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NPA Advisory Council
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The Advisory Council was formed to provide on-going advice, support, and counsel to the NPA Board of Directors and the executive director. Making use of the experience and expertise of its members, the council functions by making recommendations on matters relating to the support and implementation of the strategic agenda of the organization.


Chair: John Peck, associate director, Human Resources, and director of the Office of Postdoctoral and Graduate Affairs at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco.

Co-Chair: Diane Klotz, Ph.D., director of the Office of Training & Academic Services at Sanford Burnham Prebys in La Jolla, California.


Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Ph.D.

Director, Officer of Postdoctoral Affairs

University of North Carolina   

Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Ph.D., serves as the special assistant to the vice chancellor for research and the director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, she leads the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity and diversity-related initiatives for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. She has been an active member of the NPA having served as the NPA’s first Diversity Officer and a past member of the NPA Advisory Group for a NSF Paid ADVANCE project and subsequent book, From PhD to Professoriate: The role of institutions in fostering the advancement of postdoc women (2013). She has served on several national committees including the National Academy of Sciences that authored report, State of the postdoctoral experience for scientists and engineers revisited (2014) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities that issued the 2016 report, Increasing diversity in the biomedical research workforce.

 Brendan Delaney, Esq.

Hill, Frank & Delaney, LLC

Brendan Delaney, Esq., is a partner at the law firm of Hill, Frank and Delaney, LLC, an immigration law firm based in Bethesda, MD. A native of Northern Ireland, he joined the firm in December 2000. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and became a partner in January 2009. He has been invited to speak at the Annual Meeting of the NPA, and NAFSA, as well as conducting legal seminars at numerous universities and institutions across the United States on visa issues for postdocs. Delaney has co-authored numerous articles related to postdoctoral issues for The POSTDOCket (quarterly newsletter of the NPA), and currently serves as a NPA Advisor.

Shilpa Gadwal, Ph.D.

Career Resources Specialist

American Society for Microbiology

Shilpa Gadwal, Ph.D., has been with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) since March 2015 in her role as a career advancement fellow. She took her passion of career development in trainees and created an online hub for ASM’s career resources and articles. She received her Bachelor of Science in the biological sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and a doctorate degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Diane Klotz, Ph.D.
Director of the Office of Training & Academic Services

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute


Diane Klotz, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Training & Academic Services at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. In this position she oversees scientific career education and training programs for Sanford-Burnham's scientists-in-training. In addition to her program development role, she participates in institute-wide efforts in strategic planning with respect to education and training initiatives, serves as an advisor to executive leadership on education and training issues, and collaborates with institute leaders to develop training policies. She received her doctorate degree in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University. Klotz was a member and the chair of the NPA Policy Committee, and she subsequently served as a member and chair of the NPA Board of Directors. She remains active with the NPA as a member of the NPA Advisors. Prior to accepting her current position, she was the director of the Office of Fellows' Career Development at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Lisa Kozlowski, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Student Affairs
Thomas Jefferson University

Lisa Kozlowski, Ph.D., is the associate dean for Student and Postdoctoral Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She received her doctorate degree in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania and did a postdoc at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she was an officer in their postdoctoral association. She then worked at Science’s Next Wave as their program director. She moved on to become a consultant, helping disciplinary societies and universities provide career workshops to students and postdocs. Locally, she is a former president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS-PHL). In May 2015, Kozlowski was recognized for her mentoring of female graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and received AWIS-PHL’s Elizabeth W. Bingham Award. Nationally, she has served on committees of the NPA and the AAMC’s Graduate Research Education And Training (GREAT) Group and is an editor for ASM’s Microbe Mentor.


Ed Krug, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Postdoc Affairs

Medical University of South Carolina

Ed Krug, Ph.D., is the associate dean for postdoctoral affairs at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with administrative oversight of over 200 postdoctoral scholars, fellows, and staff scientists. He is past co-director of the MUSC-Claflin IRACDA and founding director of the South Carolina IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence Postdoctoral Academic Career Development Program. He served as a coach in the Academy for Future Science Faculty Program, an National Institute of General Medical Sciences-funded Pathfinder Award (Rick McGee, principal investigator) that tests a coaching-based, sociological model for promoting diversity in the STEM fields. He is currently a professional development coach in the National Institutes of Health-funded National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)

Steps Towards Academic Research

Program. He is a member of the advisory boards of Diverse Scholar and, and a regular attendee of diversity focused conferences including Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Research Careers.


Rafael E. Luna, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Executive Director
National Research Mentoring Network, Boston College

Rafael Luna, Ph.D., is the executive director of NRMN and the principal investigator of the Administrative Core of NRMN located at Boston College. Luna utilizes data analytics to strategically grow NRMN and effectively reach all 50 states, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. In addition to doing biomedical research, he is a dynamic speaker and has led lectures and workshops throughout the United States and Europe. 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.


