2019 Annual Postdoc Symposium

4th Annual Postdoc Symposium

Wed April 24th, 2019

Seymour Marine Discovery Center

& Ocean Health Building

The UCSC STEM Postdoc Symposium is an annual symposium dedicated to highlighting research from early career scientists at UCSC.  Faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates  are welcome to attend but registration is required.  Postdocs and graduate students are encouraged to present their research in clear, concise talks and posters that are accessible to a broad STEM audience. The 2019 Postdoc Symposium will be held on Wednesday April 24, 2019.

In addition to the full day scientific meeting we will hold an OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Poster Session. Anyone interested in learning about the amazing science going on at UCSC or simply checking out the Seymour Discovery Center is welcome to attend!

This page is for the scientific symposium - if you would like to attend the general public reception immediately after the event, click here.

Keynote Speakers

Cori Bargmann
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, Rockefeller University
Head of Science, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative

Please note that Dr. Bargmann will be unable to attend due to unforseen circumstances.  Please click here to read a letter from Dr. Bargmann expressing her regret about being unable to attend, and her plans to make a UCSC visit in the near future. Dr. David Haussler (see below) will replace her.


Dr. Cornelia ("Cori") Bargmann is an internationally recognized neurobiologist and geneticist at Rockefeller University and the Head of Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization that brings together world-class engineering, grant-making, impact investing, policy, and advocacy work.  Dr. Bargmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She received the 2012 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and also co-chaired the National Institutes of Health committee that set goals and strategies for President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN Initiative). Dr. Bargmann is a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David Haussler
Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

David Haussler’s work explores the crossroads of molecular biology, mathematics, and computer science. The Haussler Lab has helped revolutionize the field of genomics with the introduction of advanced statistical and algorithmic methods. This work accelerates the understanding of cancer, human development, evolution, and many other areas of active research. On July 7, 2000, David Haussler and his team launched the first working draft of the Human Genome on the internet. The group guaranteed the project would remain in the public domain forever. Since then, the team has evolved into what is now the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. David Haussler is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific achievements, including the Dan David Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, he serves on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) Scientific Advisory Board, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute HHMI Investigator.

Michael Rosbash
2017 Nobel Laureate in Medicine
Peter Gruber Endowed Chair in Neuroscience, Brandeis University

Dr. Michael Rosbash received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the molecular mechanisms controlling  circadian rhythms. Dr. Rosbash has received numerous honors throughout his career, including the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience (2009), the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry (2011), and the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences (2013).   He was an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1997) and the National Academy of Sciences (2003). He has been a strong advocate for basic science research throughout his career.


Daphne Koller
Founder and CEO, insitro
Co-founder, Coursera

Dr.  Daphne Koller is the CEO and founder of insitro, a company dedicated to using cutting-edge machine learning techniques to help develop and discover new drugs.  She also co-founded Coursera an online learning platform  that offers courses, specializations, and degrees. She received her PhD in computer science from Stanford, then did postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently returned to Stanford, joining the Computer Science Department as a faculty member. In 2016, she joined Calico as its chief computing officer, before leaving in 2018 to found insitro.  She has won numerous honors including a MacArthur Fellowship, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2012. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


8:40-9:30         Breakfast and Registration. Food provided by Millipore Sigma.




Jason Fernandes and Efrain Ceh Pavia, USPA Symposium Co-chairs

Opening Remarks

Lori Kletzer, Dean of the UCSC Graduate Division


Morning Session


Keynote Speaker

Michael Rosbash, Brandeis University


Jonas Andreas Sibbesen, "Splicing and variant aware mapping of RNA sequencing reads"

UCSC Postdoc, Genomics Institute, Computational Genomics Lab


Min Chen, "Enhancing Milk Production by Harnessing Mammary Stem Cells"

UCSC Postdoc, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, Hinck Lab

11:20-11:40      Break. Posters and Vendor Booths Open.


Gerardo Cortés Cortés, "IncF plasmids dominate the conjugation landscape in multidrug resistant clinical isolates of ExPEC"

UCSC Postdoc, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, Camps Lab 


Kyle Floyd, "c-di-GMP Regulates Pili-mediated Surface Colonization of Vibrio cholerae"

UCSC Postdoc, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, Yildiz Lab 


Caileen Brison, "A phosphorylation-induced order-to-disorder structural switch activates the FoxM1 transcription factor"

UCSC Graduate Student, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Rubin Lab 

12:20-1:10     Lunch.


Afternoon Session


Keynote Speaker

David Haussler, University of California, Santa Cruz 


Nicky Lustenhouwer  "Evolution during invasion: the spread of stinkwort through California and Europe"

UCSC Postdoc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Parker Lab


Oscar Vargas "Understanding Tropical Plant Diversity in the Americas"

UCSC Postdoc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kay Lab


Jesper Svedberg, "Inferring adaptive introgression using hidden Markov models"

UCSC Postdoc, Biomolecular Engineering, Corbett-Detig Lab

2:40-3:10     Break. Posters and Vendor Booths Open.


Evening Session


Keynote Speaker

Daphne Koller, insitro


Oskar Elek, "From Equations to Colors"

UCSC Postdoc, Computer Science & Engineering, Creative Coding Lab


Sophie Morley,  "New materials for more energy-efficient data storage"

UCSC Postdoc, Physics


Weigang Yang, "Study of Spin Dynamics in a Single Nanomagnet for the Development of Next-generation Spintronic Memory Devices"

UCSC Postdoc, Electrical Engineering, Holger Lab


Closing Remarks

Shelbi Russell, USPA Chair

5:00-7:00     Posters and Reception open to the general public.


Platinum Sponsors



Silver Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities available!

Contact us: uspa@ucsc.edu

Platinum [$2500+]

  • Sponsor lunch or breakfast or keynote speaker travel [prominent mention of sponsorship for these specific items by session chairs].
  • Logo/branding images displayed before and after each break.
  • Table for representatives at all breaks.
  • Poster with info of your company information during poster sessions.
  • Contact info for all attendees [faculty, postdocs, students and lab managers] who opt-in to share information.
  • Gold and Silver privileges as well.

Gold [$1500]

  • Sponsor refreshments during breaks or poster session [prominent mention of sponsorship for these specific items by session chairs].
  • Choice of poster or table during breaks/poster session.
  • Larger logo/branding on conference program.
  • Silver privileges as well.

Silver [$750]

  • Attendance for 2 representatives.
  • Option to sponsor poster and talk awards with “presented by” mention.
  • Logo on conference program and website.
  • Logo displayed at closing remarks.