2022-2023 JHPDA Executive Board Candidates
Co-Chair Candidate #1
Elena Vasileiou, M.D.
My name is Elena Vasileiou and I work as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology. I received my medical degree (MD) in Greece where I am originally from and moved to the US a couple of years ago to continue my medical education and pursue a research-oriented career. My area of interest is focused on multiple sclerosis and other rare neuroimmunologic disorders. Our team works directly with people living with these entities and through utilizing various newly surfaced technologies, we aim to have a more advanced understanding of the intricate pathomechanisms behind these disorders in order to be able to provide better care to people living with neuroimmunologic diseases.
When I moved to the US, I felt the need to connect with people that are going through the same process as me and possibly have common experiences and interests. That is how I found the Johns Hopkins Post-Doctoral Association (JHPDA). I have been involved with JHPDA for the past year and on top of a sense of community that was so difficult to find during the COVID era and the amazing people that I have met, I had the chance to be part of a team that worked hard to promote our rights as postdocs and make our experience as pleasant as possible. By holding the JHPDA secretary position for the past year I had the fortune to participate in important meeting with the Johns Hopkins leadership where our team advocated for our needs and rights as JH postdocs and to help organize the annual JH postdoc conference where we give the floor the JH postdocs to present their work and we celebrate their achievements.
Being the JHPDA secretary has been an amazing experience and I hope to continue this work the upcoming year as a JHPDA co-chair.
Co-Chair Candidate #2
Vera-Marie E. Dunlock, Ph.D.
In response to my nomination, I would like to offer my name as a candidate for the JHPDA Co-chair position for the upcoming academic year. I do this because I believe I could contribute in a in significant way to the betterment of the postdoc experience here at Johns Hopkins. My experience as a female immigrant postdoc from a generally underrepresented community (Caribbean) have given me a unique perspective on the challenges faced by postdocs here. I am excited at the prospect of using the experiences and challenges I have undergone since joining Hopkins to pave the way for others.
I have been a member of the Hopkins community since September of 2020 and have been involved in the JHPDA DPAC committee since October of 2020 (Co-chair since January 2022). Prior to joining DPAC I was a member of the eLife Ambassadors community from 2019-2020 where I served as part of the Intersectionality Initiative. Our goal was to promote inclusivity in life sciences through the generation of policy recommendations, increased transparency, resource enrichment and the promotion of awareness. As my past experience indicates, I believe that advocating for Equality and Inclusion is fundamental to assuring postdoc rights and look forward to using these skills to the benefit of the JHPDA and the larger postdoc community if given the opportunity to serve as Co-chair.
My long-term goal is to contribute to science not only in terms of knowledge advancement but also by making the scientific community a more welcoming and accessible place. I believe postdocs often fall through the cracks as we do not benefit from the structure provided to either graduate students or staff and faculty. As a result, postdocs are a vulnerable part of our scientific community and frequently suffer from a lack of consideration and recourse allocation. I hope this opportunity will allow me to advocate for our rights and contribute to improving our position.
Thank you for your consideration of my nomination.
Co-Chair Candidate #3
Irina Duff, M.D., Ph.D.
I feel privileged and honored to run for co-president of the JHPDA this year.
My name is Irina Duff. I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Pain Medicine Division. I am currently working on developing closed-loop neuromodulation systems for the peripheral and central nervous systems in collaboration with the JHU Department of Biomedical Engineering. We utilize experimental rat pain models, in vivo physiology recording, computational modeling approaches, and control system theory to answer our research questions.
I have been active in the JHPDA since June 2020 as a Co-Chair of the JHPDA Policy and Advocacy Committee. This position provided me with a unique opportunity to learn about the challenges postdocs experience during their training at Hopkins. The main goal of our committee is to build and run an annual postdoc survey. It is the primary data source for the JHU leadership to assess the training environment for Hopkins postdocs and develop an action plan for future improvement. I believe that running the survey for the last two years, communicating results to the JHU administration, and addressing concerns of the postdocs on a personal level, have prepared me to serve as co-president of the JHPDA for the upcoming year.
My ongoing conversations with you helped me identify issues you are all dealing with. Postdoctoral training, in many cases, is not a structured process. There is also a gap in the mentorship. We don’t have widely available internal grant opportunities for postdocs.
