2015 NextGen Association Election Ballot

Please enter your votes for the NextGen Association for Postdocs & Graduate students. Voting ends Sunday, October 4 at 11:59 PM. You can vote for up to four (4) candidates.

As a reminder: There are four positions: two co-chairs, and two vice-chair. The highest-ranking candidates will be offered the co-chair positions; the third and fourth ranking candidates will be offered the vice-chair position. Each position is to be held for a one-year term.

Please feel free to contact us if you any questions at academicaffairs@broadinstitute.org.


Andres Colubri (Incumbent)

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Sabeti Lab, with a diverse background in science and arts: originally studied Mathematics in my native Argentina, conducted research in protein folding at the University of Chicago, and carried out an MFA at UCLA in Design and Media Arts.

In my current position at Harvard and the Broad Institute, I am working to create new statistical and computational methods to identify clinical and genomics factors associated with disease diagnostic and outcome, and to integrate rigorous statistics with visual interfaces for data exploration.

As a member of the Broad trainee community, and particularly as a NextGen co-chair during the 2014-15 period, I recognize the importance of communication, participation, and representation to make our experience at the Broad more rewarding, and to better prepare us for the next career step. For my nomination as a NextGen chair for another term, I plan to continue with an active involvement in the planning and implementation of NextGen’s social and career development events, as well with the new initiatives we launched during this year, such as the data visualization and functional genomics meetups. I am specially looking forward to reaching out to all members of the trainee community interested to participate in NextGen events in any way, from proposing new ideas to seat in our board to discuss plans and have your voice heard!

Sixun Chen

Hello! I have been at the Broad for the past 4 years, being a grad student in the Schreiber lab, which is part of the Center of Science of Therapeutics (CSofT) at the Broad. For the past 4 years, I have attended NextGen events periodically and for the past year, I’ve become more involved in the work at the Broad’s Office of Academic Affairs, taking part in the mentoring program and being part of the subgroup that is planning to roll out an individual development plan (IDP) for trainees at the broad. I believe that I can contribute to the NextGen committee and be a voice for the community. I understand that being a trainee at the Broad could be a double edged sword, it’s easy to feel lost and yet there are so many opportunities for trainees here that are unavailable in our academic institutions. I believe we should and could foster a closer community for trainees here, that could enrich our work and lives. I hope to contribute to the Broad as part of the NextGen association.

Daniel Hitchcock

My name is Daniel and I traveled from the distant land of Texas (Texas A&M University) to join the Broad Institute in February of 2014. It’s been exciting to be in New England (especially this last winter) and every day I meet new people and learn about new research projects here. I am currently working for Clary Clish in the Metabolite Profiling Platform as a postdoc; this was an amazing opportunity and fits well with my background as an enzymologist.

One of the more exciting non-research projects I’ve been a part of is the development of the Individual Development Plan (IDP). This introspective self-assessment is designed to help post-docs plan for the next step in their career. As an academic trainee, it’s sometimes difficult to plan for your next career move while buried in research. Networking can feel like a chore, and learning science outside your field of study seems unproductive. Fortunately, NextGen exists as a wonderful vehicle to advise and help students plan during the long path of a grad student. If elected for a position in NextGen, I would like to focus on trainees’ next career move, be it academia, industry or even non-science related. I hope to help develop skills for new fields of study, and encourage networking at socials and stress the importance of meeting your peers and potential future collaborators. Thank you.

Eejung Kim

Hi! I’m very excited to be nominated as a candidate for Next Gen Association Chair. I started in Bill Hahn’s lab as a research technician in 2010 and got addicted to the super awesomeness of science here at the Broad that I decided to stick around as a graduate student. I’m currently a fourth year graduate student in Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard.

I think graduate school and postdoctoral training are apprenticeship during which one is supposed to acquired new skills in exchange for providing time and effort. I am enthusiastic about maximizing the learning rate of trainees by providing diverse opportunities to increase their skill set, be it experimental/analytical skills, writing CV/resume, interviewing for jobs in industry/academia. For example, I hear every year from Cancer Program postdocs that they wanted to get a seat in the boot camp but they couldn’t because of limited number of spots. In the age of Coursera and EdX, we may be able to stream the lecture and provide the homework and solution so that anybody can learn from the experts in the field. I also heard of computational biologists interested in learning basic wet bench skills but couldn’t find a suitable arrangement. I think we connect people so that trainees can learn from each other in a form of shadowing or internship. As a chair, my goal will be to increase the return on investment of your time here so that trainees are better prepared to pursue their goals when they move on.

Monika Kowalczyk

I joined the Broad Institute in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Aviv Regev’s Laboratory after receiving a DPhil in molecular hematology from the University of Oxford in the UK, and an MD degree from the University of Lodz in Poland.

Our previous Chairs have built strong foundations for our NextGen Association and I would like to continue to build upon their legacy. It is the NextGen mission to serve and support postdocs and graduate students in their career development beyond the scientific training, and as a chair, I want to ensure that we continue to offer a rich and diverse program that meets the needs of all trainees. I also continue to serve on the board of the Individual Development Plan committee, where I help identify and promote career goals and provide structure for achieving them in support of graduate students and postdocs at the Broad Institute.

I would be honored to be your advocate and voice to the Academic Affairs Office, and to give back to our Community by becoming a Chair of the NextGen Association.

Dinesh Kumar

Dinesh is a Swedish Medical Society postdoctoral fellow at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dinesh did his Ph.D. in Medical Biochemistry from the Swedish node of European Molecular Biology at Umeå University in Sweden. Before joining MIT he was a visiting researcher at the McKnight Brain Institute, UAB. Dinesh is working at the interface of computational biology and molecular biology to understand the molecular mechanisms of how memories are encoded in the brain and what happens when we forget-to-learn, like in Alzheimer’s. Before starting his Ph.D., Dinesh worked at the Indian Institute of Science, India. Dinesh is very much interested in both, basic research and translating the basic research from bench- and system- side to bedside. Dinesh has taken entrepreneurship courses in the past and also currently enrolled in Harvard Healthcare Innovation and Commercialization Course. Dinesh is not only interested in understanding science, but also passionate about communicating science. Dinesh loves hiking and traveling and when he is not in the lab he is playing with his daughter.

The role of NextGen Association vice-chair is going to be a challenging one, because of the obvious reasons you might know: the funding in academia is going down heavily, and not every postdoc is aware of that properly; the opportunities in the industries in turns are selectively growing, and we are not aware of that fully either. So, as a NextGen vice-chair, the first and foremost goal for me would be to help all the postdocs, by organizing talks and workshops, to carefully analyze their options. Because I believe in the following:

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” — William Wilberforce

Jason Yang

NextGen and the Office of Academic Affairs provide a lot of services for grad students and postdocs at the Broad, hosting many career development and social events. This next academic year, I’d like to see Broad trainees have more opportunities to be engaged in bigger happenings at the Broad and to have more channels of communicating with core leadership. I want us to better know our peers outside of our respective labs and have opportunities to better celebrate our achievements.