Leadership

 
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UAW 5810 leaders at the May 2017 Joint Council Meeting

The strength of our union is built upon a democratic foundation – UAW 5810 is a union of Postdocs and for Postdocs. The key to our many victories is majority Postdoc participation. Read below about the Postdocs from across UC who make up the elected leadership team, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, ideas, or would like to get involved in leadership.


Executive Board
President – Anke Schennink, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in the department of Animal Science at UC Davis, and I study mammary gland biology: how do hormones work together in mammary gland development during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. My interests include (but are not limited to) animal biology and physiology, cancer epidemiology, complex traits and diseases, personal genomics, science policy, social justice, camping, soccer, and good music.
Vice President – Neal Sweeney, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc at UC Santa Cruz studying stem cell therapies for eye disease. I have been involved in political activism for many years and I also enjoy hiking, going to the beach and playing with my two kids.
Financial Secretary – Carlena Ebben Eaton, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, where I study how nitrogen oxides that are emitted from fossil fuel combustion processes undergo oxidation in the atmosphere and impact air quality. I am a proud Wisconsinite, and I earned my PhD from Northwestern University. I am passionate about advocating for action on climate change, and in my free time, I enjoy cooking, biking, planning and going on trips, and watching Cleveland baseball and Marquette basketball.
Recording Secretary – Melissa Agnello, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoctoral scholar in the School of Dentistry at UCLA, where I study the human oral microbiome (the bacteria and other microbes that live inside the mouth), and how these organisms contribute to health and disease. I am originally from New Jersey and attended The George Washington University in Washington, DC for undergrad and the University of Southern California for my PhD. I feel strongly that the best way to advance science in America is to fight for increased equity and diversity in academia, which is strongly tied to better working conditions for all scientists. In my free time I love to read, hike, run, watch baseball (Yankees and Dodgers!), and hang out with my 2 cats and my husband.
Trustee – Lydia Majure, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc in Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. My Ph.D. is in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I study the representation of linguistic structure in the human brain using fMRI. I believe that the strength of the scientific community is directly connected to the working conditions of those who do research. In my free time I am a dancer with a samba bloco.
Trustee – Matt Grimmer, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc at UCSF studying the genomes of incurable brain cancers to see how they evolve to resist chemotherapy. I am also a steering committee member for the March for Science SF, which in our first event rallied an estimated 50,000+ marchers to resist the anti-science nonsense of the Tiny Hands Trump administration.
Guide – Wen Jiang, Ph.D.
Sergeant at Arms – Charisse Winston, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoctoral scholar at UCSD where I study Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis and identify blood-based biomarkers for early AD diagnosis. In addition to my research interests, I am passionate about community outreach, mentorship, increasing STEM education to under-represented and minority youth, and effectively communicating science to the public. Outside of the lab, I love to travel, visit winerys, listening to live music and watching movies.

 


