Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Postdoctoral Research Symposium

13th Postdoctoral Research Symposium

When: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
: Thomas Jefferson University, Center City campus (Hamilton Building).  

Abstract Submission - Closed for 2019

Abstract submission is now closed for PRS 2019.

Abstract Categories:

  • Poster Presentation
  • Oral Presentation
  • Early Discoveries Poster Presentation


  • Participation is open only to Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) postdoctoral fellows.
  • Only one abstract may be submitted per postdoc. All abstract submissions will be considered, but there is not a guarantee of abstract acceptance.
  • Abstracts must be approved by your PI/supervisor. Your PI will be emailed a copy of the abstract.
  • Please indicate on the form whether you wish to be considered for an oral presentation.  Except for “Early Discoveries” abstracts, all abstracts may be selected for oral presentations.
  • Abstract selection for oral presentations will be based on: clarity, significance of research, scientific approach to the problem.
  • Oral presentations will be limited to 10 minutes with 3-4 minutes additional time for questions and discussion.
  • If selected for an oral presentation, you will need to attend two training modules to enhance your presentation and oral communication skills, provided by an expert from Jefferson’s Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communication (OPWPC).

Oral Presentation training details:

  • Group training for all oral presenters – May 15, 12pm-1pm, Bluemle 107
  • One-on-one training session – 1 hour long practice session – May 29 or May 30 – sign-up sheet will be sent.
    All selected oral presenters must attend both training sessions. These sessions were designed to help YOU become the best presenter that you can be! Please contact us at if you would be unable to attend these sessions.
  • The “Early Discoveries” category is designed to showcase postdocs that are new to TJU or have started new projects. Abstracts selected for the “Early Discoveries” category will only be considered for a poster presentation, and this category will be subject to a distinct set of judges and judging criteria.

    Eligibility for “Early Discoveries”
    : You have been a postdoc for 1 year or less at TJU, or you have initiated a new project within 6 months or less.

Instructions for Abstract Submission:

  • Abstracts must be submitted through the online form above. You can copy and paste your abstract into the textbox in the form or type it directly into the textbox.
  • Abstract text is limited to 2100 characters including spaces and MUST fit in the text box on the submission form. Abstracts longer than 2100 characters will not be accepted.
  • Spell out all Greek letters such as alpha, beta, gamma etc.
  • Please do not include figures in your abstract.
  • Notification of oral presentation selection will be in early May.

Judging & Awards

  • Oral and Poster presentations will be judged. Monetary prizes will be awarded for the best presentations.
  • Postdocs who have previously won in a category (e.g. Early Discoveries Poster, Regular Poster, or Oral) may submit an abstract for consideration in any category. However, you will not be eligible to be judged or to win a prize in the same category in consecutive symposia.

Judging Criteria

Oral and Poster presentations:

  • Scientific content (originality, execution and interpretation, knowledge)
  • Quality of presentation (organization, communication, visual aids)

Early Discoveries Poster presentations:

  • Presentation and enthusiasm
  • Strength of hypothesis and scope
  • Proposed methodology
Questions? Contact us at 
Sarah Millar PhD

Dr. Sarah Millar

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

The keynote address will take place 1:30-2:30 pm, Connelly Auditorium, Hamilton Building, 1001 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA.

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.

Tentative event schedule

  • 9:00 – 10:00       Poster set-up/coffee
  • 10:00 – 11:30     Oral Presentations - session 1
  • 11:45 – 1:15       Career Lunch Roundtable
  • 1:30 – 2:30         Keynote Address – Dr. Sarah Millar
  • 2:30 – 3:00         Awards (Distinguished Mentor + Friend of the JPA)
  • 3:00 – 4:00         Poster Session
  • 4:00 – 5:30         Oral Presentations - session 2
  • 5:30 – End          Reception and Awards (oral/poster presentation winners)
*Stay tuned for the full event itinerary and updates

Previous Events

12th Postdoctoral Research Symposium

The Jefferson Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in collaboration with the Jefferson Postdoctoral Association (JPA) hosted the 12th Postdoctoral Research Symposium (PRS) on Thursday, June 7th, 2018. The Keynote Speaker was hematologist,  Dr. Katherine High.  

katherine high, PhD

Dr. katherine high

Dr. Katherine High, MD, PhD, is a hematologist and was a Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for 22 years. During this time, she was also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Founding Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. High has a long-standing interest in gene therapy for genetic disease, and has pioneered the safe and effective translation to clinical studies in inherited retinal dystrophies and in hemophilia. In 2013, she helped to co-found a gene therapy company, Spark Therapeutics, where she currently serves as President and Head of R&D.

