The DMA recognizes Jefferson faculty members who excel in mentoring postdoctoral fellows. The award also serves to highlight the importance of positive and effective mentoring of postdoctoral fellows. A good mentor not only teaches his/her mentees but serves as an advocate, adviser and positive role model during the period of direct training and in the following years. 

The DMA was established by the Jefferson Postdoctoral Association (JPA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) in 2007. It is awarded on an annual basis. See winners below.

2019 Winner- Christine Eischen, PhD

Nominees were:

  • Walter Kraft, MD
  • Jennifer Tinker, PhD
  • Jonathan Brody, PhD

Past Winners


  • Andrew Aplin, PhD
  • Christine Eischen, PhD
  • Ulhas Naik, PhD
  • Raymond Penn, PhD
  • Jay Schneider, PhD


  • Alok Bhushan, PhD
  • Leonard Edelstein, PhD
  • Pascal Jabbour, MD
  • Jeffrey Joseph, MD
  • Steven McKenzie, MD, PhD
  • Jay Schneider, PhD


Each nominee must be a faculty member of Jefferson, nominated by a postdoctoral fellow. The nominee does not need to be the direct supervisor/PI of the postdoc who submits the nomination. Faculty members are not eligible to receive the DMA in consecutive years.


A postdoctoral fellow may nominate a faculty member who has mentored him/her for at least six months. Submissions are made using the official nomination form, limited to one form per postdoc per year. The nominator is highly encouraged to include supporting nominations from other current postdocs and/or letters of support from former Jefferson postdocs.

Nomination forms and all supporting material must be e-mailed to Lisa Kozlowski or delivered to M-46 Jefferson Alumni Hall.


The recipient is chosen by the DMA Selection Committee, based on criteria set out in the nomination form. The Committee is chaired by Lisa Kozlowski, PhD, Associate Dean for Student & Postdoctoral Affairs, and consists of past DMA winners and postdocs.

The DMA is presented at the annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium or at another suitable event. All nominated mentors are recognized and a list of nominees is distributed via email to senior administration, faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and students at Thomas Jefferson University as well as listed below.

The Jefferson College of Life Sciences Dean’s Office and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs are pleased to be able to continue to provide travel fellowships for postdoctoral fellows. These awards are meant to help defray the cost of attending a national or international meeting at which an abstract has been accepted. Starting with the October 2015 application cycle, postdocs are allowed to apply their fellowship to help defray the costs of a career or professional development opportunity, such as a course or workshop not available at Jefferson, for example, meetings and courses program or special topics courses.  

Since our 12th year of this initiative in 2016, we were able to grant fellowships with larger amounts. We hope that this will allow faculty and departments to more easily cover the remaining travel expenses. The travel fellowships can be requested in amounts up to $1000. Postdoctoral fellows that are at least in the second year of their current postdoctoral position at TJU by the time of the meeting are eligible to apply. The Awards and Fellowships Committee of the JCLS Graduate Council reviews and selects fellowship recipients on a competitive basis. Only one fellowship will be awarded per postdoctoral fellow while at TJU.

Deadlines are February 1, June 1 and October 1.

This initiative was spurred by the results from the 2005 Jefferson Postdoctoral Association (JPA) survey. The data demonstrated that more than 85% of JPA survey respondents went to 1 meeting or less/year over the course of their postdoctoral tenure. Attendance and presentation at scientific meetings allow postdocs to share their results with colleagues, hone their presentation skills, as well as network with scientists from across the globe. The survey results along with our commitment to enhance the professional development training of TJU postdocs prompted us to establish these travel fellowships.

Official guidelines and an application form are available below. Please contact Dr. Lisa Kozlowski with any questions.

