrence David's laboratory in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, where he is developing a microfluidic droplet platform for high throughput screening of human microbial communities to better understand their role in heath and disease. 

 

Dr. Villa will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2016 Microbial Diversity course held at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, to support his transition from the engineering field to microbiology. 

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2016 Awards Committee: Dr. Sherilynn Black, Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Hugh Crumley, Dr. Christopher Nelson, and Ms. Molly Starback.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2015 Prov Dev Peter Larsen, PhD, Biology
Peter Larsen, PhD, Biology

Peter Larsen received his PhD in Zoology from Texas Tech University and has been a Postdoctoral Associate with Dr. Anne Yoder in the Biology Department since 2012.  His research focuses on disease surveillance and evolutionary genomics of Madagascar’s lemurs.

 

Dr. Larsen will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 95th Annual American Society of Mammalogists meeting in Jacksonville, FL, where he will give an oral presentation.

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2015 Prov Dev Christopher Nelson, PhD
Christopher Nelson, PhD, Biomedical Engineering

Christopher Nelson completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in 2014. In his graduate work under the direction of Professor Craig Duvall, he built material platforms for efficient and sustained delivery of small interfering RNA to improve tissue regeneration. Dr. Nelson is now a postdoctoral associate with Professor Charles Gersbach at Duke University. His current work seeks to apply genome engineering techniques to correct the underlying genetic dysfunction of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

 

Dr. Nelson will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he will give a platform presentation.

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2015 Prov Dev Anthony Parolari, PhD
Anthony Parolari, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Tony Parolari joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2012, after completing his PhD at MIT. His research focuses on the development of quantitative models that link the water cycle to ecosystem processes, like agricultural productivity. Dr. Parolari also leads the Duke Research Integration Voyage for Engineers (DRIVE), a field research immersion program for CEE undergrads.

 

Dr. Pariolari will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Gordon Research Conference on Catchment Science in Andover, NH, entitled “Thresholds in Time and Space”, where he and his graduate student mentee will both present posters.

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2016 Prof Dev Maura Sabatos-DeVito, PhD
Maura Sabatos-DeVito, PhD, Psychology and Neuroscience

Maura Sabatos-DeVito received her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Postdoctoral Associate with the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences under the mentorship of Dr. Geraldine Dawson. Her research explores the effects of cord blood stem cell therapy on behavioral outcomes for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Her primary research interests include exploring early developmental differences and risk, as well as early intervention approaches, for ASD.

 

Dr. Sabatos-DeVito will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend a week-long workshop on "Modeling Individual Differences in Behavior" at NC State University. This workshop focuses on advanced statistical techniques in multiple regression and latent variable and multilevel modeling.

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2015 Prof Dev Tiffany Williams, PhD
Tiffany Williams, PhD, Duke Marine Lab

Tiffany Williams received her PhD in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is now a Postdoctoral Associate under the mentorship of Dr. Dana Hunt at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. Her research focuses on how microscale interactions between heterotrophic bacteria and phytoplankton may drive the ecology of microbial habitats in marine environments. Additionally, Tiffany is building a mesocosm system to investigate how natural microbial communities respond to the effects of environmental stressors related to ocean acidification.  

 

Dr. Williams will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present her research at the American Society for Microbiology's 115th General Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

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2015 Prov Dev Luke Xie, PhD
Luke Xie, PhD, Radiology

Luke Xie obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for In Vivo Microscopy in Radiology of Duke University Medical Center. His research aims to advance preclinical MRI to study the structure and function in models of kidney disease. These models include acute kidney injury, polycystic kidney disease, inflammation and fibrosis, and diabetic nephropathy.

 

Dr. Xie will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 23rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario, where he will give an invited talk, an oral presentation, and an e-­poster presentation.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2015 Awards Committee: Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Hugh Crumley, Dr. Erin Sparks, and Ms. Molly Starback.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2014 Prof Dev Stephanie Clare, PhD
Stephanie Clare, PhD, Women's Studies Program

Stephanie Clare is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Women’s Studies Program. Her research interests include twentieth-century French and Francophone philosophy, feminist and queer theory, and Canadian settler colonial studies. She is currently writing a book manuscript, Earthly Encounters, that examines relations between subjectivity and territory, land and the earth in twentieth-century world literature, focusing especially on Canada. She has publications in GLQ, differences, Hypatia, and forthcoming in Diacritics.

