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News & Press: Leadership

2016 NPA Board Election Results Announced

Tuesday, October 18, 2016  
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October 18, 2016

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, 2017: Andrew Bankston, Ph.D.; Tullia Bruno, Ph.D.; Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, Ph.D.; and Yvette Seger, Ph.D.

The directors were elected from a field of five candidates during the 2016 election, which ran from September 23, 2016 through October 7, 2016. The newly elected directors will join the following members of the Board: Tracy Costello, Ph.D.; Josh Henkin, Ph.D.; Juliet Moncaster, Ph.D.; Barbara Natalizio, Ph.D.; Marina Ramon, Ph.D.; Kate Sleeth, Ph.D.; and Jana Stone, Ph.D.

Chris Pickett, Ph.D., resigned as a Board member effective September 2016. His service was much appreciated. Marina Ramon, Ph.D., was appointed to complete his term through December 31, 2017.

Andrew N. Bankston, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology from Emory University in 2013, where he worked in the lab of Yue Feng, M.D., Ph.D. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Scott Whittemore, Ph.D., at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at University of Louisville. His research focuses on the role of autophagy in developmental myelination and myelin repair after injury. He served as chair of the Outreach Committee since February 2015. Locally, he is a member of the University of Louisville postdoctoral advisory board, bringing more resources to postdocs and increasing communication between postdocs. He is also a member of the planning committee for a local career seminar series (CRAFT) which hosts speakers to provide information on the wide range of potential career options for postdocs. In addition, he is a volunteer leader and member of event planning committees within the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He utilizes interactions with members of the public within the society to explain the current issues faced by postdocs and their impact on the overall scientific enterprise.

Tullia C. Bruno, Ph.D., is currently a research assistant professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to her appointment there, she completed her graduate work at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado. Her research interests are focused on the interplay of the immune system and cancer. As a postdoc, she was actively involved in her postdoctoral association and was president during the last year of her fellowship. Bruno is an active member of the NPA. Specifically, she has been the Innovation in Action subcommittee chair for the past two Annual Meetings. She was also an American Association of Immunologists public policy fellow, and is currently part of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium Executive Board and the Faculty Advisory Board for the University of Pittsburgh PDA. She is thrilled to be a new addition to the NPA Board of Directors!

Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, Ph.D., earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and psychology from Tulane University in 2007, and her doctorate in neuroscience from Tulane University in 2012. Upon completion of her graduate studies, she accepted a postdoctoral position in the Department of Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she was awarded the Ruth L Kirschstein National Service Award (T32) from the National Institute of Drug Addiction under the mentorship of Jacqueline McGinty, Ph.D., to investigate the role of the endogenous oxytocin system in methamphetamine addiction in a preclinical model of post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2015, Ferland-Beckham was awarded a Science & Technology Policy fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Through this fellowship, she has been working in the Office of Science Policy and Analysis at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her professional activities, she is involved in several nonprofit outreach organizations in her community and is an accomplished Ironman triathlete and marathoner.

Yvette Seger, Ph.D., is the director of science policy for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a coalition of 30 scientific societies collectively representing over 125,000 biological and biomedical researchers. In this role, she oversees FASEB’s science policy portfolio, and specifically manages efforts related to training and career opportunities for scientists and evaluation of research. Seger launched her policy career at the National Academies as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow, and subsequently held senior policy analyst positions at Thomson Reuters, the National Institutes of Health, and the research advocacy group FasterCures prior to joining FASEB. Seger conducted her doctoral research on mechanisms of human cell transformation as a member of Stony Brook University’s graduate program in genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and received a Bachelor of Arts in zoology (genetics concentration) and politics & government from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Current members of the Board who will complete their term on December 31, 2016, are: Kristene Henne, Ph.D., and Mahadeo Sukhai, Ph.D., who was appointed to complete the term of Darwin Operario, Ph.D., M.P.H., who stepped down in August. We thank them for their service.

The NPA's executive director, Julie Fabsik-Swarts, M.S., CFRE, CAP, serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors.

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