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Join us for the 2018 Annual Conference!
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Cleveland Museum of Art
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum


The NPA Annual Conference is the largest national conference and networking event dedicated to the postdoctoral community. Conference attendees - postdoctoral scholars, administrators, faculty, and representatives from disciplinary societies, industry, and corporations - are provided with the opportunity to gather and enhance their professional development and leadership skills.


Registration | Speakers | Agenda | Sponsorship Information | Lodging

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Event | Refund Policy | Event App


On-site registration prices are as follows:

Postdoc or graduate student: $440

Nonpostdoc/Sustaining Member primary contact: $605

Nonmember: $765

Friday one-day registration $240

Saturday one-day registration $240

Sunday one-day registration $205


Keynote Speaker

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Ph.D.

Consultant, speaker, and founder of Intersections


Villa-Komaroff, a molecular biologist, executive, and diversity advocate, is a consultant and speaker, and founder of Intersections, SBD. Previously serving as CEO and CSO of Cytonome/ST, LLC, she now sits on its board, along with the boards of ATCC, the Keck Graduate Institute, and the Boston-based Biomedical Careers Program. Villa-Komaroff is a member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering, and the Advisory Council of the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences. She is a founding member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), having served as a board member and vice president in the past, and currently serving as a member of the Committee of Senior Advisors.


Villa-Komaroff received her Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College and her doctorate in cell biology from MIT. She held faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Children's Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Medical School. She served as vice president for research at Northwestern University in Illinois and vice president for research and chief operating officer of the Whitehead Institute. In the past, she has served on the boards of the Massachusetts Life Science Center (Gubernatorial appointment), Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and on the advisory councils for the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the Biology Directorate of the NSF, and the National Academies Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.


Villa-Komaroff has been recognized with numerous honors including election to the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Hall of Fame, receipt of a Lifetime Achievement Award by Hispanic Business Magazine, selection as the 2008 Hispanic Scientist of the Year by the Museum of Science and Industry, 2013 Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women, and receipt of the 2016 Elking Morison prize from the MIT Program in Science and Technology.


Plenary Speakers

Alison Gammie, Ph.D.

Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity 


Alison Gammie, Ph.D., is the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD). TWD is the focal point for NIGMS programs aimed at developing a strong and diverse biomedical research workforce. Formerly, she was a senior lecturer at Princeton University. While at Princeton, in addition to teaching, mentoring and running a research laboratory, she served as the director of diversity programs, an academic advisor and an associate member at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College, a doctorate degree from the Oregon Health & Sciences University, and did her postdoctoral work as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow at Princeton University.


Rafael E. Luna, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Director, Boston College Pre-Health Program, Boston College


Rafael E. Luna, Ph.D., serves two leadership roles at Boston College: associate dean in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Pre-Health Program.


Luna earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During his junior year at Southern, he was one of six individuals selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the inaugural Biomedical Research Training Program at the National Institutes of Health, which ignited a passion for biomedical research. During his senior year at Southern, he was named as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar through Louisiana State University (LSU) and began doing molecular biology research. Luna thoroughly enjoyed his research experience, as he subsequently earned his doctorate in biological sciences at LSU. In 2015, he was named as one of six Keystone Symposia fellows in molecular and cellular biology.

Luna performed his postdoctorate research at Harvard Medical School, which centered on elucidating the sequence of protein-protein interactions leading to the decoding of the initial start codons of messenger RNAs. He held the position of instructor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He also held the role as program director for senior faculty promotions in the Office for Faculty Affairs at Harvard Medical School. As the previous executive director of the National Research Mentoring Network and the former principal investigator of the Administrative Core of NRMN located at Boston College, Luna utilized data analytics to strategically grow NRMN and effectively reached all 50 states, including Hawaii, Alaska & Puerto Rico.


In addition to doing biomedical research and serving as a leader in academic administration, Luna is the author of the book, The Art of Scientific Storytelling. He is a dynamic speaker and has taught his scientific storytelling method throughout the United States and Europe, e.g. Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT-Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer, Wyss Institute at Harvard, Harvard University, Children’s Hospital-Boston, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston University Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, University of Bergen (Norway), Saarland University (Germany), University of Graz (Austria), University College of London (England) and many more. Luna also believes in giving back to the community by serving as a little league coach for 10 years in inner-city Boston, and four years ago was elected as the president of Mission Hill Little League.



Lodging for the conference will be at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Tower City Center, 24 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113. A special rate of $139 per night (plus tax) has been negotiated for NPA conference attendees. Click here for a direct booking link!


As stated by the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, "A city landmark, the iconic Renaissance Cleveland Hotel was built in 1918 and its architecture reflects Cleveland's unique style and rich history. Plush, spacious, newly renovated rooms with well-appointed and upscale amenities await guests at this luxury Cleveland, OH hotel."


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Event

What would a visit to Cleveland be without a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? The NPA has secured exclusive use of the world-renowned Rock Hall for its signature social/networking event on Friday, April 6. Come mingle amidst the largest collection of rock & roll artifacts in the world – see Michael Jackson’s sequined glove, The Beatles' drum set, and Elvis Presley’s jumpsuit! The ticket price for this event is $50; this includes full admission to the Rock Hall ($23.50 value), appetizers, dinner, and non-alcoholic beverages.The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is located at 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114.


Please note: This event is not included in the Annual Conference registration fees.


Refund policy

In event of cancellation by March 9, 2018, a full refund less a $25 processing fee will be issued. For cancellations from March 10, 2018, through March 23, 2018, a 50 percent refund less a $25 processing fee will be issued. No refunds will be made for cancellations after March 23, 2018.