Life after the Postdoc: Research positions beyond the tenure track

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm      

Location: Singleton Auditorium, Building 46-3002


  • Dr. Susan Erdman, Principal Research Scientist, Division of Comparative Medicine, MIT
  • Dr. Sarah Kobašlija, Laboratory Scientist, Advanced Materials Team, Aramco Services Company
  • Dr. Magda Papadaki, Research Scientist, Center for Biomedical Innovation, MIT
  • Dr. Justin Piro, Senior Scientist, Pfizer Inc.

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research

Hear from panelists who are engaged in research in a variety of settings. Have you wondered about non faculty options that still involve research in an academic, biomedical, or industrial arena? Our speakers will share their experiences and answer your questions. 

About the Panelists:

Susan Erdman completed postdoctoral training at MIT in 1991 and received a Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard in 1992. At MIT, as a Principal Research Scientist and veterinarian, she has her own NIH-funded research program involving roles of microbes in inflammatory disorders including cancer. Dr Erdman also serves as Assistant Director and the Chief of Clinical Resources in Comparative Medicine at MIT, and coordinates the training schedule and seminars for postdoctoral trainees.

Sarah Kobašlija received her PhD in chemistry from Cornell University in January 2009 and spent two years as a postdoctoral associate at Boston College doing natural product synthesis. Since 2010, she has been involved in two materials-focused startup companies in the Greater Boston area: the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and QD Vision. In July 2014, she joined the Advanced Materials Team at Aramco Services Company and is involved in research directed at the development of nanotechnology for application in gas and oil processing. Note: Dr. Kobašlija’s group is hiring; she will have information about that and would be happy to collect resumes at the event.

Magda Papadaki, PhD, joined the MIT Center of Biomedical innovation (CBI) as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2012 and within a year was promoted to a dual role as Research Scientist and Collaborative Innovation Manager at the NEWDIGS program, addressing real world challenges in biomedical innovation and driving external partnerships in the US and EU. Magda has over a decade of experience in academic research and the pharmaceutical industry, and holds a PhD in Gene Therapy and Stem Cells from the Academy of Athens, Greece, among other degrees.

Justin Piro received his PhD in biochemistry from Dartmouth Medical School in April of 2011. After leaving Dartmouth, he joined Pfizer as a Postdoctoral fellow in the Integrative Neurocircuitry department. During his post-doc, Dr. Piro and his colleagues studied the role of Endocannabinoid metabolism in chronic and acute neuroinflammation. In February of 2014, Justin transitioned into a Senior Scientist position in a neurovascular and BBB lab. Currently, Dr. Piro is the biology lead for a pre-clinical drug program targeting neuroinflammation.