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NPA Announces the Results of the 2015 Board Election

Monday, October 19, 2015   (0 Comments)
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October 19, 2015

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has elected four individuals to the Board of Directors for the three-year term of service beginning on January 1, 2016: Tracy Costello, Ph.D.; Juliet Moncaster, Ph.D.; Chris Pickett, Ph.D.; and Jana Stone, Ph.D.

The directors were elected from a field of eleven candidates during the 2015 election, which ran from September 24, 2015 through October 8, 2015. The newly elected directors will join the following members of the Board: Josh Henkin, Ph.D.; Kristene Henne, Ph.D.; Barbara Natalizio, Ph.D.; Darwin Operario, Ph.D., MPH; Marina Ramon, Ph.D.; Yvette Seger, Ph.D.; and Kate Sleeth, Ph.D.


Giselle Sandi, Ph.D., has resigned as a Board member effective immediately. Her service was much appreciated.

Tracy Costello, Ph.D. is the program manager for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she plans, organizes, sets direction and evaluates the academic and career development programming for postdoctoral fellows. She provides strategic oversight to the postdoctoral association, has introduced an institutional Individual Development Plan, enhanced new postdoc orientation, developed networking opportunities and provides one-on-one coaching and mentoring to a numerous postdocs. In addition to this role, she has been both vice chair and chair of the NPA Advocacy Committee, and has served on National Science Foundation (NSF) study sections and the 2015 Committee of Visitors for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate.

Costello earned her doctorate degree in biomathematics & biostatistics and human & molecular genetics while on an R25 Predoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Prevention in 2004 at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston.  She completed two postdoctoral fellowships (an R25 Postdoc Fellowship in Cancer Prevention and Health Disparities Research) before becoming a senior statistical analyst in health disparities research.  Her research interests, though varied, have basis in the development of statistical methodology and have focused on data mining and meta-analysis methodologies with applications in genetics, extensions to regressive logistic statistical theory applied to genetic anticipation, epidemiological analyses in a variety of disorders, longitudinal, mixed model analyses of smoking cessation clinical trial data in underserved and minority populations and factor analysis of psychological questionnaire data. She left MD Anderson to pursue an opportunity with Exagen Diagnostics in 2010 which resulted in a patent application for a diagnostic and prognostic test for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She returned to MD Anderson in October 2012 to expand the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at MD Anderson.

Juliet Moncaster, Ph.D., obtained her Bachelor of Science in biomedical science from University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and her doctorate degree in neuroscience from Imperial College London, United Kingdom. Her research field is Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain injury and lens and retina biology. She moved to the United States for a postdoc at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)/Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston, MA and is currently at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). Her advocacy for the postdoctoral community at BWH/HMS and BUSM ultimately led to the establishment of postdoctoral sffices at these institutions.

Moncaster has previously served as chair and vice chair of the NPA Advocacy Committee, and vice chair of the former NPA International Postdoc Committee. She is currently chair-elect of the Advocacy and Outreach Committee of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).


Chris Pickett, Ph.D., is a policy analyst with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). He has been deeply involved with issues concerning the sustainability of the research enterprise and his work has focused on improving training for the research workforce. His policy and advocacy work at the ASBMB and as a part of the NPA Advocacy Committee has generated publications on workforce issues for peer-reviewed journals as well as articles in The POSTDOCket.

Pickett received his Bachelor of Arts in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1999, and his doctorate degree in oncological sciences from the University of Utah in 2006. He then moved to Washington University in St. Louis for his postdoc studying aging and reproduction in the nematode C. elegans. He started at the ASBMB as a science policy fellow in 2012, and he was hired on permanently as a policy analyst in 2014. Outside of his work on the research enterprise, Pickett is the co-owner of Hop On Publishing, which produced the award-winning and best-selling Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife and daughter.

Jana Stone, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Office of Postdoctoral Services at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she develops programming and policies to enrich the postdoctoral training experience. Previously she was responsible for outreach programs for an National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Center for Systems Biology at Duke University. Before moving to academic administration, she was postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where her research focused on DNA replication and mutagenesis. Stone earned a doctorate degree in genetics & molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Indiana University. Stone led the NPA Meetings Committee as co-chair for the 2015 Meeting and vice chair for the 2014 Meeting.

Current members of the Board who will complete their term on December 31, 2015, are: Kenneth Gibbs, Jr., Ph.D.; Keith Micoli, Ph.D.; and Tuba Sural-Fehr, Ph.D. We thank them for their service.


The NPA's Executive Director, Belinda Lee Huang, Ph.D., serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors.

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