About the PDA

The mission of the Tufts Postdoctoral Association is to enrich and improve the Postdoctoral experience at Tufts. We host career development events to give opportunities for postdocs to grow both professionally and personally and advocate on a faculty and administrative levels for all postdocs. We are generously funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research: Postdoctoral Office.


Meet the Board

Name: Lara Appleby
PDA Position: Co-President
Campus: Medford
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Background: I am interested in how people develop inquiry stances towards life, including teachers towards students and students towards science. My favorite thing to do outside of work is dance.

Name: Amy Larson
PDA Position: Co-President
Campus: Tufts Medical Center
Department
: Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center
Background: I am broadly interested in the regulation of gene expression, and am currently focusing on using single cell RNAseq approaches to understand the pathology of cardiovascular diseases, specifically Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. When not in the lab, I am often found participating in some sort of sport, such as powerlifting, ice hockey, field hockey, and running.

Name: Yasemin Onder
PDA Position: Vice-President
Campus: Boston
Department
: Neuroscience
Background: Working on neuroscience and metabolism. I like dancing, traveling, reading.

Name: Amarendra Badugu
PDA Position: Treasurer
Campus: Medford
Department
: Biology
Background:

Name: Gabrielle String
PDA Position: Co-Chair of Communications
Campus: Medford
Department
: I evaluate the efficacy of water treatment and storage recommendations and the effectiveness of water supply and treatment programs implemented in development and emergency contexts, such as cholera outbreaks. When not on field travel, I am able to maintain a lovely vegetable garden. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family canoeing the local waterways and bowling in a weekly league.

Name: Muhammad Qadri
PDA Position: Co-chair of Communications
Campus: Medford
Department
: Psychology
Background: I investigate how birds (and occasionally other animals) see the world, in order to better understand how vision works. I primarily study pigeons, starlings, and undergraduates using operant procedures and large, programmatically generated stimulus sets. When not in the lab, I enjoy tinkering with making technology and other around-the-house things work better.

Name: Alice Braga
PDA Position: Chair of the Advocacy Committee
Campus: Boston
Department
: Neuroscience
Background: I’m a postdoc in the Neuroscience dept., where I’m currently work on investigating the metabolic contribution of astrocyte in sustaining neuronal activity with a particular focus on sleep/wake cycle. In my spare time I like running, painting and definitely watching series on Netflix !

Name: Trina Basu
PDA Position: Co-chair of the Career Development Committee
Campus: Boston
Department: Neuroscience
Background: I am a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Jamie Maguire’s laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience. My research is focused on understanding how seizure induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis contributes to the worsening of neuropathology, seizure susceptibility and the appearance of comorbid affecive disorders in epilepsy. My hobbies outside of research include cooking, being active, crafting and reading!

Name: Georgina Kontou
PDA Position: Co-chair of the Career Development Committee
Campus: Boston
Department
: Neuroscience
Background: I am a postdoc at the AstraZeneca-Tufts Laboratory of Basic and Translational Neuroscience, where I am investigating the role of autism susceptibility gene products in the regulation of inhibition in the brain.

Name: Daviel Cardenas
PDA Position: Co-chair of the Outreach Committee & Tufts Medical Center Liaison
Campus: Tufts Medical Center
Department
:
Background:

Name: Grant Rutledge
PDA Position: Co-chair of the Outreach
Campus: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Department
: Neuroscience
Background:I am currently a first-year postdoc at the Human Nutritional Research Center on Aging studying how we can use diet to slow or reverse the effects of brain aging. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy playing tennis and running.

Name: Marta Domini
PDA Position: Career Development & Advocacy Committee Member
Campus: Medford
Department
: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Background:My research concerns the study and assessment of water, hygiene and sanitation provision in emergencies and low income contexts. I am passionate about art, books and theater.

Name: Fran Espejo
PDA Position: Advocacy Committee Member
Campus: Boston
Department
: Neuroscience
Background: After finishing my PhD in ALS and endocannabinoid system, now I have moved to Alzheimer’s disease and the exosome’s research. Beyond science, I prefer do sports than watch them, retro videogames and the spanish omelette better with onion than without

Name: Santosh Manicka
PDA Position: Committee Member
Campus: Medford
Department: Biology
Background: I study patterning in developmental and regenerative biology using dynamical network models in Michael Levin’s lab. As much as I love the abstract, I love to be one with nature as well. One of my recent favorite pastimes has been to learn to be ambidextrous.