Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Our Team

Officers 2017-18

Vilas Desai Vice-President for Nominations and Elections

Vilas Desai

Vilas is from India. After doing his MS in Microbiology, he got his PhD from BITS Pilani, Goa campus, India. Currently, he is a post-doctoral fellow at the Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Pharmacy. His research work is mainly focused on pancreatic cancer, gliomas and glioblastoma, where he studies the pharmacological effects of combinations of isoflavones and statins on cancer cell proliferation, and the subsequent cell signaling pathways.

Megha Verma, Secretary

Megha Verma
Vice President Career Development

Dr. Megha Verma completed her MSc in Molecular Biology at the University of Sheffield, UK and then continued her Doctoral training to complete her PhD thesis “Impact of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling in Alzheimer’s disease” at the Roskamp Institute, Florida.  She joined Thomas Jefferson University in 2015 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Anatomy, working under Dr. Jay S. Schneider. Her research includes the study of epigenetics of early-life lead exposure and effects on brain development.

Valentina Minieri

Valentina Minieri
Vice-President of Communications

Valentina earned a Bachelor degree and a Master degree in Biotechnology at University of Turin, Italy. During her PhD in Human Genetics at University of Turin she established two collaborations in London, moving to Cancer Research UK first and University College London (UCL) later. As a Postdoc she moved to Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia where she is conducting research on leukemia. As VP of Communication in the JPA Executive Board,  she is responsible for advertising all the JPA events and website content updates. Valentina leads new initiatives in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Jefferson Career Development Center and actively cooperates with other members of the JPA in proposing and organizing social events and seminars.

Rodolfo Thome, Vice-President for Social Affairs

Rodolfo Thome
Vice-President Nominations and Elections

Rodolfo Thome is from Sao Paolo-Brazil, where he earned his Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology with a major in Immunology from University of Campinas (UNICAMP). He joined Dr. Rostami’s lab as a post-doc fellow at Jefferson Hospital of Neuroscience early 2016. His research interests are (1) the study of the development and function of dendritic cells and (2) the development of cell/cytokine-based therapies in Multiple Sclerosis using the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis model of MS.

Fabio Quaglia

Fabio Quaglia
Senior Vice-President 

I earned my MS degree in biochemistry from the University of Camerino in Italy. During my PhD in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Camerino I studied the termination step of protein synthesis in prokaryote cells. Currently, I am a post doc at Thomas Jefferson University in the Department of Biochemistry, were I am trying to find new antibiotics and establish their mechanism of action.


Kalyan Golla, Treasurer

Kalyan Golla

Kalyan is from India where he earned his BS in Pharmacy. He earned his MS from Dublin institute of Technology, Ireland and  his PhD from Royal College of Surgeon in Ireland. Currently he is a postdoctoral fellow in Hematology department in Thomas Jefferson. His research work is mainly focused on identification of role of mitotic protein in platelet function and role of tight junction proteins in endothelial cell function.

Larissa Ishikawa

Larissa Ishikawa
Vice-President Social Affairs

Larissa Ishikawa is from Brazil where she earned her Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences from Sao Paulo State University (UNESP). Her Masters and PhD in Infectious and Parasitic Illnesses from Botucatu Medical School and Postdoctoral training at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from the Institute of Biosciences of Botucatu (UNESP).  Recently, Larissa has joined Dr. Rostami's lab as a Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Thomas Jefferson Hospital of Neuroscience. Larissa has been working in the Immunology field focusing on immunomodulation in experimental models for autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.


Giamoco Casella

Giacomo Casella

I am from Rome, Italy and I earned my Bachelors degree in Medical Biotechnology and Masters in Neuroscience in my home country. This year I acquired my PhD in molecular medicine at Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan. My PhD project involved characterizing and using engineered extracellular vesicles as possible therapeutic tools in neuro-inflammation. In October I joined Dr. Abdolmohamad Rostami's lab as a Postdoctoral fellow at Thomas Jefferson Hospital of Neuroscience. My scientific interest involves testing different therapeutic compounds in the mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Our Team