 

Dr. Clare will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present a paper based on the third chapter of her book at the “Queer Places, Practices & Lives” conference hosted by Ohio State University. She will also speak on a panel with two junior scholars in the field who have recently secured tenure-track positions in queer studies, a major hiring field.

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2014 Prof Dev Natalia Dmitrieva, PhD
Natalia Dmitrieva, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Natalia Dmitrieva holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University, and is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her primary research concerns the role of health behaviors in chronic illness management, particularly in diabetes. Natalia's work also emphasizes applied statistical methodology, particularly analytic approaches to daily diary and ecological momentary assessment studies.

 

Dr. Dmitrieva will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the workshop “Experimental design and analysis methods for developing adaptive interventions: Getting SMART,” at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This workshop focuses on the fundamentals of “SMART Trial” interventions, which can be tailored and adapted to individual differences of participants as the trial progresses.

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2014 Prof Dev Roxanne Larsen, PhD
Roxanne Larsen, PhD, Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Roxanne Larsen received her PhD in Biology from Texas Tech University in 2011 and is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology. She works in the Animal Locomotion Lab with Dr. Daniel Schmitt and teaches Gross Anatomy to medical students at Duke University’s School of Medicine. Her primary research is focused on understanding the biomechanics and evolution of human running. Dr. Larsen’s current project uses novel and integrative approaches to create more naturalistic running conditions, which allow for the investigation of multi-step stability when running on uneven terrain.

 

Dr. Larsen will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2014 American College of Sports Medicine conference in Orlando, FL, where she will present her research in addition to networking with colleagues in her field.

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2014 Prof Dev Nicola Paine, PhD
Nicola Paine, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

Nicola received her PhD in 2013 from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), which investigated inflammation and vascular (i.e., blood vessel) reactivity during mental stress. Nicola is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science under the mentorship of Professor Andrew Sherwood, investigating how health behaviors (e.g., depression, anxiety and stress) can lead to the development of Cardiovascular Disease.

 

Dr. Paine will use the award to visit the laboratory of Dr Simon Bacon (Concordia University, Montreal) to learn techniques to assess haemoconcentration, which is a process where red blood cells become more concentrated within the blood due to a temporary loss of some of the liquid (plasma) which makes up the blood.

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2014 Prof Dev Erin Sparks, PhD
Erin Sparks, PhD, Department of Biology

Erin Sparks received her BS in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and a PhD in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University. For the past three years, Dr. Sparks has been a Postdoctoral Associate in Philip Benfey's laboratory at Duke University. Her postdoctoral work uses systems-level analyses to study the development of plant roots, with the long-term goal of improving crop resilience under varying environmental conditions.

 

Dr. Sparks will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present her work at the 2014 International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress, where she has been invited to be a keynote speaker.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2014 Awards Committee: Dr. Sherilynn Black, Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Sissel Juul, Ms. Molly Starback, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2013 Prof Dev Diego Bohórquez, PhD
Diego Bohórquez, PhD, Division of Gastroenterology

Diego V. Bohórquez attended college at the Pan-American School of Agriculture in Honduras, and obtained his PhD in Nutrition from North Carolina State University in 2010. He is a third year Postdoctoral Scholar in the Division of Gastroenterology. His research focuses on how food in the gut triggers satiety in the brain, leading to the development of therapeutic treatments for obesity. In 2010 he was awarded an NIH NRSA F32 Fellowship focused on neurobiology.

 

Dr. Bohórquez will attend the 2013 Summer Neurobiology Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, allowing him to bridge his knowledge in gastroenterology with intensive, laboratory-oriented training in neurobiology.

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2013 Prov Dev Jason L. Brown, PhD
Jason L. Brown, PhD, Department of Biology

As a youth, Jason explored the outdoors of rural South Dakota, developing his love for amphibians and nature. He received his PhD in Biology from East Carolina University in 2009. He is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Biology Department working with Dr. Anne Yoder to integrate geographic information systems, statistics and genetic analyses to better understand, predict and mitigate the genetic consequences of future climate change.

