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Postdoctoral Members

Postdoctoral membership in SOT provides early career toxicologists with opportunities for scientific growth, networking, and career advancement. All members of SOT who self-identify as postdoctoral scholars are part of the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), which was formed to increase involvement of postdocs in SOT and to address issues related to the postdoctoral experience. The PDA is governed by an elected PDA Executive Board who provide leadership for communications, strategic activities, and events of special interest to postdocs. Postdoctoral members serve leadership roles in the Society by participating as representatives for SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, and to Committees.

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How SOT Defines a Postdoc

The Society of Toxicology aligns its definition of a postdoctoral researcher closely with the definition set by the National Postdoctoral Association.

Characteristics that define a postdoctoral position include:

  • The postdoctoral appointment is temporary.
  • Effort is focused primarily on research.
  • The development of professional skills prepares the postdoc to actively pursue a career.
  • The postdoc is supervised by at least one senior scholar.
  • The postdoc is allowed and encouraged to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship.
  • The appointment is not part of a clinical training program.
Postdoctoral Assembly Leadership

All SOT Postdoctoral members are part of the Society’s Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA), which is governed by the elected PDA Executive Board. Postdoctoral representatives are appointed to SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, and some SOT Committees to enhance the involvement of postdoctoral scholars within SOT.

2017–2018 PDA Executive Board

  • Samantha Jean Snow, Chair (2017–2018)
  • Manushree Bharadwaj, Vice-Chair (2017–2019)
  • Gurjot Kaur, Secretary (2017–2019)
  • Marianna Stamou, Treasurer (2017–2018)
  • Cynthia Browning, Councilor (2017–2018)
  • Dilshan Harischandra, Councilor (2017–2018)
  • Rosonald R. Bell, Council Contact (2016–2018)
Samantha Jean Snow

Samantha Jean Snow, Chair

Dr. Snow received her PhD in Toxicology from UNC-Chapel Hill (2013) and BS in Biology from Delaware State University (2007). She is currently an US EPA Postdoctoral Fellow conducting her research in the laboratory of Dr. Urmila Kodavanti. Her research focuses on investigating the adverse pulmonary, cardiovascular, and metabolic effects associated with exposure to ozone and photochemically-aged pollutants in susceptible animal models of diabetes and diet-induced obesity. Dr. Snow has been an active member of the Society of Toxicology since 2009 and has held several leadership positions including serving as the Postdoctoral Assembly Treasurer (2015), Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section postdoctoral representative (2013) and graduate student representative (2012), and as the postdoctoral representative (2013–2014) for North Carolina SOT. Additionally, Dr. Snow is involved with the local Rho Tau chapter of Graduate Women in Science and serves as secretary for their executive committee (2014–2016).


Manushree Bharadwaj Manushree Bharadwaj, Vice-Chair

Dr. Bharadwaj is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Toxicology Program Laboratories (NTPL) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). After completion of veterinary degree in India (2011), she moved to the US and graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (2016) from the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University (OSU). Her current research at NIEHS involves multiple aspects of developmental, reproductive, and endocrine toxicology. She is using her pharmacology and bioanalytical knowledge to characterize environmental contaminating chemicals and their potential effects on our body. She is leading the high-throughput screening of numerous chemicals for their adipogenic and lipogenic effects on preadipocytes. She is also working on metabolomic and lipidomic analyses of environmental chemicals in animal models. Dr. Bharadwaj has served in different leadership roles, such as, the class representative during veterinary school (20062011) and as the vice-president (2013) and president of Graduate Student Association (2014) at OSU. She became an SOT member in 2015 and is an active member of the North Carolina Regional Chapter, Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section, Women in Toxicology, Comparative Veterinary Specialty Section, and Association of Scientists of Indian Origin. Under her broader vision for PDA, Dr. Bharadwaj is determined to conduct outstanding professional development activities and encourage participation from postdocs all over the world.


