PDA Officers 2020-2021

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Tansu Daylan

President

Tansu Daylan is a postdoctoral Kavli fellow at the MIT Kavli Institute working on the discovery and characterization of planets beyond our Solar System. Previously, he was a PhD student at Harvard, where he worked on the dark matter problem in the Universe as well as building statistical methods such as transdimensional Bayesian inference. Earlier than that, he was a physics and electronics engineering undergraduate at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. He previously served as the MIT PDA Human Affairs Chair (2019-2020) before becoming the President. He works towards a more diverse, fair, and inclusive work environment for postdocs at MIT. Please do not hesitate to contact him for any questions regarding the MIT PDA or diversity, equity, and inclusion related issues.

 

Eva María López Vidal

Vice President

Eva is a postdoctoral research associate in chemical biology working in the Pentelute lab since 2018. Her research focuses on peptide-based delivery vehicles for big therapeutic molecules to treat some genetic diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Before MIT, Eva graduated with a PhD in supramolecular chemistry from the University of A Coruña (Spain). She also undertook research at the University of Cambridge and at Northwestern University, where she worked with the Nobel Laureate Sir James Fraser Stoddart in the field of molecular machines. She was also a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath developing novel polymers alternative to those relying of fossil fuels.

Eva is very passionate about science, business and politics. She is a huge fan of Barre3 and she also enjoys running, cooking and spending time with friends. She is very excited about serving as Vice-President of the MIT postdoctoral association and working together with the President and the rest of the PDA officers to make sure the needs of the postdocs at MIT are heard and addressed.

 

Nouf Almousa

Recording Secretary

Christopher W Kinsley

Treasurer

Ahmed Alade Tiamiyu

Corresponding Secretary

Ahmed is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT. He joined MIT in 2019 after completing his Ph.D. degree at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His research focuses on using different characterization techniques to understand the processing-structure-property correlations in structural metals and alloy systems under extreme deformation conditions. In his free time, Ahmed likes to watch soccer and spend time with his family. As a corresponding secretary, he is responsible for the correspondence of the PDA with MIT and the external community. Please reach out to him if you have any questions about PDA. 

STANDING COMMITTEES

Camille Bilodeau

Advocacy Committee Chair

Camille joined Klavs Jensen’s group in the Chemical Engineering Department in April 2020 and her research focuses on using artificial intelligence to optimize molecules for different properties. Before starting her postdoc, she completed her PhD in February 2020 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and her Masters in 2015 at Northwestern University. At MIT, Camille is also a member of the PDA DEI committee, the Women’s Advisory Group committee, and the CPGSC council. As a PhD student, Camille was the president of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association at RPI and the Advanced Science and Computation Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. 

Camille is excited about advocating on behalf of postdocs and hopes to make the postdoc experience as great as possible. In particular, she is passionate about advocating in order to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of the postdoc community at MIT. In her free time, Camille loves hiking, running, and watching TV.

Nader Nikbakht

IT & Information Committee Chair

Nader is a Postdoctoral Associate at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. His long-term research goal is to uncover the neuronal circuit mechanisms behind sensory-motor behaviors that lead to cognition. His PhD work at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), focused on understanding the neuronal circuit computations involved in multisensory perception and decision making. Here at MIT, he studies the neuronal mechanisms of sequence generation and learning with a focus on studying the cellular and circuit underpinnings of songbird vocalizations.

At the MIT PDA, Nader is responsible for setting up efficient communication and publicity systems to communicate with all postdocs at MIT.

Garima Dwivedi

Professional Development Committee Chair

Maria Kanelli

Alumni Committee Chair

Maria is a Chemical Engineer with a background in Biotechnology and polymer biocatalysis. During her PhD she worked on the enzymatic modification of synthetic fabrics to increase their hydrophilicity, the preparation of antimicrobial fabrics and the enzymatic transesterification of polysaccharides for potential application in the food and cosmetics industry. She has joined the Langer Lab as a postdoctoral fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer in late 2019 and currently her research is focused on a self-boosted delivery system for the Hepatitis B vaccine and the development of an anticancer nanoplatform that will combine chemotherapeutic and phototherapeutic agents. As the Alumni chair of the MIT PDA she envisions to be the liaison between present postdocs and MIT alumni, enabling the communication and expression of concerns, advice and perspectives about future professional endeavors.