 

Dr Brown will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to to present his research at the 2013 joint annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Society of Systematic Biologists, and the American Society of Naturalists (aka Evolution 2013).

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2013 Prof Dev Nishad Jayasundara, PhD
Nishad Jayasundara, PhD, Nicholas School of the Environment

Nishad Jayasundara received his PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and has been a Postdoctoral Associate in Richard T. Di Giulio’s laboratory at the Nicholas School of the Environment since November 2012. Dr Jayasundara investigates mechanisms underlying toxic effects of environmental pollutants (complex hydrocarbon mixtures) and fitness tradeoffs and bioenergetic consequences associated with adaptation to these chemicals in fish inhabiting thermally variable environments. Dr Jayasundara is a native of Sri Lanka and enjoys spending his spare time working with a non-profit he co-founded that focuses on improving access to higher education for Sri Lankan students.

 

To obtain a better understanding of bioinformatics approaches to analyzing large data sets, Dr Jayasundara will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend a short course, “Introduction to Programming for Bioinformatics”, at the University of California-Berkeley.

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2013 Prof Dev Andrew Macintyre, PhD
Andrew Macintyre, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

Andrew Macintyre received his PhD in immunology from the University of Dundee, Scotland, and has been a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology since January 2010. Dr Macintyre currently studies metabolism in normal and cancerous immune cells. His research aims to identify ways of targeting glucose metabolism to improve anti-cancer and immune therapies.

 

Dr Macintyre will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the American Association for Cancer Research workshop “Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists” in Boston, MA. At this workshop he will learn how to maximize the clinical impact of his research.

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2013 Prof Dev Emily O'Brien, PhD
Emily O'Brien, PhD, Duke Clinical Research Institute

Emily O’Brien received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 and is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Her primary research focus is causal inference methodology for observational cardiovascular disease cohorts, with specific applications to atrial fibrillation, stroke, and hypercholesterolemia. Dr. O’Brien’s current projects include assessment of obesity and long-term outcomes for heart attack patients, regional healthcare resources and quality of acute stroke care, and population-based interventions to reduce hypertension.

 

Dr. O'Brien will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services workshop “Introduction to the Use of Medicare Part D Data for Research” in Minneapolis, MN. The workshop provides an overview of the strengths and limitations of research within Medicare claims, as well as strategies to address specific challenges such as systematic bias, drug exposure misclassification, and ascertainment of clinical outcomes.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2013 Awards Committee: Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Talline Martins, Dr. Stefan Oehlers, Ms. Molly Starback, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2012 Prov Dev Adam Biggs, PhD
Adam Biggs, PhD Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

Adam Biggs received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and has been a Postdoctoral Associate in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience since October 2011. Dr. Biggs studies visual cognition - the relationship between what we see and what we know. His work focuses on understanding how prior experiences and preferences cause different people to look at different aspects of the same scene. With funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, he is studying the characteristics of superior visual searchers to both inform cognitive theories of attention and to improve training and performance for airport security.

 

Dr. Biggs will attend the 12th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, where he will present two posters: one on individual differences and expertise in visual search (second author), and one on how holding firearms affects the attentional priorities of someone viewing a threatening scene (first author).

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2012 Prov Dev Daniel Thomas Davis, DMA
Daniel Thomas Davis, DMA Department of Music

Daniel Thomas Davis received his DMA in Composition from the University of Michigan and his MA in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. As a first-year Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Music, his research most frequently takes the form of musical compositions, often drawing upon interdisciplinary studies of American, East African and several other vocal traditions.

 

Dr. Davis will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award for a professional-studio-level recording of his original composition, “Atlantic Fire”, featuring the Grammy-Award-winning vocalist Jacqueline Horner. A historical commentary on concepts of American brotherhood/sisterhood, “Atlantic Fire” draws upon oratory texts from Cotton Mather's 1693 collection Wonders of the Invisible World as well as an 1891 wax-cylinder recording of what is thought to be the voice of Walt Whitman reading from the poem "America".

