Upcoming Events

Join us for a seminar with Dr. Anne Bothmer, Scientist at Editas Medicine

Organized by the Postdoctoral Organization for Women Engaged in Research (POWER)

Sponsored by the MIT Postdoc Association (PDA) Posdoc Initiative Grant (PInG) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at Noon, the Chipman room, 6-104

Please sign up if you plan to attend: https://goo.gl/forms/SXA9rnTsLZa1nK642

Refreshments will be provided 

POWER’s professional career development seminars focus on the speaker’s personal experiences, insights into their current work, as well as work-life integration issues. Dr. Bothmer will discuss what has contributed to her success, the challenges she has overcome, and advice for current postdocs. We hope that the interactions will assist women postdocs in navigating their careers and will also help them build the professional connections.

Speaker bio:

Dr. Bothmer received her B.Sc. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in physics in 2006. She then pursued her doctoral studies at The Rockefeller University in the lab of Dr. Michel Nussenzweig studying DNA repair processes in the context of immune diversification reactions. After completing her dissertation in 2011, she joined the lab of Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi as a Damon Runyon fellow exploring the role of non-coding RNA in cancer. Dr. Bothmer joined Editas Medicine in 2015 as a DNA repair scientist. At Editas Medicine, Dr. Bothmer is investigating the DNA damage and repair implications and optimizations with regard to therapeutic use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system.


Past Events

“Solo Travel 101”


 At Graduate Women at MIT’s Empowerment Conference, in collaboration with Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT).

Sponsor: Committee on Race and Diversity

April 10, 2017


(L to R) Dina Tsukrov (moderator, MIT postdoc), Brienne Miers (Blogger & Writer, A Traveling Life), Beth Santos (Founder & CEO of Wanderful) and Danielle Giannone (Owner of Brave Explorer Coaching)


Participants at the session

The Solo Travel 101 Panel consisted of Brienne Miers (Blogger & Writer, A Traveling Life), Beth Santos (Founder & CEO of Wanderful) and Danielle Giannone (Owner of Brave Explorer Coaching) and was moderated by Dina Tsukrov (MIT postdoc). Wanderful is a premier women’s travel community and a global homesharing network for women (https://www.sheswanderful.com/). The panelists talked about their travel experiences and took questions from the audience. Here are a few helpful tips from the panelists:

  1. Know where you are going. Read about the places you are going to on websites like tripadvisor. It helps to know a local person who can give provide advice regarding the local accommodation, most affordable area, sightseeing tips etc.
  2. When traveling in non-English speaking countries, write the location of the hotel in native language (take help from hotel front desk) so that it will be easier to navigate and get directions from the locals if lost.
  3. Scan all documents on phone. Never carry passport on sight seeing. Have multiple options to access money during travels. Use travel bra and anti-theft bags to keep your valuables safe.
  4.  Travel with a first-aid kit. Learn some basic first-aid and be up to date on vaccinations required in the country you are traveling to.
  5. Observe the culture of a new country and respect the culture and the customs

“Succeeding in Male-Dominated Fields: Panel”


 At Graduate Women at MIT’s Annual Leadership Conference, in collaboration with Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT).

Sponsor: Committee on Race and Diversity

October 25, 2016



The panel consisted of Dr. Paulina Hill (Principal at Polaris Partner), Jenny Oliver (Scientific Diver for Department of Conservation), Dr. Barbara Fox (CEO of Tilos Therapeutics), Dr. Maureen Boyce (Founding Parter at Good Growth Capital), Beth Bauman (an accomplished Product Development and Operational Excellence Professional) and was moderated by Dr. Nabia Shalaby (repeat entrepreneur and business executive). The event was attended by about 30 students and postdocs at MIT. The panel gave their perspective regarding diversity in their respective fields and took questions from the audience. Here are a few interesting takeaways from the panelists.

 Listen to yourself and figure out what your priorities are. – Nadia Shalaby

Be prepared to fail. Pick yourself up and keep going. Be persistent and have some confidence in yourself. Half of it is mind games. Don’t be plagued by self-doubt. – Barbara Fox

Be the best. – Beth Bauman

Be clear on your big why. Give yourself the tools you need to become confident and strong. – Jenny Oliver

Don’t blame yourself and don’t internalize. Seek out women mentors. – Maureen Boyce

Don’t take it personally. Figure out some sort of strategy. Push back. Be yourself. Find out what you like and stay true to that. Be aware of unconscious biases and impostor syndrome and pretend on a day to day basis to have nothing to do with it. – Paulina Hill



Sponsor: Committee on Race and Diversity 

Category: Diversity & Inclusion

July 21, 2016


Preparing for POWER BBQ


Postdocs enjoying the BBQ


Great food options and a venue for networking

POWER BBQ is the second socio-cultural event organized by POWER. The event was attended by about 25-30 people, which included post-docs, their families, and friends. Along with the delicious food, a few games, such as Find Your Match and volleyball were held during the BBQ to promote social networking. Special thanks to the PDA for their help in promoting the event and leasing a few BBQ essentials.