Moustafa Ragab Khalil Ali

Community Building Chair

Moustafa Ali is a second-year Postdoctoral associate at the Biological Engineering department, in Niles lab. His work at MIT demonstrates nanomaterials for imaging, prevention, and combating malaria. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Mostafa El-Sayed. His researcher experience is a combination of chemistry and biology in three main fields: 1) nanomaterials and bio-conjugations including their synthesis, characterizations, as well as their biological impact. 2) super-resolution imaging microscopy, spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry for studying the bio-nano interface. 3) in vitro and in vivo medical applications involving cancer, Bacteria, and currently Malaria. This is his second year as a community-building chair, his role to arrange social events to get postdocs from different fields to communicate with each other. Also, working with the other PDA officers to discuss and try to solve different problems for supporting MIT postdocs. Moustafa always welcoming new ideas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or ideas that might serve MIT postdocs.

Omar Costilla-Reyes

Fundraising Committee Chair

Omar Costilla-Reyes is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Medical and Engineering Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on artificial intelligence and digital health. Omar obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in England working on artificial intelligence topics applied to healthcare and biometrics. Omar is the founder and president of the Artificial Intelligence Latin American Summit at MIT. The goal of the summit is to incentivize leaders of the Latin American region in government, industry, and academia to invest and develop Artificial Intelligence for the social benefit.

Kyle Diederichsen

Human Affairs/DEI Chair

Kyle started as a postdoctoral associate in the Hatton Lab in Chemical Engineering in September 2019. He is working on electrochemically mediated separations, with a particular focus on CO2 capture. During his PhD at Berkeley, Kyle worked on polymer-based electrolytes for lithium ion batteries and before that has spent time working with block copolymer self assembly and graphene growth. At Berkeley Kyle was co-president of the department student group and later a delegate and internal chief of staff to the campus graduate student government. He is passionate about improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia and is particularly working to improve efforts at the postdoc level at MIT because postdocs are the next generation of leaders, and MIT postdocs are hired around the world.

Maha N Haji

Orientation Committee Chair

Maha is a postdoctoral associate in the Engineering Systems Laboratory at MIT and a joint researcher in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell. Her research focuses on utilizing multidisciplinary design optimization to develop a floating platform to provide recharging and data offloading capacity for autonomous underwater vehicles. Maha completed her PhD in Mechanical and Oceanographic Engineering in a joint program between MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. After graduation, Maha worked in industry as an engineering consultant with a company called ATA Engineering. There she got the chance to work with clients in aerospace and defense all the way to entertainment and themed rides. So in any one day, she could be working on robots, rockets, and roller coasters! After her time in the Engineering Systems Lab, Maha will be joining the faculty at Cornell as an Assistant Professor starting in July 2021, where her research will focus on designing offshore systems to sustainably extract resources from the ocean such as power, water, and food, as well as mineral resources key to the progress of clean energy. 

As Orientation Chair, Maha is looking forward to giving a warm welcome to all new postdocs and helping them to make the most of their time at MIT.

Laura Maiorino

Orientation Committee Co-Chair

Laura is a postdoctoral James S. McDonnell Foundation Fellow in the Irvine Lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Her research focuses on the circuit of signals triggered by therapies that activate the immune system against cancer. Her long-term goal is to establish a framework to pair patients with the therapies they are most likely to benefit from based on which immune cells populate their cancers. Before joining MIT, Laura received a PhD in Biological Sciences from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (NY), where she studied the spread of cancer to distant sites, and a M.S. in Medical, Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology from San Raffaele University in Milan (Italy). Outside the lab, she loves spending time with friends especially when food, music or sporting events are involved. She will talk at length about travelling, politics, and her dog Zissou.

As Co-Chair of the PDA Orientation Committee, she hopes to be a friendly face for new Postdocs, helping them acclimate and get up to speed on all the resources at their disposal at MIT.

 

Jamal Toutouh El Alamin

Sports Committee Chair

Jamal is a postdoctoral Marie Curie fellow at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He joined PDA Sports Committee since he is concerned about the importance of having resources that allow the MIT postdocs to share active activities to help break away from the day-to-day work, while sharing the experience with other people.

Before coming to MIT, he obtained his PhD in Computer Engineering at the University of Malaga (Spain) getting the Best Spanish Ph.D. Thesis in Smart Cities award. His current research explores the combination of Nature-inspired gradient-free and gradient-based optimization methods to address Adversarial Deep Learning. The main idea is to devise new algorithms to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the state-of-the-art methodology by mainly applying co-evolutionary approaches. These DL new approaches are applied to address cybersecurity, climate change, and smart-cities problems. See his website: www.jamal.es

If you would like to practice sports with your fellow postdocs, please contact us at pda-sports@mit.edu and consider joining this committee. You can also join the MIT PDA’s Sports Facebook Group, and post to the group with your ideas for informal activities.