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2012 Prov Dev Sophie Plouviez, PhD
Sophie Plouviez, PhD Duke Marine Lab

Sophie Plouviez received her PhD in Biology from the University of Paris and is in the second year of her postdoctoral appointment at the Duke Marine Lab. Dr. Plouviez’s research focuses on population connectivity in hydrothermal vent and cold seep ecosystems using Next Generation Sequencing approaches. Specifically, she is comparing populations of two deep-sea hydrothermal vent limpet species (Lepetodrilus schrolli and Olgasolaris tollmani) from multiple ocean basins in the southwest Pacific.

 

Dr. Plouviez will participate in the 13th International Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand, where she will present her results and also organize a special session on Next Generation Sequencing in the Deep-Sea.

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2012 Prov Dev Shannon Smith, DVM
Shannon Smith, DVM Division of Laboratory Animal Resources

Shannon Smith received her DVM from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources, working towards her certification from the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Smith’s research focuses on hormone-induction of lactation protocol in non-pregnant non-human primates, with the goal of developing a vaccine that confers long-term immunity to the infants of HIV-positive breastfeeding mothers.

 

Because the use of laboratory fish in research is rapidly escalating, Dr. Smith will attend a short course, “Health and Colony Management of Laboratory Fish”, at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, where course topics will include general system design and water quality management, anatomy and histology of fish, and disease management for laboratory-maintained fish colonies.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2012 Awards Committee: Dr. Sherilynn Black, Dr. Erin Glynn, Dr. Claire Gordy, Ms. Molly Starback, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2011 Prof Dev Zachary Cleveland, PhD
Zachary Cleveland, PhD, Department of Radiology

Zackary Cleveland is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Radiology. He received his BS in chemistry with minors in mathematics and biology from The University of Montana in 2001, and his PhD in physical chemistry from Colorado State University in 2008. He works with Dr. Bastiaan Driehuys in the Center for In Vivo Microscopy to develop novel methods for pulmonary MRI. While at Duke, he helped conduct a Phase-I clinical trial for HP 129Xe MRI and demonstrated that HP 129Xe can be used to non-invasively detect pathological changes in ventilation, pulmonary microstructure, and gas uptake in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dr. Cleveland has been involved in a number of preclinical lung imaging studies involving small animal models of human pulmonary diseases.

 

Dr. Cleveland will attend the annual weeklong Phenotyping Mouse Models of Human Lung Disease workshop held by The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. This workshop provides hands-on training in small animal handling, surgical procedures, and lung mechanics measurement needed to study murine models of human pulmonary diseases.

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2011 Prof Dev Ryan Georgianna, PhD
Ryan Georgianna, PhD, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Ryan Georgianna received his BS in Biology in 2004 from Virginia Tech and his PhD in 2009 from the Functional Genomics Program at North Carolina State University. His graduate research featured investigations using comparative genomics and proteomics tools to study secondary metabolism in Aspergillus flavus, a mycotoxigenic fungus notorious for contaminating food and feed with the highly carcinogenic secondary metabolite aflatoxin. Since receiving his PhD, Dr. Georgianna has been a Postdoctoral Scholar in John McCusker’s laboratory in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. The main focus of his research has been to develop a high-throughput quantitative genetics resource in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. He plans to pursue research on genetic improvement or domestication of algae as an efficient green-technology industrial organism for production of biofuels, therapeutics, and nutraceuticals.

 

Dr. Georgianna will attend the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB) symposium Algal Biofuels - Advancing to Economic Viability held at the Salk Institute, where he will present a poster. Additionally, Dr. Georgianna will meet with the Director of the SD-CAB and give an open talk in his lab at the University of California-San Diego.

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2011 Prof Dev Erin Glynn, PhD
Erin Glynn, PhD, Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center

Erin Glynn received her BS in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University in 2005, and her PhD in Preventive Medicine and Community Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2010. She is a Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Newgard in the Sarah Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, where she researches metabolic dysfunction in obesity and type 2 diabetes, and is learning about the use of animal models, metabolomics and cell culture in metabolic studies. Her goal is to use basic science and animal modeling tools to increase the translational impact of future clinical metabolic investigations.

 

Dr. Glynn will attend the Short Course on Metabolic Syndrome at Vanderbilt University to learn specific techniques that assess metabolic outcomes in animals during pharmacologic, dietary or environmental interventions.