Gurjot Kaur Gurjot Kaur, Secretary

Dr. Kaur holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Delhi Institute of Sciences and Research, India, Master’s in Biotechnology (Topper, scholarship, one first author publication) from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, India and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Austrian science fund fellowship, one first author, three co-author publications, and two poster prizes) from University of Innsbruck, Austria. Her main research interests include ‘Transporters involved in microcystin cytotoxicity’ and ‘Ion channels involved in neurotoxicity’ in humans. She has served in many leadership roles throughout her education such as MCBO student representative, conference organizing committee member and student moderator during PhD, editorial assistant during Master’s and Cultural Secretary during Bachelor’s. In addition, she is actively involved in social issues such as increasing public awareness to waste segregation in India through her Facebook blog titled ‘let’s bin it Delhiites’ and integration of science in daily life and twitter handle.


Marianna Stamou Marianna Stamou, Treasurer

Dr. Stamou studied Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and Business Administration (MBA) at the Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece). Between 2002 and 2009, she worked as an analytical chemist at the World-Anti-Doping-Agency (WADA)-accredited Doping Control Laboratory of Greece. She obtained a Masters in Pharmaceutical Development and Quality Control in 2009 (National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UC Davis (mentor: Pamela J. Lein) in 2015. Since 2015, Marianna is a postdoc in the group of Shana J. Sturla (ETH, Switzerland). Her current research focuses on using proteomic tools to investigate the role of environmental exposures as risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Marianna has been a member of SOT since 2011 and attended/presented at every SOT Annual Meeting since then. She has served as the NorCal SOT graduate student representative (20122013), GSLC secretary (20122013) and GSLC professional development subcommittee chair (20132014). She has also volunteered for the SOT Continuing Education Courses, and served as a facilitator and member of the Organizing member of the PDA Executive Board.


Cynthia Browning Cynthia Browning, Councilor

Dr. Browning is a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University, where she is developing aquatic microtissue models to advance in vitro toxicity testing of emerging nanomaterials. She received a PhD in Biomedical Science and Engineering from the University of Maine in December 2016. Dr. Browning’s research interests focus on aquatic toxicology and enhancing in vitro techniques for evaluating the effects of emerging pollutants on freshwater and marine species. She has been a member of SOT since 2011 and has presented at the Annual Meeting for the past three years. She is actively engaged in the SOT community, volunteering for the Continuing Education Program and the K–12 Outreach Program. In addition, she engages her leadership skills in both local and international communities, serving as the Student Representative on both her graduate program’s External Advisory Board at the University of Maine and the Society of Marine Mammalogy Committee of Scientific Advisors.


Daniel Spade Dilshan Harischandra, Councilor

Dr. Harischandra is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania. His primary research interest is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that protect against protein neurodegenerative diseases and characterizing the environmental-neurotoxicant influence on protein misfolding diseases. Dr. Harischandra received his PhD in Toxicology (2016) and BS in Genetics (2010) from Iowa State University. He has received several research awards through at various conferences, including the Syngenta Fellowship, the Carl C. Smith Graduate Student Award and the Toshio Narahashi Neurotoxicology student awards awarded at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting. In addition, he was invited to talk at several national and international scientific meetings, including Prion Conference, Zing Protein Folding Conference and SOT Annual Meeting. Dr. Harischandra has been an SOT member since 2012, and has served as the Graduate Student Representative for the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section and the Central States Chapter of SOT.


