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The POSTDOCket is the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) newsletter covering news items and features of interest to the postdoctoral community.


The NPA welcomes member submissions for inclusion in The POSTDOCket. Please contact the POSTDOCket editor in chief, to share your story ideas. Interested in advertising with the NPA?


In This Issue


Volume 16, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Thirty-Plus Years Enhancing the Postdoc Experience: A Profile of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award Winner Sam Castañeda

Christopher Smith


Sam Castañeda is recognized for 30 years of service enhancing the postdoc experience, from being a founding member of the NPA Advisory Council to taking on numerous leadership roles to advance the interests of postdoctoral scholars.

Networking made fun at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame NPA Annual Conference Event

NPA Staff


Join your colleagues at the NPA Annual Conference for a unique networking opportunity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Academic Advice in the Career Searches Beyond the Tenure Track

Melissa Vaught


A thoughtful guide to maintaining, appreciating and making use of your academic network while pursuing careers that move beyond the bench.

Grow Your Network with Biotech Connection Los Angeles

Lining Zhu


Biotech Connection Los Angeles guides scientists on best practices to becoming entrepreneurs while remaining in Los Angeles and works to promote Los Angeles as a center for biotech innovation and economic leadership.

NPA News and Committee Corner


The Committees of Membership are the core of the NPA. Here are some highlights of what committees and officers have been up to and how you can get involved.

Thank you to renewing Sustaining Members of the NPA!


Sustaining Members are a vital part of the NPA. Sustaining Members represent a range of professional societies, postdoc associations, postdoc offices, and other organizations that serve the postdoctoral community. Students, postdocs, faculty, and staff at NPA Sustaining Member institutions are eligible to join the NPA, at no cost, as Affiliate Members. Check to see if your institution is an NPA Sustaining Member.



Welcome to the NPA!

University of Kentucky  

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Thank you for your continued support!

American Physiological Society The Rockefeller University
Baylor College of Medicine Universities Space Research Association

Brookhaven National Laboratory

University of Alabama Birmingham

Case Western Reserve University

University of Texas at San Antonia

Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Wake Forest University



Past issues (2017- )

Access The POSTDOCket archive (Restricted to members)

Simone Otto, Ph.D.

Editor in Chief

Simone Otto, Ph.D., received her doctoral degree in neuroscience from the University of Vermont in 2013. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Ion Channel Physiology Group, part of the Neurobiology Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), she has been researching adult neurogenesis. Otto is an ongoing contributor to the Environmental Factor(E-Factor), an online news publication, and has served as a representative of the E-Factor on the NIEHS Trainees Assembly for several years. Her commitment to a career in science communication led her to serve on the NIEHS Annual Career Symposium (2014-2017), including organizing panel discussions, updating a website and producing a publication for the Symposium. In addition, Otto has frequently sought out opportunities to mentor non-traditional students. In her free time, Otto spends time with her three sons, one of whom is currently in medical school, teaching her cairn terrier to do tricks, or working on ideas for a future novel.


Otto's involvement with The POSTDOCket and the NPA are personal, and do not represent any endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or National Institutes of Health.


Ian Street, Ph.D.

Deputy Editor

Ian Street, Ph.D., has a doctoral degree in plant biology from Washington University and was a postdoc in the Schaller lab at Dartmouth College. He is currently a virtual lab manager at HappiLabs. He writes and edits at his science blog, The Quiet Branches, as well as Botany One, and The POSTDOCket. He is also a cohost of The Recovering Academic podcast.


Associate editors include: Viviane Callier, Ph.D., Kristy Hentchel, Ph.D., Stephani Page, Ph.D., Andrew Pike, Ph.D., Irina Tiper, Ph.D., and Elaine Wells-Gray, Ph.D.

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