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2011 Prof Dev Jeffrey R. Harris, PhD
Jeffrey R. Harris, PhD, Division of Cellular Therapy

Jeffrey R. Harris received his PhD in molecular cell biology from the University of Florida in 2007 and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratory of John Chute, MD in the Division of Cellular Therapy. Previously, Dr. Harris was a postdoc in the laboratory of Tannishtha Reya in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, where he developed a novel method to observe changes to the bone marrow niche in real-time using confocal microscopy. This technique has shed new light on the dynamics of the hematopoietic microenvironment and will be utilized in Dr. Chute’s lab to study bone marrow regeneration following administration of myeloablative clinical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

 

A significant challenge when using a real-time imaging strategy is the extraction of relevant information from the immense volume of data acquired. Jeff, a trained cell biologist, will further enhance his education in advanced programming by taking the three-day MatLab Fundamentals Course from Mathworks. This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to technical computing and aid in writing his own software analysis programs for quantitating data from his imaging studies.

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2011 Prof Dev Claire Terhune, PhD
Claire Terhune, PhD, Evolutionary Anthropology

Claire Terhune received her PhD in physical anthropology from Arizona State University in 2010. Her dissertation research analyzed the shape of the temporomandibular joint across anthropoid primates with the goal of associating shape variation with variation in body size, evolutionary relationships, and dietary differences among species. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke, she is the primary instructor for Physician Assistant Anatomy, and has continued her research in physical anthropology under the guidance of Dr. Andrea Taylor. Her research centers on how differences in the chewing apparatus among primates might be related to dietary or behavioral differences. Dr. Terhune plans to develop a research program in this area by combining analyses of fossil humans with experimental analyses of primate feeding behavior.

 

Dr. Terhune will travel to the University of Chicago to work with her collaborators on an experimental procedure to quantify movements of the mandible during chewing in macaques and capuchin monkeys, with the ultimate goal of comparing this movement to previously documented patterns of mandibular movement in humans. She will also visit the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, which houses one of the largest collections of primate skeletons in the world, to collect data that will be analyzed using geometric morphometrics.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2011 Awards Committee: Dr. Lauren Anderson, Dr. Sherilynn Black, Ms. Molly Starback, Dr. Tomalei Vess, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2010 Prof Dev Jie Deng, PhD
Jie Deng, PhD, Department of Neurobiology

Jie (Jay) Deng received his undergraduate degree in Zoology at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. After working as an ecologist and conservation biologist in Beijing and Gainesville, Florida, he earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida in 2005. He spent one postdoctoral year at the Duke Center for Human Genetics, then joined the Duke Neurobiology Department as a Postdoctoral Associate. Dr. Deng currently investigates how addictive drugs alter brain reward networks through their effects on proteins that mediate epigenetic regulation of gene transcription.

 

Dr. Deng will travel to the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida to learn intra-venous self-administration (IVSA) of drugs in mice. Although this technique is well developed for rats, mouse IVSA is extremely challenging because of the small body size of the animals. Dr. Paul Kenny of Scripps, whose lab is one of the few in the US performing mouse IVSA, will train Dr. Deng in this technique.

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2010 Prof Dev Julie Meachen-Samuels, PhD
Julie Meachen-Samuels, PhD, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Julie Meachen-Samuels received her PhD in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008. Her doctoral dissertation examined the functional morphology and prey-killing strategies of cats. She then worked for six months as a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA with Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh examining the structure and function of the nasal turbinate bones in mammalian carnivores. In August 2009, Dr. Meachen-Samuels started her postdoc at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) at Duke. Her project examines the dietary niche partitioning that occurs in living carnivore communities and analogous communities of extinct carnivores from North America. This research will use past faunal turnovers to understand how current human and climatic alterations may impact carnivore communities today.

 

Dr. Meachen-Samuels will travel to the 2010 SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) conference in Anaheim, California. SACNAS is one of the largest and longest-standing organizations in the nation focused specifically on scientific outreach to underrepresented minorities. Dr. Meachen-Samuels will coordinate and lead a field trip to the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where she did much of her dissertation work, and will share her knowledge about the evolutionary importance of this fossil site with budding scientists. She will also take part in “Conversations with Scientists”, an informal mentoring session where undergraduates are paired up with science professionals for roundtable discussion of the joys and challenges of a science career.

