About Us

The USPA focuses on career development and networking for UCSC postdoctoral scholars. Our officers organize several workshops and events throughout the year.

Officers 2017-2018

Hanh Lam, PhD   Chair
Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Department (METX)

Hanh is a postdoctoral researcher in the Auerbuch Stone lab in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology. She is interested in host-pathogen interaction, genomics and antibiotics and drug discovery. Recently, she has been focusing on searching for bacterial Type III secretion system inhibitors as novel antimicrobials. Hanh is passionate about education. She has been mentoring many undergraduate students at Nong Lam University, Cornell University and UC-Santa Cruz, and an active member of the operations committee of Vietnam Young Academy, a non-profit organization aiming at promoting science, technology, education and knowledge exchange for Vietnamese scholars.

Riva Dill, PhD   Vice-Chair
Biomolecular Engineering (BME)

Katlin Bowman, PhD
Ocean Sciences (OS)

Katlin Bowman received her PhD in Environmental Sciences in 2014 from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a postdoc in the Ocean Sciences department at UCSC since January 2015. Her research areas are marine chemistry and genomics, with a focus on mercury biogeochemistry. She has completed over 10 oceanographic research cruises, served as a scientific observer in the HOV Alvin submarine, and recently published a children’s book about a science expedition to the North Pole.


Xuejing Chen, PhD
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

Xuejing did her PhD research in Biochemistry at University of Illinois at Chicago, studying DNA repair. Now she is a postdoc in Harry Noller’s lab in MCD Biology, working on crystal structures of ribosome complexes. She wants to help improve postdoc career development through USPA programs. She is also volunteering for another STEM outreach program for young women.


Sergio Covarrubias, PhD
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

Sergio is a postdoctoral scholar in the Carpenter Lab where he studies the role of long noncoding RNAs in the regulation of the immune system. He also runs two successful journal clubs at UCSC: CRISPR Club and Immunology Club. As the Symposium Chair for the 2018 Postdoc Symposium, he looks forward to working with everyone to make this event a success.


Jason Fernandes, PhD
Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Jason is a postdoctoral scholar in David Haussler’s lab in the Genomics
Institute where he studies the genetic differences that separate humans
from other animals. He hopes to help make the USPA a vibrant organization that can help postdocs connect with and support one another.

Tonio Schuetze, PhD
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

Shankar Shastry, PhD
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Officers 2016-2017

Officers 2015-2016


Interested in joining the team? contact us at ucscstempostdocs at gmail dot com. We are interested in including more scientists from different departments across campus for scientific and social events throughout the year!



Department of Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department (MCDB)
Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Department (METX)