Joint Council
Berkeley –
Unit Chair – Heather M. Harris, Ph.D.
Recording Secretary – Abby Kroken, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in the School of Optometry at UC Berkeley, where I work on bacterial eye infections associated with contact lenses. I earned my PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2013 on the subject of bacterial toxins. Among my career-related interests are advocating for science funding and working toward better compensation and support for junior scientists. In my free time I like making art of all kinds, table-top RPGs, and trying new foods.
Head Steward – Benjamin Smarr, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Balthazar Lechene, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Aman S. Gill, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in Environmental Science and Policy Management at UC Berkeley. These days I’m trying to figure out how ground beetles evolved their diverse array of chemical weapons and delivery systems. I also have projects going to study urban soil microbiomes, particularly in relation to green infrastructure and sustainable urban land management. Aside from bugs, genes and microbes I also like bikes, frisbees, beers, non-electoral politics, and cooking and eating food.
LBL –
Unit Chair – Nils Zimmermann, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in the Computational Research Division at Berkeley Lab. I am working on materials science topics such as finding new battery materials for future smartphones and cars. Through my activity in the union, I like to contribute to equalize opportunities—no matter where they are from or what their sociocultural background, Postdocs should not experience big differences in the possibilities they are given.
Davis –
Unit Chair – William Kelly, Ph.D.
I am a Physics postdoc at the UC Davis Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics (QMAP). My research focuses on understanding the formulation of quantum gravity provided by the AdS/CFT correspondence, and I am particularly interested in exploring the relationship between emergent geometry and quantum entanglement. Before coming to Davis in 2015, I was a graduate student at UCSB and a proud member of UAW 2865.
Recording Secretary – Emma Skoog, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc at the Center for Comparative Medicine, studying virulence and pathogenesis of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. I earned my PhD in the same subject from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, music, hiking and meeting old and new friends.
Head Steward – Arsalan Syed, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Ygal Achmon, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc in the Food Science and Technology Department at UC Davis. I am interested in the field of applied sustainable waste management. This field gives value to agriculture and food residues. I currently explore two related avenues: first, a sustainable pest management technique called biosolarization, and second, a waste-to-energy process through anaerobic digestion. In both of these projects, I utilize microbial communities as a workforce platform. In my personal life I love playing with my family (wife and two kids), sports (go Broncos!!), movies, news and politics.
Irvine –
Unit Chair – Randi Jimenez, Ph.D.
Recording Secretary – Alexander Cho, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc at the UC Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine. I’m a digital media anthropologist, which means I study qualitatively how and why people use digital and social media. I’m currently working on a digital design research project that aims to connect low-income families in Southern California with meaningful extracurricular educational opportunities. In my spare time I love to cook and swim.
Los Angeles –
Unit Chair – Wen Jiang, Ph.D.
Recording Secretary – Melissa Agnello, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoctoral scholar in the School of Dentistry at UCLA, where I study the human oral microbiome (the bacteria and other microbes that live inside the mouth), and how these organisms contribute to health and disease. I am originally from New Jersey and attended The George Washington University in Washington, DC for undergrad and the University of Southern California for my PhD. I feel strongly that the best way to advance science in America is to fight for increased equity and diversity in academia, which is strongly tied to better working conditions for all scientists. In my free time I love to read, hike, run, watch baseball (Yankees and Dodgers!), and hang out with my 2 cats and my husband.
Head Steward – Elizabeth Zuniga-Sanchez, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Gautam Pulugundla, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Allison Sharrow, Ph.D.
Merced –
Unit Chair – Fernanda Santos, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoctoral researcher currently working in the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced. My research is in soil biogeochemistry, with focus on the impacts of environmental changes (e.g., drought, deforestation, wildfires) on belowground carbon cycling. I am also a steering committee member of the Women in STEM group at UC Merced. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my husband, reading non-fiction books, drinking coffee, and swimming.
Recording Secretary – Mélaine Aubry-Kientz, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc at UC Merced in the School of Natural Sciences. I’m working on forest modelling, with particular interest in predicting the impacts of climate changes. Here in Merced I am focusing on the conifer forest of the Sierra Nevada, I am developing a model of tree dynamics that I will combine with the IPCC scenarios to make forecasts about the forest evolution for the next century. When I’m not modelling the forest on my computer, I like to hike in the Sierra.
Riverside –
Unit Chair – Sonia Afroz, Ph.D.
Recording Secretary – Germain Pauluzzi, Ph.D.
San Diego –
Unit Chair – Tomasz Kosciolek, Ph.D.
I work in Rob Knight’s lab, where we study the microbiome using metagenomic techniques and develop new computational and experimental methods to further our understanding of the microbiome in human health and its impact on the environment. In my work, I focus on the structure and function of microbial proteins, as well as the relationship between microbes and mental disorders (the gut-brain axis).
By being involved in the Postdoc Union, I want to make the academia a place, where all scientists can work in a fair environment with good working conditions.
Recording Secretary – Kayla Chase, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc at UCSD in Psychiatry. I examine the epigenetic landscape in response to drugs of abuse. My hobbies include reading, horticulture, photography and video games.
Head Steward – Sreya Ghosh, Ph.D.
I’m a Post-doc at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, at UC San Diego. I work at the juncture of engineering and biology, working towards acquisition of improved images from electron microscopes that allow visualization of the bio-mechanics inside cells. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, photography, politics, and travel.
Head Steward – Huang Zhu, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc in the department of medicine at UC San Diego. My lab is located in Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. I’m interested in developing novel immune therapy for the treatment of cancer. Specifically, my current research focuses on modifying iPSCs derived natural killer cells for cell therapy of various cancers. Prior to joining UCSD, I have worked for Eli Lilly and Company as research scientist for 5 years with focus on preclinical drug development for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In my spare time, I like swimming, running, playing badminton and hiking.
Head Steward – Adam Wier, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc at UC San Diego in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine department, where I study the regulation of DNA packaging in the cell, a process which when altered can give rise to disease in humans, including cancer. Outside of the sciences, I am interested in miniature-based board gaming, with a focus on building and painting miniatures. Further, I enjoy drawing and anything related to art.
Head Steward – Peter Ramirez, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of viral replication, with an emphasis on HIV. I am also committed to increasing equality and diversity within the STEM work field. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking, running, playing guitar and being a singer/songwriter.
San Francisco –
Unit Chair – Matt Grimmer, Ph.D.
I am a Postdoc at UCSF studying the genomes of incurable brain cancers to see how they evolve to resist chemotherapy. I am also a steering committee member for the March for Science SF, which in our first event rallied an estimated 50,000+ marchers to resist the anti-science nonsense of the Tiny Hands Trump administration.
Recording Secretary – Dima Lituiev, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Ivory Dean, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Sangeet Lal, Ph.D.
Head Steward – Michelle Percharde, Ph.D.
I’m a Postdoc at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at UCSF. My research focuses on understanding the transcriptional output and chromatin state of cells during early development. In particular I study embryonic stem cells and germ cells, with the hope towards understanding more about how these cells are regulated in early development, and are also affected by stress or in disease. In my free time I take as much advantage of the Bay outdoors as possible, hiking, biking and running.
Santa Barbara –
Unit Chair – Patrick Callahan, Ph.D.
Recording Secretary – Michael C. Heiber, Ph.D.
Santa Cruz –
  

 


Elections Committee –
Campus Committee Person Alternate
Berkeley Brandie Nonnecke
LBL Iros Barozzi Tuomas Koskela
Davis Keshav Dev Singh Gaurav Sharma
Irvine Maryam Zahiri Azar
Los Angeles Gokul Ramaswami, Chair
Merced Lee Thompson
Riverside Agustina De Francesco
San Diego
San Francisco Johannes Thrul
Santa Barbara Wei Luo
Santa Cruz