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2010 Prof Dev Amy D. Owen, PhD
Amy D. Owen, PhD, Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health

Amy D. Owen, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at the Duke University Medical Center. She received her BA in Psychology from Luther College in 1999, and her PhD in Educational Psychology and an additional MS in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. Her primary focus of research has been exploring forgiveness as a therapeutic intervention and the concept and process of forgiveness in different cultures. Recently, she also began researching the role of various spiritual and religious factors in physical and mental health. Currently, Dr. Owen is studying whether forgiveness (of self, another person, and perceived forgiveness from God) is associated with immune health among people living with HIV-AIDS. In addition, she is investigating the relationship of forgiveness and cancer; religious factors and cardiovascular disease and mortality; and the longitudinal effects of religious identification and life-changing spiritual experiences on structural neuroanatomy in late life.

 

Dr. Owen will travel to the 2010 Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference in Seattle, WA, where she will present three poster abstracts: “The Complex Relationship of Religious Factors, Cardiovascular Health, and Mortality” (first author), “Forgiveness and Reduced Risk of Cancer Onset” (second author), and “Religious Correlates of Structural Brain Changes in Late Adulthood” (second author). She will also join the Society’s Spirituality and Health Special Interest Group, and participate in their mentoring program.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2010 Awards Committee: Dr. Danielle Maatouk, Dr. Anirudh Ullal, Ms. Molly Starback, Dr. Tomalei Vess, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2009 Prof Dev Elisabeth L. Engebretsen, PhD
Elisabeth L. Engebretsen, PhD, Women's Studies

Elisabeth L. Engebretsen is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Transnational Sexualities at Duke's Women's Studies Program.  She has a PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with a thesis titled "Love in a Big City: Sexuality, Kinship, and Citizenship amongst Lala ('lesbian') Women in Beijing" (2008).  She majored in Chinese Studies and Socio-Cultural Anthropology for her BA degree at the University of Oslo, holds Masters degrees in Gender Studies and Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the LSE, and has studied Chinese language and literature at Sichuan University and Xiamen University in China.  Her research concerns women’s same-sex sexuality, kinship and marriage ideologies and practices, and cultural citizenship in globalizing China.  Her work has appeared in the Feminist Review, Contemporary Political Theory, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Culture, Health, and Sexuality, the Graduate Journal of Social Sciences, and is forthcoming in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

 

Dr. Engebretsen will be spending Summer 2009 in Beijing, China, to update data for her dissertation, which she is revising into a book manuscript entitled Different Women:  The Cultural Politics of Sexuality and National Identity in Postsocialist Beijing.  She will speak at the Conference on Chinese Sexualities and Social Development at Renmin University, Beijing.  Her paper will be published in a Chinese social sciences journal following the conference.

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2009 Prof Dev Mickey Kosloff, PhD
Mickey Kosloff, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology

Mickey Kosloff received his PhD in Structural and Molecular Biochemistry from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  He then took a 3 year postdoc at Columbia University, where he learned how to develop and apply computational methods to understand protein function.  In 2006 Dr Kosloff began a postdoctoral appointment under Dr Vadim Arshavsky in the Duke Department of Ophthalmology, where he combines experimental and computational approaches to decipher how 3D structure encodes interaction specificity in signaling proteins.

 

Dr. Kosloff will travel to Israel to attend the ILSI Biomed 2009 Conference.  This conference is the largest meeting of its kind in Israel, bringing together Israeli biotech companies, venture capital firms, and representatives from academia and government.  Dr Kosloff will schedule interviews with relevant companies and explore employment options in the Israeli biotech field, and also follow up on academic job opportunities.

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2009 Prof Dev Jaclyn Schwarz, PhD
Jaclyn Schwarz, PhD, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Jaclyn Schwarz obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2008.  Her thesis research focused on the underlying mechanisms by which sex differences are established in the brain during development.  Dr Schwarz is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Dr. Staci Bilbo at Duke University, where she studies the mechanisms by which differences in drug abuse liability in adulthood may be established during development.