Rosonald R. Bell, Council Contact

Dr. Bell received his BS in biology/premedicine from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1981 and his MS and PhD in pharmaceutical sciences with a concentration in pharmacology/toxicology from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University in 1989 and 1992, respectively. In 1992, Dr. Bell accepted a two-year postdoctoral research position with The Upjohn Company (now Pfizer Inc.) in Kalamazoo, Michigan under the direction of Dr. Gerald J. Kolaja, where he was involved in nephrotoxicity method development and gained a familiarity with nonclinical drug safety assessment. In 1994, following his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Bell joined Ciba Pharmaceuticals Corporation (now Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation) in Summit, New Jersey as study director and also managed both the general and reproductive toxicology groups. He became certified in general toxicology in 1996, as a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. In 1998, Dr. Bell joined GD Searle/Monsanto in Skokie, Illinois and his primary role was as a Discovery and Development Project Team representative on projects in the arthritis and inflammation therapeutic area. In 2003, Dr. Bell accepted an associate research fellow position with Pfizer Inc. Dr. Bell currently serves as both a regulatory strategy lead and a drug safety team lead at Pfizer Inc., Groton, Connecticut, with the primary responsibility for Pre-FIH—LOE oversight of submissions and regulatory strategies. His responsibilities also include the design and implementation of research projects to support nonclinical safety evaluation of therapeutic agents with special emphasis on injectable anti-inflammatory biotherapeutics. His research interest is in heavy induced pulmonary toxicity with an emphasis on uncovering the biochemical and cytological alterations.

Postdoc Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section Representatives

Each SOT Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section may appoint a Postdoctoral Representative to provide leadership for their group and communication with the PDA. The representative encourages membership in SOT and the component group as well as development of activities to enhance involvement of postdocs in SOT. The complete list of current representatives is available on ToXchange.

Postdoc Committee Representatives

Some SOT Committees invite the PDA Executive Board to appoint a Postdoctoral Representative to serve as an ad hoc member of the committee to provide the perspective of, and communication with, SOT postdoctoral scholars.

Career Resources and Development Committee
Pankajini Mallick
ScitoVation

Committee on Diversity Initiatives
Dwayne Carter
Organovo Holdings

Continuing Education Committee
Miao Li
Kansas State University

Education Committee
Priya Tripathi
University of Michigan

Membership Committee
Courtney Roper
Oregon State University

Best Postdoctoral Publication Award

The Best Postdoctoral Publication Award recognizes outstanding work accomplished during formal, mentored postdoctoral traineeships by recognizing recently published exceptional papers in the field of toxicology. Applications are reviewed by the Postdoctoral Assembly Board and outside reviewers with appropriate scientific expertise, following NIH conflict of interest, confidentiality, and nondisclosure rules.

2017 Recipients

BPP Awardee Fabian Grimm, PhD, Texas A&M University. A Chemical–Biological Similarity-Based Grouping of Complex Substances as a Prototype Approach for Evaluating Chemical Alternatives.
Green Chemistry in May 2016.
BPP Awardee Sascha C.T. Nicklisch, PhD, University of California, San Diego. Global Marine Pollutants Inhibit P-glycoprotein: Environmental Levels, Inhibitory Effects, and Cocrystal Structure.
Science Advances in April 2015.
BPP Awardee Mira Pavkovic, PhD, Harvard Medical School. Detection of Drug-Induced Acute Kidney Injury in Humans Using Urinary KIM-1, miR-21, -200c, and -423.
Toxicological Science in July 2016.
Postdoc Events and Activities

Poster Tours for Trainees

The Postdoctoral Assembly organizes Poster Tours for Trainees at the SOT Annual Meeting for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to participate in a one-hour guided poster tour with a toxicologist guide. These small group tours provide the opportunity for trainees to take part in critical evaluation of cutting-edge toxicology methods and research findings and network with a senior toxicologist.

PDA Luncheon

To encourage increased participation and networking among postdoctoral scholars, the Postdoctoral Assembly (PDA) Board hosts a luncheon at the SOT Annual Meeting exclusively for postdocs to gather in an informal setting to relax, network, and celebrate their achievements others, including PDA officers, Postdoctoral Representatives, and SOT Councilors.

Postdoc Resources

PDA Webinars and Career Development Sessions

The PDA organizes webinars designed to provide postdocs with career tips and advice. The PDA also helps organize Career Development Sessions each year at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. Recordings of these webinars and information on the Career Development Sessions are available in the Careers section of the website.

Go to: Career Development Advice and Tips for webinar and session information

PDA-Hosted Webinar on Tips for Organizing and Presenting a Webinar

Postdoc Career White Papers

Post-y Newsletter

The Post-y is produced by the Postdoctoral Assembly on a biannual basis to feature news and articles of interest to SOT postdoctoral members throughout the year.