Victoria P. McGovern, Ph.D.

Senior Program Officer

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Victoria McGovern, Ph.D., is a senior program officer at the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund (BWF) where she runs the program in infectious disease and a new multidisciplinary program bringing together population and bench based approaches in the life sciences. The BWF is a private foundation dedicated to advancing biomedical sciences through its support of research and other scientific activities. McGovern is a charter member of the NPA and has been on the NPA Advisors since 2007. She has been involved in writing and producing career development materials for early career scientists since she was a postdoc herself, first with Science's Next Wave (now Science Careers), and later with resources like the BWF/Howard Hughes Medical Institute manual Making the Right Moves and the recently released Excellence Everywhere-- a resource for scientists launching research careers in emerging science centers.


John Peck, M.A.
Chair, NPA Advisory Council

Associate Director, Human Resources, and Director, Office of Postdoctoral and Graduate Affairs

Gladstone Institutes

John Peck, M.A., is the associate director of human resources and founding director of the Office of Postdoctoral and Graduate Affairs at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. Under his leadership, Gladstone's postdoc program was ranked in the top 15 Best Place to Work for Postdocs nine years in a row, and the office received the NPA's Distinguish Service Award in 2011. Peck served on the Board of Directors of the NPA from 2005-2008. During that time he chaired the Oversight Committee and served as the Electoral Officer. Since 2008, he has served as one of the organization's advisors and volunteers on several governance and membership committees.



Karen Peterson, Ph.D.

Scientific Ombudsman; Director, Office of Scientific Career Development
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Karen Peterson, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Scientific Career Development and scientific ombuds at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. She is also a career consultant for Life Science Washington. She is the author of the Nature Guide to Life Science Careers and a former member of the Board of Directors for the NPA. In addition, she is a member of Board of Directors for the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Northwest Ombuds Group. At the Fred Hutch, Peterson is the advisor to the Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee, which provides professional development for scientists-in-training and a member of the advisory committee to Hutch United, which facilitates mentoring for underrepresented minorities in science. She is also a member of the Fred Hutch Diversity Council and Research Ethics Education Committee. 


Yvonne Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Nonprofit Leader

Bio coming soon!


Cynthia L. Simpson, M.Ed., CAE
Chief Business Development Officer
Association for Women in Science

Cynthia Simpson, M.Ed., CAE, is the chief business development officer at the Association for Women in Science. Simpson joined AWIS in 2009 and is responsible for developing and overseeing all business development aspects for the association, with particular emphasis on institution partnerships. She has developed and presented over 150 workshops on the topics of importance to women in STEM. Simpson has co-authored various publications including the chapter titled “Mentoring Postdoc Women from an Institutional Perspective” in the From PhD to Professoriate and the chapter titled “Work-Life and Childcare Resources for Postdoc Women” in the Advancing Postdoc Women Guidebook, both published by the NPA. She is a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, the International Mentoring Association, and currently serves as vice chair of the Professional Development Section Council’s Speaker and Content Selection Subcommittee for the American Society of Association Executives.


Molly Starback, M.S.L.S.

Director, Office of Postdoctoral Services

Duke University

Molly Starback, M.S.L.S., is the founding director of the Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services. Opened in 2006, Duke Postdoctoral Services is the central resource for over 600 postdocs, serving Arts and Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering appointees. As director, Starback oversees postdoctoral policy and serves as the career advisor for postdoctoral appointees in the life sciences, natural sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences. She develops and oversees programs including the annual day-long Postdoctoral Responsible Conduct of Research Orientation and career seminars on topics including the academic job search, careers beyond academia, lab management, and grantsmanship. She is former co-chair of the NPA Resource Development Committee and past member of the AAMC GREAT Group Postdoctorate Leaders Steering Committee, NPA Membership Committee, and NPA Website Taskforce. In 2008 Starback received the Duke Meritorious Service Presidential Award in recognition of her work on behalf of postdocs.

Mary Anne Timmins, M.Ed.

Administrative Director, Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Mary Anne Timmins, M.Ed., is the administrative director of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs at the University of Pennsylvania. In this capacity she works with the director in overseeing the appointments, education, and training of 800 postdoctoral appointees in four schools within the university as well as four affiliate institutions. She has served on the AAMC’s GREAT Group Postdoctorate Section Steering Committee and as a member of the Postdoc Section Resources Committee. Timmins is also an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators having served on both regional and national teams and committees, formerly serving as the chair of NAFSA Region VIII. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers, the State University and her master’s in education from Temple University.