 

Dr. Schwarz will travel to the annual meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) in Toronto, ON.  The OSSD is a newly formed scientific society, of which Dr Schwarz is a founding member, and for which she currently serves as the Young Investigator Councilor.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2009 Awards Committee:  Dr. Joshua Carter, Dr. John Schmidt, Ms. Molly Starback, Dr. Tomalei Vess, and Dr. Anne West.

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Science, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

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2008 Prof Dev Maryléne Boulet, PhD
Maryléne Boulet, PhD, Department of Biological Anthropology & Anatomy

Dr. Boulet earned her PhD in Biology from McMaster University, studying the evolutionary history and migration patterns of the yellow warbler. Dr. Boulet currently studies olfactory indicators of genetic constitution in ringtailed lemurs.

 

The 2008 Postdoctoral Research Award will be used for travel to the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) Meeting in Vancouver, BC, where Dr. Boulet will give an oral presentation and attend the Symposium for Women Entering Ecology and Evolution Today (SWEEET), and Academic Careers in Biological Sciences, a workshop Dr. Boulet helped organize as past CSEE Council Member. Dr. Boulet will also attend a pre-meeting workshop on Mesquite, a phylogenetic software computing character evolution analyses.

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2008 Prof Dev Wenhong Chen, PhD
Wenhong Chen, PhD, Department of Sociology

Dr. Chen earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2007. Her research interests include social capital/social networks, economic sociology, and international migration. Drawing on a large representative dataset in the US, Dr. Chen is exploring the relation of ethnic diversity in the neighborhood and social capital at the individual level.

 

The 2008 Postdoctoral Research Award will be used for travel to the International Social Capital Conference in Taiwan organized by Academia Sinica, where Dr. Chen will present a paper titled “Discontents in the Melting Pot: Diversity, Inequality, and the Plight of Social Capital”. The paper examines whether and how trust, an integral component of social capital, is related to racial/ethnic diversity and economic inequality.

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2008 Prof Dev Amanda Moehring, PhD
Amanda Moehring, PhD, Department of Biology

Dr. Moehring received her PhD in Genetics from North Carolina State University in 2003. She works on the genetics of variation in behavior within species and the genetics of reproductive isolation between species.

 

The 2008 Postdoctoral Research Award will be used for travel to two concurrent conferences in Vancouver, BC: the Symposium for Women Entering Ecology and Evolution Today (SWEEET), a symposium addressing issues that influence the advancement of women with postgraduate degrees, where Dr. Moehring has been invited to speak on “Balancing Career and Family”, and the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) conference, where Dr. Moehring will present her research on “Genetics of behavioral isolation between two Drosophila species.”

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2013 Prof Dev Jonathan Prather, PhD
Jonathan Prather, PhD, Department of Neurobiology

Dr. Prather received his PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2001. His postdoctoral research has focused on the neural mechanisms of vocal communication. Dr. Prather and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate the existence and characteristics of auditory-vocal “mirror neurons” in the songbird brain, leading to the recent publication of their article, “Precise auditory-vocal mirroring in neurons for learned vocal communication”, in the journal Nature.

 

The 2008 Postdoctoral Research Award will be used for travel to the international meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, DC.

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2008 Prof Dev Bing Yu, PhD
Bing Yu, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Yu received BS and MS degrees in Optoelectronics Technology from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2005. Dr. Yu performs research in biomedical optics, developing optical spectroscopy devices for breast cancer diagnosis, and a miniature spectral imaging system for intra-operative assessment of tumor margins. Dr. Yu invented a self-calibrating fiber-optic probe that has a built-in calibration channel and can be used to record lamp spectrum and instrument/probe responses concurrently with tissue measurements.

 

The 2008 Postdoctoral Research Award will be used for travel to the Gordon Conference on Lasers in Medicine and Biology (GRC-LMB), where Dr. Yu will present his research on the self-calibrating probe.

The Office of Postdoctoral Services and the Duke University Postdoctoral Association extend their thanks to the 2008 ResearchAwards Committee: Dr. JD Dunn, Dr. Rebekah Fleming, Dr. Sonke Johnsen, Dr. Susan Smith, Ms. Molly Starback, Dr. Jennifer Tenor, Dr. Tomalei Vess, and Dr. Anne West.