“Life as a Scientific Editor: Gender Equity in Publishing”

Seminar by Dr. Allyson Evans, Senior Scientific Editor at Molecular Cell

Sponsor: Committee on Race and Diversity 

Category: Diversity & Inclusion

Organized as a part of GW@MIT’s 2016 Spring Empowerment Conference. 

Thursday April 14th



The seminar, ‘Life as a Scientific Editor’, was organized by POWER as a part of GW@MIT, Spring Empowerment Conference. The main theme of the Spring Empowerment conference was ‘Be Gutsy’. Dr. Evans is a Senior Scientific Editor at Molecular Cell.

Dr. Evans spoke about choosing a career as a scientific editor and provided insight into the responsibilities of the role. The role of Scientific Editors is to improve the peer review process and develop special issues of the trending research topics. As a Scientific Editor it is also important to attend conferences and organize conferences and keep in touch with the latest scientific developments in the field. Being a Scientific Editor is intellectually rigorous and constantly challenging. On the downside, it is a desk job and one should have a basic knowledge of several disciplines, which does not give opportunity to do in-depth research on one specific topic.

Dr. Evans also spoke about how to integrate work and life and the facilities at Molecular cell for new mothers. These facilities were made possible by requests of a group of Gutsy women. Dr. Evans referred to the website, crosstalk.cell.com, a blog by CellPress, which highlights the latest scientific developments and also gender disparity issues.


 Seminar by Prof. Kristala L. Jones Prather

Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT

Sponsor: Committee on Race and Diversity 

Category: Diversity & Inclusion

March 1st, 2016


Prof. Prather (far right) interacting with the audience


Pizza and other refreshments were provided at the seminar

The seminar by Prof. Prather was organized on March 1st , at noon. Prof. Prather provided insights into her current work, discussed about what contributed to her success and the challenges she has overcome. Prof. Prather also gave advice about how to be successful in Academia and how to integrate work and life. Prof. Prather’s spoke for about half an hour and later answered the queries from the audience. The seminar was attended by about 35 people. The insights by Prof. Prather and the questions from the audience made the session lively and engaging.

Pizza and Movie Night

November 20th, 2015


Screening of Mulan


Attendees enjoying the movie, pizza and popcorn

Pizza and movie night is the first socio-cultural event organized by POWER. The event was attended by about 12-15 people, which included post-docs, their families and friends. The first 30 minutes of the event was devoted to social networking. Mulan was chosen as the movie because the storyline addresses feminist issues, such as gender stereotyping, and women empowerment and is also a fun movie.


Career development seminar with Prof. Marcia Haigis

Associate Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

November 5th, 2015


Prof. Marcia Haigis giving the talk


Attendees at the talk

Dr. Haigis discussed about what contributed to her success and the challenges she had overcome. Dr. Haigis advised the postdocs to identify areas where there is prospect for growth and to look for opportunities that enrich postdoc experience, for example teaching, grant writing etc. Dr. Haigis stressed the importance of mentorship and having the right professional support to advance career. Dr. Haigis advised her audience to be strategic when planning personal and professional life and to look for practical solutions.

Dr. Haigis also spoke about her early career challenges. She mentioned that it is important to start the lab with the right people and to devote considerable time for grant writing in the first year (as an Assistant Professor). She also spoke about work-life integration. It is important to prioritize and plan your time so that there is better integration of professional and personal responsibilities.

Dr. Haigis’s takeaway message was to ‘Pick a question whose answer excites you.’

First session of POWER (October 5th, 2015)

Attendees at the first POWER meeting

Attendees at the first POWER meeting

The first session of POWER was organized on October 5th. The session was attended by about 15 post-docs.

The topics of discussion were focused on personal and professional development. On the professional development front, the post-docs expressed interest in mentoring graduate/undergraduate students, in having workshops on being assertive, conflict and time management. Future events of POWER will be planned to address these interests.

On the personal front the issues raised were rise in cost of housing and bridging the gap between postdoctoral associates and fellows, in terms of salary, healthcare benefits and maternity leave. The incoming (2015-2016) President (Dr. Lillian Hsaio) and Vice President of MIT (Dr. Wasifa Jamal) of PDA (Post Doctoral Association) and the current Postdoc Representative of MIT’s Women’s Advisory Group (WAG) (Dr. Angela Hafner) were present at the meeting. They mentioned that these issues were heard in PDA forums as well and a plan will be charted out in the near future to address these concerns.

See the slides of first POWER meeting which has information about resources for women at MIT here.


POWER Mission Statement

Our goal is to provide professional and personal development support specific to women who want to pursue advanced careers in science and industry, and to support and advocate for women postdocs in all aspects of their professional training at MIT.

POWER also provides a platform for the post-doctoral candidates to interact and develop professional connections, through various socio-cultural activities.

Please join us in creating an inviting and enriching environment to address women’s needs, represent postdoctoral women at MIT functions, and plug-in to relevant professional resources!

POWER Core team – Dr. Wasifa Jamal, Dr. Angela Hafner, Dr. Soumya Gudiyella and Dr. Lisa Anderson and Dr. Dina Tsukrov

Ex-POWER Core team member: Dr. Lilian Hsiao

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