2016-2017 Postdoctoral Scholar Year In Review

NPAW 2017

ECU will again be having events in recognition of the 2017 National Postdoctoral Scholar Appreciation Week (NPAW).  

On Monday, September 18th, postdoctoral scholars have been invited to a meet-and-greet luncheon with Dr. Jay Golden, ECU Vice Chancellor for Research, Economic Development & Engagement (12-1:30 pm in 1511 Greenville Centre).   This is an opportunity for Dr. Golden to learn about postdoc research activities and to discuss his vision for ECU.  Six postdoctoral scholars will be giving 3 minute research presentations.  

On Tuesday, September 19th, we have invited Dr. Phil Clifford back to campus.  He is Professor and Associate Dean for Research at University of Illinois at Chicago, an outspoken advocate of career and professional development for PhD scientists and coauthor of myIDP.   

1 pm “Getting Started on the Right Foot” in Brody 2W-38/40A

Dr. Clifford will be presenting a session targeted toward faculty who mentor postdocs and graduate students which will focus on mentor/mentee communication.  The interactive workshop will use case studies from mentor training sessions conducted at the University of Illinois and with the National Research Mentoring Network. 

3 pm  “Putting your PhD Degree to Work: Planning for a Successful Career in Science” in Brody 2W-38/40A

Postdoctoral scholars will attend a hands-on workshop, where they will complete a first draft of their IDP, which are now required for postdoctoral scholars by the NIH and other sponsors, the National Postdoctoral Association and by the ECU Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.   

5 pm ECU Postdoc Appreciation Event. 

ECU postdoctoral scholar research accomplishments for the past year will be highlighted and a dinner buffer will be provided for scholars, their families, mentors and honored guests. 

April 7th, 2017 - RCAW Awards Luncheon

Congratulations to Maria Torres for winning the Postdoctoral award at the 2017 ECU Research and Creative Achievement Week

April 5th and 6th, 2017 -

Increase Your Writing Productivity

The College of Nursing has invited postdoctoral scholars to benefit from an ECU visit from two academic writing experts.  Kimberly A. Skarupski, Ph.D., M.P.H. is the Assistant Dean for Faculty Development in the Office of Faculty Development. Prior to joining Hopkins in April of 2013, she served for 7 years as the program director for the Rush Research & Teaching Mentoring Programs in the Office of Academic Affairs at Rush University Medical Center.  Dr. Skarupski was here last year and was an excellent speaker.  Dr. Paul Sylvia, is a Professor at UNC Greensboro, and author of “How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing”.  Books will be distributed at the luncheon presentation on April 6th.

April 3rd - 7th, 2017 - 11th Annual Research and Creative Achievement Week

ECU Research and Creative Achievement Week provides students with an excellent opportunity to practice their presentation skills and meet other creative scholars at ECU with similar interests.

Undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral scholars (you must be a current East Carolina University student or postdoctoral scholar to submit an abstract) are invited to present their research to fellow students, colleagues, faculty, and the local community in a professional, conference-style setting.  We define research as an original systematic investigation and/or original creative activity designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge or culture. This event will be held in Mendenhall.

Wednesday March 1st, 2017 - Career Development Seminar for Trainees

Dr. Tammy R.L. Collins, Ph.D. will be presenting a career development seminar titled "Articulating your accomplishments: Tips for building a high-impact job application" in Brody room 2E-100 from 11-12 noon.

February 24th, 2017 - Career Path Writing Solutions

Dr. Heidi Guisto  ( ) will be presenting a workshop on Friday, Feb 24, 2017 from 10:30am-3:00pm.  It will include an initial 2hr session on Resumes/Cover Letters, followed by a 30 minute catered lunch break, and a final 2hr session on preparing optimal LinkedIn profiles and using LinkedIn to effectively network and job search.  This is a hands-on Workshop, with significant one-on-one time.  Dr. Guisto will provide course materials including workbooks, handouts, and sample documents.  She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), a Certified Empowerment and Motivational Coach (CEMC), a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches, and a Career Thought Leaders Associate.

This workshop will promote the development of written communication skills, self-assessment of skills and attributes, and the preparation of improved resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

Postdoctoral Scholar wins abstract award

Congratulations to Dr. Tim Heden for receiving an abstract travel award from the American Physiological Society to present at the APS Integrative Biology of Exercise meeting being held in Phoenix, AZ on November 2nd-4th, 2016. 

National Postdoc Appreciation Week Success 

The Postdoc Association held a successful event, celebrating the contributions of it's scholars. The event's keynote speaker was Dr. Kevin Grigsby who gave an engaging and insightful talk about leadership and team performance. The slides for the talk can be found here. The event also saw Dr. Terence Ryan receive the PDA's biennial Outstanding Paper Award. Congratulations Terence! Thank you to everyone who attended and was involved in organizing the event for making it a success. A few pictures from the event are included below.