13th Postdoctoral Research Symposium

2019 PRS Award Winners

Outstanding Oral Presenters

Dr. Patrizia Porazzi, from the laboratory of Dr. Bruno Calabretta

Dr. Xi Chen, from the laboratory of Dr. Peisong Ma

Outstanding Poster Presenters

Dr. Zuzana Nichtova, from the laboratory of Dr. Gyorgy Csordas

Dr. Flora Szeri, from the laboratory of Dr. Koen van de Wetering

Dr. Malela Werner, from the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Silver

Dr. Eric Wong, from the laboratory of Dr. Luis Sigal

Outstanding Poster Presenters, Early Discoveries

Dr. Lazaro Aira, from the laboratory of Dr. Gudrun Debes

Dr. Jennifer Romer-Seibert, from the laboratory of Dr. Sara Meyer

Dr. Sarah Millar - Keynote Speaker for the 2019 PRS
Director, Black Family Stem Cell Institute and Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professorial Chair, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York NY   

Sarah E. Millar, PhD is the Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, and Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professorial Chair in the Departments of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After graduating from Cambridge University, Dr. Millar received her PhD from the University of London and then trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the NIH and at Stanford University. She was appointed to the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor in 1999, and was promoted to a tenured Associate Professor position in 2005 and full Professor in 2009. Dr. Millar served as Director of Research and Vice-Chair for Basic Research in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania before joining Mount Sinai in April 2019. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program.

Dr. Millar is internationally recognized as a leading researcher in epithelial biology. Her research group has made seminal discoveries on the roles of Wnt signaling and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in development and regeneration of the skin and its appendages. She is an Editorial Board member for Developmental Cell and Experimental Dermatology, a Deputy Editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and has served on numerous national and international grant review committees. Dr. Millar has received several awards in recognition of her research, including an NIH MERIT Award for her work on Wnt signaling in the skin, and the 2017 William Montagna Lectureship Award of the Society for Investigative Dermatology.

2019 Friend of the JPA Award Pamela Walter, MFA

The JPA board unanimously chose Pamela Walter, MFA, as the 2019 Friend of the JPA for her dedication and guidance in developing and supporting many JPA initiatives, including the Postdoctoral Scientific Editing and Reviewing Team (PSERT), the Technical Skills Seminar Series (TSSS), National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week (NPAW), and the Postdoctoral Research Symposium (PRS).

The Friend of the JPA (Jefferson Postdoctoral Association) Award is given each year to someone who has helped the postdoctoral fellows at Jefferson in general as well as the JPA specifically. Past recipients include:

2018Dr. Lisa Kozlowski, Associate Dean for Student and Postdoctoral Affairs and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in the Jefferson College of Life Sciences, for her constant guidance and mentoring and for organizing professional development workshops, seminars, speed networking events, career roundtables, the annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium, and much more.  She has dedicated 14 years to implementing policies and providing career guidance and professional advice to Jefferson's postdoctoral fellows. 

2017 - Office of Animal Resources, for its active support of postdoctoral fellows’ research by maintaining the animal facilities, caring for the animals, assisting in orientation and training of researchers, and helping postdocs follow the appropriate protocols and regulations.

2015 - In honor of the 10th year of the Postdoctoral Research Symposium (PRS), the Executive Board of the JPA honored a member of the Jefferson community with the JPA “Friend of the Decade” Award.  The winner was Dr. Gerald Grunwald, JCLS Dean, for his constant contributions to the postdoctoral community at Thomas Jefferson University, including providing a budget to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, JPA, and Postdoctoral Travel Fellowships. He also plays an active role in our Postdoctoral Fellowship Application Program (PFAP) and attends social events.  He provides constant support and guidance that is felt throughout the Jefferson postdoctoral community. 

2014 - Gary Kaplan - Senior Librarian at Scott Library-For his continuing help with PFAP.

2013 - Dr. Gerald Grunwald - JCBS Dean-For his key role in developing the university's postdoctoral policies, creating the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and encouraging the establishment of the JPA.

2012 - TJU Office of International Affairs - For their continuous help and care of our international postdocs.

2011 - Dr. James Keen - Faculty member and past JCBS Dean-For all of his help in establishing the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the JPA.

2010 - Dr. Mary Whitman - Jefferson Alumna, Director of Medical Affairs at Centocor (Janssen)-For her help in obtaining funding for PRS from Centocor/Johnson & Johnson.

2009 - Charles Mullins - Thomas Jefferson University Department of Nutrition and Dietetics-For his help with all of our catering needs.

2008 - Dr. Carol Beck - JCLS Associate Dean-For her help with raffle prizes for our Mardi Gras party.

2007 - Karen Krasnavolgyi - Scott Library-For her help with starting PFAP.

2006 - Dr. Dennis Gross - JCLS Associate Dean, for his continuous encouragement of the JPA.