PDA Committee

Previous PDA officers list

President: Ahmed Fazly (pda-president@mit.edu)


Ahmed Fazly is a postdoctoral associate in the Dedon Lab at the Department of Biological Engineering. His research is aimed dissecting a novel mechanism employed by cells to respond to stress by modulating specific modifications on RNA. He Received his PhD in Biomedical sciences at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, in Rochester, MN. Prior to arriving at MIT, he completed an initial postdoctoral training at the University of Massachusetts Medical school and also taught chemistry and biology in Boston area high schools. Among the many things he enjoys are philosophy, board games and the great outdoors.



 Vice President: Kiel Ormerod (pda-vp@mit.edu)


Kiel Ormerod is a postdoctoral research fellow (postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research council of Canada) in the Littleton lab at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying trafficking and fusion of dense core vesicles; and investigating the role of neuromodulatory substances on neural circuitry and excitation-contraction coupling machinery. His PhD is from Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Towards the end of his PhD, Kiel received an Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian government to spend a year in Australia studying unique electrophysiological properties in human and mouse cells from Patients/rodents with Multiple Sclerosis(MS). In his spare time he enjoys hiking, biking, hockey, American football, and a good cup of coffee.

Corresponding Secretary: Sarah Khanniche (pda-corresponding@mit.edu)

Sarah Khanniche is a Postdoctoral Associate in Chemical Engineering. Her work within the Green Group focuses on performing quantum chemical calculations associated with reaction mechanism of fossil and biofuels. Prior to moving to the US, Sarah was a postdoctoral researcher in Chemistry at the University of Lille in France. She completed her PhD in Materials from the University of Grenoble as her project was funded by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). As a PDA officer, Sarah is in charge of the MIT-PDA Weekly Newsletter (subscribe here). Please contact her for any social events, seminars, or workshops relevant to the postdoctoral community.



Recording Secretary: Sabrina Huber (pda-recording@mit.edu)


Sabrina Huber is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Dedon Group in Biological Engineering, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She explores a new translational control mechanism by which cells regulate RNA modifications to respond to and survive stresses. Sabrina grew up in Switzerland where she received her Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemistry from the University of Zurich. She then joined the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom to obtain her PhD in Chemistry in 2016. Outside of work, Sabrina has a passion for ice hockey, travelling, beer and food.


Treasurer: Taeyoon Kyung (pda-treasurer@mit.edu)

Taeyoon started as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research from Jan 2017. He received his Bachelor’s in 2010 and PhD in 2016 at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology where he optogenetically manipulated intracellular calcium signals. Now, he is interested in rewiring T cell signaling circuits through chimeric antigen receptors for the next generation immunotherapy. In his free time, he likes to walk around old neighborhoods in Boston and play soccer and tennis.




Orientation Committee Chair: Daniel Yim (pda-orientation@mit.edu)

Daniel Yim is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Peter Dedon lab, Department of Biological Engineering, where he explores the epi-transcriptomics of host-pathogen interactions and the functional characterization of small RNAs in disease progression. His Postdoctoral Fellowship is awarded by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the National University of Singapore, under the supervision of Profs. David Virshup and Graeme Guy. To escape from lab work, he plays the guitar and clarinet, and enjoys playing with his children.




Advocacy Committee Chair: Thomas Matarazzo (pda-advocacy@mit.edu)



Thomas Matarazzo began as a postdoctoral fellow at the Senseable City Lab in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in September 2016. He is working towards using mass smartphone data in cities to quantify infrastructure health. He was born in central New Jersey and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, NY in 2010. Afterwards, he studied at Lehigh University, where he received an M.S. (2012) and a Ph.D. (2015) in Structural Engineering for his work “A Framework for the Use of Mobile Sensors In System Identification” under the supervision of Prof. Shamim Pakzad. In the summer of 2015, he joined the Nakashima-Kurata Lab at Kyoto University for the National Science Foundation East Asia Pacific Summer Institute research program to focus on post-earthquake structural condition assessment; he continued his work with the lab as a national JSPS postdoc prior to joining MIT. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys playing, writing, and recording music. He likes cooking and enjoys baseball and hockey.

Professional Development Committee Chair: Zhen Cao (pda-professional@mit.edu)


Zhen Cao is a Postdoctoral Associate from the Alfredo Alexander-Katz Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering working on transport mechanism of lithium ion in polyelectrolytes. He obtained his PhD in Polymer Science from the University of Akron in 2017, Master degree from the University of Connecticut, and Bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University. Zhen is interested in economics, sharing ideas and having fun with his daughter.



Professional Development Committee Co-Chair:  David Collins (pda-professional@mit.edu


David is everyone’s favorite Australian/American postdoc in the Micro/Nanofluidic BioMEMS Group in the Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE). Granted, there’s not much competition for this title. Prior to MIT, David served on the posdoc committee at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and did his PhD in Melbourne, Australia at Monash University. David is all about manipulating at the microscale, be that with high-frequecny acoustic fields or microfluidics principles generally. Talk to him if you’re up for a ski trip, bike ride or tasty IPA.