As a JHPDA co-president, I would like to concentrate on developing an interdepartmental mentorship program for postdocs in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and our JHU president Dr. Ronald Daniels. I plan to put a lot of effort into establishing a small grant program for postdocs at Hopkins. It will give enormous visibility to your research and put you on track to an independent scientific career.
I sincerely appreciate your support. I am looking forward for the opportunity to advocate for you.
Secretary Candidate #1
Shilpa Gopinath, Ph.D.
Hi everyone! I am a medical graduate and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the JHU School of
Medicine. I am also a recent member of the JHPDA Professional Development Committee and along with the JHM Professional Development and Career Office (PDCO), I have been organizing a professional development talk for postdoctoral fellows which will be happening this month end. It is an honor to be applying for the position of JHPDA Secretary. If chosen, I would work diligently to ensure the best year for postdoctoral fellows.
I am extremely well-organized and can juggle multiple responsibilities as evidenced by my
involvement in handling my research work and involvement in several voluntary activities.
Previously as an MPH student at JHSPH, I served as the Vice President of the JHU Rotaract
Club and organized several projects including the substance abuse epidemic project which won the JHU Alumni Association Grant award. As part of the executive team, I also won the JHU
Community Service Award and was a finalist in the International Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards, 2019-20.
If chosen to be Secretary, I will use my previous leadership experiences to guide me in this new
role and make it my priority to advocate for the rights and interests of postdoctoral fellows. I
hope to collaborate further with the departments, faculty, and JHU organizations to enhance the research, training, professional development, and wellness among postdoctoral fellows so they can successfully transition into the careers of their choice.
In addition to planning the central events and executive board meetings for the postdoctoral
community as Secretary, I will advocate for increased diversity among postdoctoral scholars and ensure that the needs of underrepresented groups are addressed. I will also advocate for the interests of international postdoctoral scholars training, monitor policy issues of interest to the postdoctoral community, and work to bring in more career development opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to prepare them well for future careers including industry and clinical residency positions.
I hope you will please afford me the opportunity to work hard for you next year!
Secretary Candidate #2
Kevin Bermea, M.D.
I am Kevin Bermea a postdoctoral fellow at the department of Medicine of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Since 2018. I have a MD degree awarded on 2013 in the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon and a Master’s degree Major in Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering. I am currently a member of the Diversity Postdoctoral Alliance and I am interested in Running to be Secretary.
Previously I was member of an NGO that organize activities to aware people about healthy habits to prevent chronic diseases and also events to invite university students from different backgrounds to join or make donations to the group for supporting our activities.
I guarantee that if I am elected as secretary my contribution would be meaningful for the JHPDA and the postdoctoral community.
Treasurer Candidate #1
Zinia Mohanta, Ph.D.
I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Prof. Michael T McMahon in the Department of Radiology in Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University - School of Medicine. My research is focused on pH imaging of kidneys in murine models with chronic kidney diseases using CEST MRI.
I have previously volunteered in non-profit organizations and led several student body organizations. Among my previous engagements, I enjoyed being the Head of the Dance Club at Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), India during my undergraduate years, where I managed more than 80 students in this student body for 2 years. We organized dance events, flash mobs and other social events while balancing and managing the finances available to the club. I also served as the Coordinator of the Technical and Cultural Fest during my Final year or undergrad. This event was attended by over 4000 people and was the most popular event organized at the institute. While I was lecturer at Royal College of Science and Technology, India and pursuing my Masters in Technology at ITER, I was in the student chapter of a premier non-profit organization, Rotary Heritage Club and I organized various medical camps and blood donation camps. Throughout my MTech and PhD I was proactive in organizing international seminars and conferences.
Since joining JHU, I have been an active participant in JHPDA events and have built close relationships with organizers and fellow participants. I joined the Socials-Internationals committee in April 2022 and have actively participated in the committee discussions and events.
I now would like to join the JHPDA Executive Board as a Treasurer and contribute to financial and event management in a leadership role. I perceive this leadership position as an opportunity to leverage my interpersonal skills and connect with fellow professionals while further expanding the reach of JHPDA.
Treasurer Candidate #2
Khuleshwari Kurrey, Ph.D.
My name is Khuleshwari Kurrey and I am post doc at medical campus. I would like to be a part of JHPDA as a volunteering for finance. Why I am interested in this because I had an experience to manage projects finances during my PhD. I would like make it live by doing research. I just do not want to end up with bench skills only. Hence I would like to join JHPDA.