September 23rd, 2016 - National Postdoc Appreciation Week 

Please join us in celebrating the NPAW when we'll be joined by Dr. Kevin Grigsby of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Grigsby is a well-recognized expert in organizational development and various aspects of leadership in academic medicine. Dr. Grigsby's talk, "Maximizing Research Team Performance: How to be a future-oriented leader (even when you aren't the person "at the top")", promises to be a highly interactive opportunity to improve leadership skills. A catered event, announcement of award winners and yearly achievements will follow for postdocs and their families, significant others, and mentors.

July 18th, 2016 Grant award announcement 

Congratulations to Dr. Terence Ryan (ECDOI/ Physiology) who was recently awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI - F32129632). This fellowship will support Dr. Ryan's research investigating the role of skeletal muscle mitochondria in peripheral arterial disease pathology. More information about Dr. Ryan can be found here. 

April 11, 2016 RCAW Postdoctoral Winner 

Congratulations to Dr. Tim Heden, Winner of the 2016 Best Postdoctoral Poster Presentation at RCAW 2016 for his work entitled "Phosphatidylserine decarboxylase regulates skeletal muscle respiration by its action on Complex II". Tim received his BS and MS from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Missouri. He has been at ECU since August 2014, working with Dr. Katsu Funai in the Department of Kinesiology. Tim received a trophy and $200. 

March 22, 2016 Grant award announcement 

Dr. Tim Heden recently received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The fellowship will support Dr. Heden's research project entitled "Skeletal muscle mitochondrial phosphatidylethanolamine and respiratory capacity" for three years. More information about Dr. Heden can be found here.

January 29, 2016 PDA Meeting and Potluck 

International cuisine was enjoyed (most scientists are great cooks) and postdocs discussed upcoming events, including the ECU RCAW poster session (abstracts due Feb 2;, career development plans (MyIDP -, Writing Accountability Groups (February 19th), business skills in setting up a lab (TBA) and Science Crossroads (April). 

October 1st: ECU Postdoctoral Scholar wins $500 and a Chance to Compete at Statewide Pitch Competition 

Young entrepreneurs with ideas that can make a difference in Greenville pitched their plans to a panel of judges at East Carolina University for a chance to win $10,000 in a statewide contest to turn their ideas into reality. 

September 24th: North Carolina Biotechnology Center Provides Sponsorship for East Carolina University Three Minute Thesis Competition 

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a Research Communication Competition that challenges Masters and Predoctoral students to present a compelling oration on their research endeavors in just 3 minutes to a non-specialist audience. The first 3MT was held at the University of Queensland in 2008 with 160 graduate students competing. The ECU Postdoctoral Association is a sponsor of the 3MT and was instrumental in securing the Biotechnology Event Sponsorship.

September 18th: Postdoctoral Scholar Celebration Event 

In recognition of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, the ECU Postdoctoral Association invited special guest Dr. Philip Clifford, Associate Dean for Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, to give an interactive workshop on career development plans. Following the workshop, Postdoctoral Scholars were invited to the PDA Celebration Event. The PDA Celebration Event is an annual tradition that highlights the accomplishments of the PDA and Postdoctoral Scholars. 

August 28th: New Postdoc Meet and Greet 

To kick off the new semester, the ECU Postdoctoral Association held a potluck luncheon. The luncheon was an opportunity to introduce new and returning postdocs to the services that the PDA and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides to scholars across campus. 

July 1st: Postdoctoral Receives Fellowship 

Kai Zou, Ph.D., recently received a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Mid-Atlantic affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA). The fellowship will support Dr. Zou's research project entitled, "Elucidating the mechanisms behind the restored glucose oxidation in type 2 diabetes patients after RYGB surgery" for two years.

May 29th: Postdoctoral Meeting and Resumes 101 

The ECU Postdoctoral Association held its monthly meeting and invited Nadirah Pippen from Career Services to talk about Resumes 101. The meeting was open to all graduate students as part of the on-going collaboration with the Brody Graduate Student Association. More information about ECU Career Services can be found here. 

April 29th: Postdoctoral Meeting Ice Cream Social 

The ECU Postdoctoral Association held its monthly meeting in Brody 2W-40. To kick off summer, postdoctoral scholars enjoyed a ice cream social. 

March 27th: Postdoctoral Scholar Terence Ryan to be Recognized at RCAW Awards Luncheon 

Terence Ryan (Mentor: Dr. Darrell Neufer) was awarded the best poster presentation at the 9th Annual Research and Creative Achievement Awards Luncheon for his poster presentation on "The Mitochondrial Targeted Peptide MTP-131 Restores Limb Perfusion and Reduces Pathology in Ischemic Limb Muscle of Genetically Susceptible Mice."

March 26th: Research and Creative Achievement Week 

The 9th Annual Research and Creative Achievement Week (RCAW) featured research from Postdoctoral Scholars, Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students. Postdoctoral Scholars presented on Tuesday, March 24. The event started with a breakfast and networking event followed by the poster session. Special thanks to all members who participated. Postdoctoral presenters included Fanrong Yao, Kai Zou, Samy Morad, Eman Soliman, Terence Ryan, Levi Lowder, Carlyle Rogers and Huimin Yan. 

