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Postdoctoral Research Symposium Brings Together Institutions and Organizations from Across Los Angeles



UCLA CTSI News Archive

Postdoctoral Association at UCLA

At top: Dr. Francis Tran of USC gives one of 16 oral presentations.
At bottom: Networking mixer attendees included academic and non-academic professionals, postdoctorates and faculty.

The Inaugural Los Angeles Postdoctoral Research Symposium was held at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA on June 6, 2019. The event was supported by a UCLA CTSI Catalyst Award. Additional sponsors included CNSI and the Postdoctoral Associations of UCLA, USC, and Caltech.

The event provided a platform for postdoctorates at UCLA, USC, Caltech, and other institutions across Los Angeles to present their work to a general audience of their peers and promote interdisciplinary research. Postdoctoral attendees also had the opportunity to network with career professionals from academic and non-academic settings through panels and a networking mixer. 

The event began with welcome remarks by Dr. Johnny Saldate, chair of the Postdoctoral Association at UCLA and followed with Dr. April de Stefano, assistant dean for academic services in the UCLA Graduate Division. De Stefano introduced the  keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Weiss, UC presidential chair and distinguished professor of chemistry & biochemistry and materials science and engineering at UCLA. The program also included short TED-style research talks, academic and non-academic career panels, a poster session and a networking mixer. Presentation awards were also given to the best oral and poster presenters, with $200 going to first place winners, $100 to those in second place and $50 to third place winners. The awardees are listed below.

Oral presentation awardees:

  • First place: Emily Mankin (UCLA)
  • Second place: Xinjun Zhang (UCLA)
  • Third place: Riley Connors (Caltech) 

Poster presentation awardees:

  • First place: Elizabeth Davis (USC)
  • Second place: Andrew Erwin (Caltech)
  • Third place: Alexander Patananan (UCLA) 

The symposium garnered over 150 postdoctoral attendees, 16 of which gave oral presentations and 27 provided poster presentations. Participants came from institutions all across Los Angeles, including: UCLA, USC, Caltech, JPL/NASA, Cedars-Sinai, City of Hope, Children's Hospital LA, CSUN, and Charles R. Drew University. During the mixer, seven companies and organizations were represented at the exhibitor booths. Numerous faculty were also in attendance to judge the presentations and join the mixer.

View the event video to see highlights of the event.

Learn more about symposium on the event website and see all the event photos. The event committee plans to release announcements soon for next year’s symposium.

The symposium planning committee was led by five postdoctoral scholars (Drs. Johnny Saldate (UCLA), Lok Leung (UCLA), Alejandro Martorell (UCLA), Caroline Charpentier (Caltech), and Richard Van Krieken (USC)), who were assisted by 20 day-of postdoctoral volunteers from UCLA, USC, and Caltech.