Spark is focused on discovering, developing, and delivering gene therapies for genetic disease. Under Dr. High's leadership, Spark has received Breakthrough Therapy Designation for three programs, one for hemophilia A, one for hemophilia B and the other for a rare form of congenital blindness. In 2017, the FDA approved Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna®, an AAV vector for the treatment of a rare form of congenital blindness. Dr. High is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has published over 200 scientific papers, and holds a number of patents related to gene therapy.


2018 PRS Award Winners

Outstanding Oral Presenters
Dr. Brigid Jensen, from the laboratory of Dr. Piera Pasinelli
Dr. Dan Erkes, from the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Aplin

Outstanding Poster Presenters
Dr. Xi Chen, from the laboratory of Dr. Peisong Ma
Dr. Yu-Ting Mao, from the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Dalva
Dr. Claire Simmoneau, from the laboratory of Dr. Arie Horowitz
Dr. Shunchuan Zhang, from the laboratory of Dr. Chris Snyder

Outstanding Poster Presenter, Early Discoveries
Dr. Aastha Kapoor, from the laboratory of Dr. Renato Iozzo


11th Postdoctoral Research Symposium

The Jefferson Postdoctoral Association and the Jefferson College of Life Sciences (JCLS) Office of Postdoctoral Affairs hosted the 11th Jefferson Postdoctoral Research Symposium (PRS) on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. William Kaelin

William Kaelin

Dr. William Kaelin

Dr. William Kaelin is a Professor at the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He obtained his undergraduate and MD degrees from Duke University and completed his training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident. He was a clinical fellow in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar.

Dr. Kaelin is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In 2016, Dr. Kaelin was awarded the prestigious Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Dr. Kaelin is the former postdoc mentor of Dr. Haifeng Yang,  Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology,  Anatomy and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University.

2017 PRS Award Winners

Outstanding Oral Presenters
Dr. Xiaosong He, from the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Tracy
Dr. Valentina Minieri, from the laboratory of Dr. Bruno Calabretta

Outstanding Poster Presenters
Dr. Clare Adams, from the laboratory of Dr. Christine Eischen
Dr. Adam Bartok, from the laboratory of Dr. Gyorgy Hajnockzy
Dr. David Booth, from the laboratory of Dr. Gyorgy Hajnockzy
Dr. Lauren Jablonowski, from the laboratory of Dr. Flemming Forsberg
Dr. Aurore Lebrun, from the laboratory of Dr. Craig Hooper

Outstanding Poster Presenters, Early Discoveries
Dr. Elena Mogilyansky, from the laboratory of Dr. Linda Siracusa
Dr.  Patrizia Porazzi, from the laboratory of Dr. Bruno Calabretta

10th Postdoctoral Research Symposium

PRS 2015

Past Keynote Speakers 2006-2018

2018 - Dr. Katherine High, University of Pennsylvania

2017 - Dr. William Kaelin, Harvard Medical School

2016 - PRS wasn’t held

2015 - Dr. Dennis Discher, University of Pennsylvania

2014 - Dr. Elaine Fuchs, Rockefeller University

2013 - Dr. Jonathan Yewdell, NIAID, NIH

2012 - Dr. Scott Kern, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

2011 - Dr. Sharon Milgram, NIH

2010 - Dr. Keith Yamamoto, University of California, San Francisco

2009 - Dr. Carol Prives, Columbia University

2008 - Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, Duke University

2007 - Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck, NINDS, NIH

2006 - Dr. Christopher Austin, Chemical Genomics Center, NIH