Community Building Committee Chair: Lai Sze Tso (pda-community@mit.edu)


Lai Sze Tso joined MIT in August 2016, as part of the Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative, having received her doctorate from the departments of Sociology and Women Studies, at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.Her primary research focuses on young women’s aspirations and their use of community resources in China’s rural to urban migration. This work was supported by the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and the US Department of Education Fulbright-Hayes. As a postdoc in the Schools of Medicine in the Pediatric Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University (2014-2015) and University of North Carolina-Project China (2015-2016), she expanded on this research by studying how community organizations and healthcare professionals use online technologies to implement behavioral and educational interventions for sexual and mental health concerns. Her research and community outreach has contributed to updates in World Health Organization policy recommendations for HIV/AIDS, and has been featured as publications in AIDS, AIDS & Behavior, BMC Public Health, Current Opinion is Psychology, Journal of the International AIDS Society, and Sexually Transmitted Infections. At MIT, Lai Sze teaches Introduction to Sociology and Global Sexualities, the latter is an undergraduate course to help students learn about health, wellbeing, and experiences of LGBTQ and minorities outside of the US.In her spare time, Lai Sze enjoys guzzling coffee, solving puzzles, eating street food, playing volleyball, exploring trails, and meeting new people from all corners of the world!

IT/Information Flow Committee Chair: Muhammad Abir (pda-www@mit.edu)

Muhammad Abir is a Postdoctoral Associate at the neutron/x-ray beam applications group at the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory at MIT, working on developing optics for high resolution neutron/x-ray imaging, neutron diffraction, gamma emission tomography and automated image analysis. Abir received M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from University of Missouri Rolla and BS from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology following a postdoc at Idaho National Laboratory. Abir enjoyed updating the PDA website and collect internal and external information about the PDA.




Alumni Committee Chair: Mohammad Azad (pda-alumni@mit.edu)


Mohammad Azad is a postdoctoral associate in prof. Allan Myerson’s research group in Chemical Engineering at MIT. He is working on the development of an innovative miniaturized, automated, and self-contained pharmaceutical drug manufacturing unit as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pharmacy on Demand (PoD) project. He received PhD in Chemical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) focused on nanotechnology for pharmaceutical drug’s bioavailability enhancement. Azad served as orientation committee chair in MIT PDA for year 2016-2017. He also served as a member of ChemE postdoc advisory board in MIT. Outside of the research, he enjoys traveling, driving, playing, swimming and cooking.




Fundraising Committee Chair: Andreas Steinbacher (pda-fundraising@mit.edu)

Andreas is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Keith Nelson in the Department of Chemistry. He obtained his PhD in physics from the Julius-Maximilians University of Wuerzburg (Germany). His current research interest focuses on nonlinear (multidimensional) THz spectroscopy and quantum control. If he is not taming ultrashort laser pulses in the lab, he enjoys photography, art, music, and literature. He counter-balances his love for delicious food by running (half-)marathons.



Human Affairs Committee Chair: Rozzetta Dolah (pda-humanaffairs@mit.edu)

Rozzeta Dolah is a post doctoral fellow at MIT Dept. of Mechanical Engineering under Prof. Karnik’s lab on Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Research laboratory. Her research interest involves renewable energy in biomass conversion into biofuels and nanotechnology using robust quality engineering including Taguchi method optimization. She has worked in several labs and lead the design and optimization of biomass reactor for second generation catalytic pyrolysis into aviation fuel. She is a Chartered Engineer; CEng MIET registered in UK, with Ph.D specialized in mechanical quality engineering from Meiji University, Japan. Her experience in quality engineering was gained under the direct tutelage of the pioneer of Taguchi Method, son of the late Dr. Genichi Taguchi. Prior to being in academic field, she has many years of experience as process engineer in industry, where she involved in multiple Black Belt Six Sigma projects, and solved problems through defects and variation elimination using MINITAB. As a member of Japan’s Quality Engineering Society, she led quality improvement projects through the implementation of Taguchi Method (Robust Quality Engineering), Design of Experiments (DOE), and Lean Six Sigma. Besides research, she enjoys advantureous  activity  such as travelling and snowboarding, nature and photography. And passion for dessert!


Postdoc Initiative Grant Committee Chair: Jake Martin (pda-ping@mit.edu)

Jake joined MIT in August 2015 as a Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Darrell Irvine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2008 and his PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2014. He is currently working on a project to create an effective HIV subunit vaccine. Outside of academia, Jake enjoys a variety of activities and hobbies, including skiing and snowboarding, soccer, volleyball, traveling, attending concerts, brewing beer, and exploring Boston.




Sports Committee Chair: Neetesh Singh (pda-sports@mit.edu)



Neetesh is a postdoctoral associate in photonics microsystems group (research laboratory of electronics). He obtained his PhD in physics from university of Sydney. He is currently working on nonlinear optical processes in photonics material (yes silicon mainly), at near-infrared wavelength for ultra-stable chip-scale optical frequency synthesizer. Aside from work, he loves sports (volleyball, cricket, futsal, badminton), food, music and travelling.