Jefferson Postdoctoral Association

President's Talk

The Jefferson Postdoctoral Association (JPA) is proud to present the President's Talk.

The first President's Talk was delivered in 2018, and has since become an anticipated annual event. The primary objective is for a past JPA President to discuss the impact and role that Jefferson and the JPA played in their career path. After hearing this unique perspective on a career journey, current postdocs can consider options for their own career trajectory.

2023-2024 | Dr. Rodolfo Thome

Rodolfo Thome, PhD

Scientific Investigator and GSK Associate Fellow
JPA President, 2018-2019

When: Wednesday, June 12, 1-2pm
Where: BLSB 105

For information on Dr. Rodolfo Thome's extensive background, please visit his LinkedIn page.

Past President's Talks

Ahmad Naim, PhD

Vice President, US Medical Affairs, Incyte
JPA President, 2004-2006

When: Monday, June 5, 1-2pm
Where: 407 JAH or Virtual on Zoom

For information on Dr. Ahmad Naim's extensive background, please visit his LinkedIn page.

Pragati Katiyar, PhD

Senior Health Science Policy Analyst, National Institute on Aging (NIA) (JPA President, 2011)

When: Wednesday, June 15, 1pm-2pm
Where: Watch on Zoom in 407 JAH or in your lab/home
Contact: for Zoom link and any questions

For information on Dr. Pragati Katiyar's extensive background, please visit the NIA website here.

Anne Grace, PhD

Senior Clinical Research Associate at Northwestern University, Chicago (former JPA President 2007-2008)

Keynote Talk - The (Career) Path Less Traveled

About the Speaker

Anne completed her B.S. in Biology at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio in 2002. From there, she went on to pursue her PhD in Biomedical Science (Immunology) at the University of Toledo (formerly the Medical College of Ohio) and graduated in 2006. Her graduate work focused on the adaptive immune response to streptococcus pneumoniae in young and elderly adults. She then continued to research B-cell immunology when she joined the laboratory of Dr. Kishore Alugupalli at Thomas Jefferson University in 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow. While at Jefferson, she served as JPA Vice President of Social Affairs in 2007 and as JPA President from 2007-2008. In 2008, Anne joined the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Research Administration Fellow. During this one year fellowship, she received training in the fields of technology transfer, clinical research, and regulatory affairs. In 2009, Anne moved to Chicago, Illinois and took a position at Northwestern University. As a Senior Contract and Grant Officer in the Office for Sponsored Research, Anne negotiated material and data transfer agreements on behalf of Northwestern faculty. In 2015, she joined the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Northwestern as a Senior Clinical Research Associate. In her current role, she supports the division's faculty by managing the team's clinical research and outreach programs as they work to improve patient outcomes and support women with gynecologic cancers.

2021-2022 | Dr. Pragati Katiyar

Elizabeth Mari, PhD

Medical Science Liaison, EMD Serono

Keynote Talk - Lessons I Learned During My Transition from Academia: How to Leverage your Training Beyond the Bench

About the Speaker

Dr. Elisabeth Mari is a Medical Science Liaison with EMD Serono and based in the New York City area. Prior to her role at EMD Serono, Dr. Mari was the Director of Biomedical Research at the National MS Society, whose responsibilities included supporting the Society’s biomedical research grant portfolio, fellowship programs and the International Progressive MS Alliance.  An immunologist by training, Dr. Mari began her career in biomedical researcher as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. She then obtained her doctorate in Hematology and Immunology from Imperial College London, studying the role of regulatory T cells in bone marrow transplantation tolerance. After graduation, Dr. Mari completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where her research focused on antigen-specific tolerance in animal models of MS. 

Denise C. Fitzgerald, PhD

Queen's University, Ireland (former JPA president 2006-2007)

Career-Centered Talk - My career path: Playing the long game (on a bumpy road)

Keynote Talk - Harnessing the immune system to regenerate the Central Nervous System

About the Speaker

Denise completed her B.Sc. in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at University College Dublin (1996-2000) where she then went on to pursue her PhD in Immunology under the mentorship of Prof. Alan Baird (2000-2004). During this time Denise developed a keen interest in demyelinating diseases of the CNS and in 2004 she moved to Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia to pursue postdoctoral training in MS research in the lab of Dr. Abdolmohamad Rostami. During that time, Denise was awarded a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (USA) which supported her commitment to researching CNS demyelination. In 2009, Denise moved to Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to start her own independent research group. In 2015 she became Northern Ireland’s first recipient of a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. She was awarded the QUB Vice-Chancellors prize for Research Innovation in 2017 and the QUB Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2018. Her work on immune-mediated myelin regeneration was recently awarded the 2018 UK MS Society’s Annual Research Prize. She is currently Professor of Neuroimmunology in QUB and the focus of her research team is uncovering mechanism of how the immune system influences tissue regeneration in the Central Nervous System.