Board Members

Marta Szulik, PhD

Senior Chair

I am from Poland. In 2008 I came to Nashville, TN for a one-year research internship in biochemistry. I loved it so much that after completing the training I joined the PhD program in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. After graduating, I came to Salt Lake City. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow with Sarah Franklin at CVRTI, where I study epigenetic factors that regulate gene expression in the heart during disease progression. I am excited to be a member of the UPDA board, helping to build a supportive community and organize events to enrich academic skills among postdocs to prepare us for future success.

 Gaelle Batot

Department of Biochemistry, University of Utah

Originally from France, where I did my PhD, I spent two and half years in California for a first Postdoc. Since I was missing the mountains, I moved to Salt Lake City for a second postdoc in the laboratory of Pr. Chris Hill, in the Department of Biochemistry. I am combining biochemical and structural studies to investigate the interaction between RNA polymerase II and a chaperone protein. I was involved in UCI Postdoctoral association, for which I oversaw the communication, and I am excited to join the UPDA to interact with more postdocs!

Erin Young

Communications Officer
Hunstman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

Erin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and has been working under the mentorship of Dr. Joshua Schiffman since October 2016. Erin’s research interests revolve around heritable cancer predisposition. Her current projects focus on the identification of causative mutations in specific families with abnormal amounts of cancer, and cohorts of childhood cancers.

Suvendu Biswas

Web Design
College of Pharmacy, University of Utah

I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the College of Pharmacy. Being an avid learner a new technology and an UPDA member my role is to manage, design and maintain the UPDA website. I helped to redesign the old website to the current form and will continuously contribute to making a better user-friendly site. As a side note, having a background in chemical sciences with a strong interest in technology and management I use my skills to find solutions to a complex problem. As a researcher, I learned to face proactively challenges, and solved them and communicated complex ideas effectively in a range of formats to a variety of audiences. As a team player, I wish the UPDA site will become a great resource for any postdoc at the University of Utah.

Natalia Torres, PhD

Board member & Past Chair, diversity and inclusion Coordinator

Bio: Originally from Argentina, I moved to Salt Lake City in 2006. Since then I have completed my doctorate and now I am doing my postdoctoral work in cardiac physiology. As a member of UPDA I am interested in helping other postdocs to get the most out of Salt Lake City and their time at the University of Utah.

Daniel Mendoza, PhD

Board Member & Former Communications Officer
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Bio: Daniel is a postdoctoral fellow in the ITCE – Inter-University Training fo Continental-scale Ecology (ITCE) program working with John Lin in the Atmospheric Sciences department. Daniel’s research interests include quantifying and characterizing urban greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions for use in human exposure estimation. Daniel also examines health effects of acute pollutant exposure, particularly in vulnerable populations.

Heather Clifton

Board Member
Utah Vascular Research Laboratory, University of Utah, Division of Geriatrics
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

My research background is in the area of how nutraceutical supplementation impacts vascular function and blood flow regulation. Currently, my research focus is on chronic diseases that have a vascular dysfunction component, and assessing how treatment options such as exercise, nutritional supplementation, and pharmaceutical interventions can influence blood vessel function and affect the severity and progression of these diseases.

Malini Rajan

Board Member
Molecular Medicine, University of Utah

I am from India, I completed my PhD in Germany and currently I am doing my Postdoctoral research  with Elizabeth Leibold in iron metabolism. As a UPDA member, I am interested in networking,  learning and sharing ideas on opportunities that will help the postdoctoral community to step up the career ladder.

Emilio Cortes Sanchez

Board Member
Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy. My research involves genetic engineering of bacteria and fungi in order to obtain novel therapeutic drugs. I moved to Utah in 2016 from Scotland, where I did my PhD in Synthetic Biology. Before that I graduated in Chemical Engineering and completed two M.Sc in Spain, my home country. The members of the UPDA were really helpful when I first moved here and thus I thought that becoming part of it would allow me to give support to other people too. I am eager to help other postdocs enjoy their time here, as well as to develop their professional path.

Raziye Mohammadpour

Board Member

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Nano Institute of Utah working on mechanism of nanoparticles toxicity and inflammation. I am from Iran, where I did my M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tehran. I moved to Salt Lake City in 2015. It’s my pleasure to be a UPDA member and I hope to use the experience I gained to help postdoctoral community at the University of Utah.


List of Past Board Members



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