March 20th: Postdoctoral Scholar Carlyle Rogers Awarded Technology Transfer Scholarship 

East Carolina University Technology Transfer Fellow Carlyle Rogers was awarded the 2015 Howard Bremer Scholarship by the Association of University Technology Managers. The award supports students and professionals new to the field that wish to bring creativity and innovation to the technology transfer profession.

March 6th: Collaborative Event with the Brody Graduate Student Association on "To Present or Not to Present, That is the Question?"

The second ECU Postdoctoral Association (PDA) meeting of 2015 featured Dr. Pamela Hopkins from the Speech Communication Center. Dr. Hopkins presented common mistakes that researchers make when making oral presentations. The event featured video examples of what not to do and a list of warm-up exercises that can help improve your communication. The event was in collaboration with the Brody Graduate Student Association and was a huge success. 

Jan. 30st: Postdoctoral Association Meeting and Potluck Lunch 

The first 2015 ECU Postdoctoral Association (PDA) meeting and Potluck Lunch was a huge success. Nadia Elliott from Student Heath presented on the different health services available to scholars and discussed the newly issued student health insurance cards. Following the presentation, new officers were introduced and members voted to approve the PDA Constitution and Bylaws. The next scheduled meeting will be on March 6th in Brody 2W-50 and will be in collaboration with the Brody Graduate Student Association.

Research and Creative Achievement Week 

Postdoctoral Scholars will be included again this year in ECU's 2015 Research and Creative Achievement Week. Last year was a success with over 10 scholars presenting their work. This year there will be a recognition ceremony and a cash award for the best scholar presentation. The deadline for abstract submission is February 2nd. 

2014 Outstanding Paper 

Congratulations to Terence Ryan and Jinda Lin for receiving distinguished awards for the 2014 Outstanding Paper for postdoctoral scholars! The published work by these two scholars were submitted for this award, along with work from other postdoctoral scholars around the university and reviewed by faculty judges from around the university community. Both papers received tremendous praise from the judges and the impressive scores. For those who did not submit this year, please start to prepare your best work for submission for the 2015 Outstanding Paper Award for Postdoctoral Scholars! Future announcements will confirm submission award for next year’s award.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW - Sept 19th - 23rd)

The ECU Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the ECU Postdoctoral Scholar Association will mark the occasion on Friday September 23rd. The event will consist of a highly interactive workshop on leadership followed by a catered event with announcements of award winners and yearly achievements  for Postdocs and their families, significant others and mentors. 

The workshop will be delivered by Dr. Kevin Grigsby in Brody 2w-40b/2w-50 from 3:30-5:00PM and will focus on "Maximizing Research Team Performance". Full details about Dr. Grigsby's workshop can be found in the event flyer.

Resume, CV and Cover Letter Blitz, Friday August 26th 12-1PM, Brody 2w50

This career development seminar will be lead by Sarah Lage and her colleagues from the Career Center on Resume/ CV/ Cover Letter etiquette. There will be a brief presentation followed by a small group breakout or "blitz" in which we will have our own documents critiqued. Please remember to bring 3 printed copies of your own resume/ CV and cover letter (or any combination of these).

Science Crossroads, May 10th 2016, 3PM-6PM, East Carolina Heart Institute

Science Crossroads is held annually and provides important networking opportunities for our trainees and professionals from the private sector (Biotech/ Pharmaceuticals). This event will also utilize a panel discussion with invited speakers from companies such as Bayer Corporation, Amarin Corporation, Liquidia Technologies, and Mangan Inc. Immediately following the panel discussion will be a social with hors d'oeuvres and drinks, providing ample time to network and speak directly with panelists about their own career paths. While the event is scheduled for 3 hours, the panel discussion will last ~1hr, followed by the social networking event. If you need to leave early, that is fine so please make every effort to attend.

PDA career development seminar, April 26th 2016, 12:00PM-12:45PM, Brody 2w50

This event is directed at the development of laboratory management skills. The event will consist of a panel discussion on the management of lab personnel. We will be graciously joined by Drs. Joe Houmard (Kinesiology) and Everett Pesci (Microbiology and Immunology) as panelists. Both Dr. Houmard and Dr. Pesci are NIH funded (RO1) and have run successful research labs here at ECU for a number of years, so there insight and advice will be of tremendous value. Please bring any questions or discussion topics you may have.

PDA Meeting, February 19th 2016 - Writing Accountability Groups (WAGS)

Dr. Skarupski discussed WAGS with the PDA, and provided a second talk titled "Graceful Self-Promotion".

Resources from Dr. Skarupski's visit can be found below. 

WAGS presentation

WAGS handout

Graceful self-promotion slides

Graceful self-promotion - additional reading