Making the Most of Your Postdoc – Practical Advice and Lessons Learned

Date and Time Friday, December 1, 2017

A postdoc is a truly precious time in a researcher’s career. The ultimate goal of a postdoc is to develop additional skills needed for the next phase of one’s chosen career. How does one make the most of his or her limited time as a postdoc? In this panel, seasoned postdocs and junior faculty will discuss what steps they took during their postdoc that proved successful, and reflect on what they wished they had done (or started to do) earlier. Additionally, they will discuss what skills and training have provided the greatest advancement in their careers. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from the panel. Whether you are just starting your postdoc, a graduate student preparing for a future postdoc, or even a seasoned postdoc, the advice from this inspiring set of panelists will give you unique perspectives into how to make the most of your postdoc experience.

Moderator – Dr. Madeline Oudin (Research Scientist at Koch Institute and future Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University)

Panelists – Dr. Ritu Raman (Postdoctoral Associate at the Koch Institute), Dr. Sebastian Pattinson (Postdoctoral Fellow in Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Canan Dagdeviren (Assistant Professor in Media Arts and Sciences and Director of the Conformable Decoders group in the MIT Media Lab)

About The Moderator and Panelists

Dr. Madeleine Oudin will soon begin a faculty position at Tufts University, in the department of Biomedical Engineering. She grew up in Paris, France in a multicultural environment, and completed a BSc in Biochemistry at McGill University, a MSc in Pharmacology and a PhD in Neuroscicence from King’s College London, UK. She has been working in Frank Gertler’s lab for the past six years (first as a postdoctoral fellow, and currently as research scientist). Her research at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research involves trying to understand how metastasis, the dissemination of tumor cells throughout the body, occurs and how it affects response to chemotherapy. Dr. Oudin received a Breast Cancer Research Department of Defense Postdoctoral Fellowship and is now funded by a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence from the National Cancer Institute. She has also received multiple awards, such as the Women in Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award and the MIT Infinite Kilometer Award, for her accomplishments in research and involvement in the community. She will now be starting her own lab at Tufts University.

Dr. Ritu Raman is a postdoctoral associate in the Langer Lab at MIT. Her research interests focus on developing smart responsive implantable devices for sensing and drug delivery in the body. She is passionate about understanding and utilizing the dynamically adaptive nature of biological systems, and aims to establish an academic research lab focused on bio-hybrid design in the future. Dr. Raman is deeply interested in science communication and science policy, and enjoys speaking, writing, and planning outreach events centered on the importance of STEM research and advancing education for underrepresented minorities in STEM. She received her M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2016) in Mechanical Engineering as an NSF Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her doctoral research centered on high-resolution 3D bio-printing and bio-hybrid robotics. She received her B.S. magna cum laude (2012) in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Biomedical Engineering, from Cornell University.

Dr. Sebastian Pattinson is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Mechanical Engineering at MIT working with Professor John Hart. His research aims to realize novel devices through advances at the interface between nanomaterials and additive manufacturing. He received Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in the Materials Science Department at the University of Cambridge, where he developed synthesis methods to control the structure and function of carbon nanotubes and hierarchical materials. His awards include a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Grant, a US National Science Foundation Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability postdoctoral fellowship, and an MIT Translational Fellowship.

Dr. Canan Dagdeviren is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, where she leads the Conformable Decoders research group. At the Media Lab, Dr. Dagdeviren’s Conformable Decoders group is working to create mechanically adaptive electromechanical systems that can intimately integrate with the target object for sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting, among other applications. Her research is built on the belief that vital information from nature and the human body is ‘coded’ in various forms of physical patterns, and that conformable decoders can ‘decode’ these patterns into beneficial signals and/or energy. Her work has been featured in many media outlets, including Smithsonian Magazine, Popular Mechanics, CBS News, the LA Times, BBC News, New Scientist, IEEE Spectrum, Physics World, and Nature Materials. In 2015, MIT Technology Review named her among the "Top 35 Innovators Under 35" (inventor category), and Forbes magazine selected her as one of the "Top 30 Under 30 in Science". Recently, Dr. Dagdeviren has been named as a Gifted Citizen by Ciudad de las Ideas of Puebla, Mexico, Spotlight Health Scholar by Aspen Institute, and World#1 in Medical Innovation Category of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) by Junior Chamber International (JCI). In December 2016, she was awarded with Science and Sci Life Prize for Young Scientists in Translational Medicine Category and invited to attend Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. She was recently named as the 2017 Innovation and Technology Delegate of the American Academy of Achievement.

Sponsored by the MIT Office of the Vice President for Research