SBU Postdoc Spotlight

Postdoc poster session

SBU Postdoc Spotlight is a celebration of the research performed by Stony Brook's postdoctoral scholars. The Spotlight will be held during National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week on September 18, 2014. Postdocs will have the opportunity to spotlight their innovations in a short, accessible talk for a broad audience and provide a snapshot of the world-class research underway at the University.

Postdoc speakers will receive specialized coaching in providing a broad and engaging talk. Speakers will work with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The nationally recognized center works to enhance understanding of science by helping to train the next generation of scientists to communicate more effectively with the public, the media and others outside their own specialty. Selection as a speaker is a unique professional development opportunity that will enhance any postdoc's CV. 

Spotlight presentations will be followed by a Postdoc Appreciation Luncheon. The lunch will feature special guest, Graham Chedd, Emmy-award-winning producer of NOVA and Scientific American Frontiers, who will speak about the rewards and challenges of communicating science from his three decades of writing, directing and producing scientific programming for public audiences.

Location: Wang Center Theater

Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Time: Spotlight Talks: 9:00am-12:30pm and Postdoc Appreciation Luncheon: 12:30pm-2:00pm


Spotlight Agenda:
See presentation slides linked with the talks. 

Download the full program here.

8:30am-9:00am Breakfast & Registration Wang Lobby
9:00am-9:15am Welcome Wang Theater
  Charles Taber, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
9:15am-10:45am Spotlight Presentations I Wang Theater
  William Allen, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Blocking HIV Entry into Cells
  Minyi Hu, Biomedical Engineering
Development of a New Method for Potential Osteoporosis Treatment
  Huafeng Dong, Geosciences
Harder than Diamond?
  Ido Keren, Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Chromatin Remodeling in Plants
  Daniel Charlebois, Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology
From Mathematical Models to the Laboratory: Shedding New Insights on Drug Resistance
  Tejas Bouklas, Medicine
Cryptococcus Neoformans and its Ability to Age
10:45am-11:00am Coffee Break Wang Lobby
11:00am-12:30pm Spotlight Presentations II Wang Theater
  Richard Row, Biochemistry and Cell Biology
A, B or C: Similar Cells Choose Different Fates to Build a Growing Embryo
  Taylor Schoberle, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Behind Enemy Lines: How Plague Silences Our Immune System
  Arijit Maitra, Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology
Bacteria are Clever Machines
  Polina Burmistrova, Chemistry
Solar-to-Hydrogen Energy Conversion
  Ashutosh Singh, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Achilles' Heel of a Killer
  Nils Feege, Physics and Astronomy
Development and Test of a Magnetic Field Cloaking Device
12:30pm-2:00pm Postdoc Appreciation Luncheon Wang Chapel
  Graham Chedd, Producer, Writer, Director, and
Visiting Professor, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science 

Shooting Science – What's the Big Idea?
2:00pm Closing Remarks Wang Chapel



Visit our Postdocs at SBU Facebook page to see pictures from the event. Thanks again to our speakers and to everyone who attended.



Speaker Sign Up Deadline: Wednesday, August 11, 2014 (Selected speakers will be notified shortly thereafter)

 Speaker Coaching Dates: (Sessions 1 & 2 required for all speakers)

  • Session 1: August 27, 2014, 9:30am-11:00am;
  • Session 2: One of four times: Sept 8, 10am-12pm; OR Sept 8, 3-5pm; OR Sept 9, 9-11am; OR Sept 9, 12-2pm.

Presentation Guidelines: Only SBU Postdocs are eligible to give a Spotlight talk. Talks will be eight minutes long plus three minutes for questions. Speakers should craft a talk that distills the heart of their research for a general audience who may not be specialists. Speakers will receive individualized coaching on their presentation from experts at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.

All speakers must commit to participating in two coaching sessions to be held on: Aug 27 and Sept 8 or 9.

The first session on Aug 27 will provide an overview of best practices for honing one's message for a general audience. In the second session, speakers will receive coaching on their individual talks in small groups. Speakers may indicate a preference for one of four small-group sessions to be held on Sept 8 and 9. Speakers are required to attend BOTH the first session and one of the small-group, individualized coaching sessions. See coaching dates and times above.

Postdocs must affirm that their postdoctoral supervisor supports presentation of their research during speaker sign up.

How to Sign Up:

  1. Go to the Sign Up form and enter your contact info.
  2. Write and submit a title for your talk that is descriptive and yet understandable by anyone outside your field.
  3. Write and submit a short, 250-word abstract about your talk that avoids jargon and keeps in mind a general audience.
  4. Affirm that your postdoctoral supervisor supports you presenting your work in the Spotlight.
  5. Agree to participate in two coaching sessions to be held on Aug 27 and Sept 8 or 9. You can indicate a preference of one of four small-group session times to be held on September 8 and 9 (see times above).
  6. After submission, you will be contacted shortly after the closing date for sign up about whether you have been selected to speak.

Speaker Selection: The number of speakers is limited. Therefore, speakers will be selected to provide a broad slate of presentations designed to reach a general audience bearing no specialized knowledge. Selected speakers will be notified shortly after speaker signup closes.

QUESTIONS: Contact Kathleen Flint Ehm, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and SBU Postdoc Spotlight Coordinator, at or 631-632-7531.

Room 2438, Computer Science Building, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4433 Phone: 631.632.7531 Fax: 631.632.7243
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