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IME: Postdoc Panel: Choosing the Right Postdoctoral Training Experience - The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program

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IME: Postdoc Panel: Choosing the Right Postdoctoral Training Experience

Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This panel session will explore different types of postdoctoral training opportunities and how you find them.  Panelists will offer suggestions for matching postdoctoral training opportunities with your intended career paths. Most importantly, the panel will discuss factors to consider and questions to ask a potential mentor or a fellowship director – before you commit.

Sponsored by IME, IMSD and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs – LUNCH PROVIDED




Dr. Sharonda Johnson LeBlanc is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Chemistry Department at UNC-Chapel Hill working with Prof. Dorothy Erie and Prof. Keith Weninger (NC State). Her research projects, funded by an NIH K01 Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute focuses on using single-molecule techniques to study dynamic protein-DNA interactions involved in DNA repair pathways. She graduated from the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program at UNC Charlotte in 2012 and is a former fellow of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD).


Dr. Brian Hsu received his Ph.D. in linguistics in 2016 from the University of Southern California. His research aims to develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between modules of the language faculty, focusing on the sources of word order variation and the effects of prosodic and morpho-syntactic contexts on phonological rules. His recent work, published in Glossa, examines a range of verb-second patterns as a window on the origin of cross-linguistic syntactic variation in the realization of functional categories. As a postdoctoral scholar, he is applying this methodology to the analysis of co-occurrence restrictions on indexical elements within nominal phrases. He is also completing a collaborative project on the typology of loanword adaptations and its implications for the organization of phonological constraint systems. A current CPPFD fellow, he will be transitioning to UNCs faculty July 1, 2019.


Dr. Roberto Mota is a current postdoctoral scholar from Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He is married to his “amazing wife Nahomi and have 2 beautiful kids (Oliver and Robin)”.  He attended medical school at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ). During medical school, he lost an immediate relative due to complications of diabetes and heart disease, which he was not able to help. It was then he realized that his impact in medicine had to transcend his immediate relatives and direct patients-it had to be bigger and important. Subsequently, he pursued a MS in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at the University of New Mexico, where he characterized a novel diagnostic imaging tool for atherosclerosis development. For the past few years, he has been a postdoctoral fellow at UNC Chapel Hill, working with Dr. Edward Bahnson in the department of vascular surgery in the development and characterization of the first ever rat model of diabetic atherosclerosis.


Dr. Ariana Bravo Cruz is a postdoctoral fellow in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on the interplay between viral pathogenesis and tumorigenesis. She obtained a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where she studied how viruses evade host immune responses. Ariana was born and raised in Puerto Rico and she is very passionate about STEM outreach especially among minority students, with the goal of diversifying STEM disciplines. During her graduate studies, she was president of UIUC’s Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter and also co-founded Cena y Ciencias, a hands-on science outreach program in Spanish serving elementary school students from underrepresented backgrounds. Currently, she serves as the co-chair for UNC’s Minority Postdoc Alliance and as Postdoc Liaison for UNC’s SACNAS chapter.


Facilitated by Dr. Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.


Thursday, October 25, 2018
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Graduate Student Center
211A West Cameron Ave.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States
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(919) 962-2505