NextGen Association 2022 Ballot

Please enter your votes for chair of the NextGen Association for Postdocs and Graduate Students. Voting ends Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM. You can vote for up to three (3) candidates.

As a reminder: The two highest-ranking candidates will be offered the co-chair positions; the remaining candidates will be offered vice-chair positions. Each position is to be held for a one-year term.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at


Yossef Baidi

My name is Yossef Baidi and I’m a Chemical Biology PhD student at Harvard currently rotating in the Shalek and Raghavan labs. Before graduate school I worked as an RA in the Neal Lab at the Broad and I was a planning committee member for Broadies Preparing for Advanced Degrees (BroadPAD). I worked with the Office of Academic Affairs to plan events for early career employees interested in applying for advanced degrees. For this role I would invite speakers and moderate discussions for events on topics such as “Thriving in Grad School.” Since I enjoyed working with the Broad community as an RA, I wanted to continue this involvement in grad school. 

Over the past year I’ve been attending NextGen meetings, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to connect with the rest of the trainee community at the Broad. From getting to hear more about what other trainees work on to networking with former Broad trainees to hear about their current careers, I’ve gained a lot from attending NextGen events. Therefore, I want to increase my involvement in NextGen by running to be a chair. I’ve found the NextGen social events to be incredibly helpful to meet other trainees, so I would work to have more events organized so we can have more opportunities to interact with each other. I’ve also learned so much from the networking events with former Broad trainees, so I would want to expand those events so trainees could hear more about academic and non-academic career options. Additionally, I think Broad trainees are in an excellent position to participate in scientific outreach. So, I would work with NextGen to organize opportunities for trainees to mentor younger scientists and we could work more closely with the Broad’s current outreach programs. 

I would like to be an advocate for all postdocs and graduate students at the Broad, so I would be honored if you picked me as a chair for the NextGen Association.  

Back to top

Matthew Brown

Hi all! My name is Matthew Brown and I am postdoc working in the Greka lab as part of the Kidney Disease Initiative. During my time so far at Broad, NextGen along with other Broad groups have provided fantastic academic, social, and professional opportunities, enriching my postdoc experience. I’m excited about the opportunity to serve trainees at the Broad through NextGen and continue support the organization’s outstanding initiatives and events to positively impact every trainee. If elected to NextGen, I aim to listen and convey the needs of both postdocs and graduate students along with advocating for initiatives to ease the strain of the increasing cost-of-living. I have previously had the privilege to represent my PhD program as part of the graduate student association and hope to continue representing and supporting trainees as one of the NextGen chairs. Thank you for your consideration!

Back to top

Lisa Cervia

Hi fellow Broadies! I had the honor of serving as Co-Chair of the NextGen Association this year. I am a proud member of the Cancer Program at the Broad and am dedicated to connecting trainees (PhDs and Postdocs) through NextGen. We worked on planning a lot of exciting things this year including seasonal socials, the Facing Forward faculty lunches, professional development workshops and the Annual Trainee Retreat. We are working on new initiatives including providing resources to prepare for a variety of career paths, creating opportunities for teaching and mentoring, planning the next Trainee Retreat, and overall strengthening the trainee community. Since beginning my postdoc, I participated in many events hosted by NextGen. Among these great events and resources, the NextGen Retreat and the monthly meetings have stood out as experiences that have made me feel welcome at the Broad AND provided me with a variety of settings to meet other Broadies! In the current climate, community is especially important and I’d like to continue to work on ways to grow our community. I am always open to hearing your ideas and suggestions. I’d be honored to continue to serve as part of the NextGen council and to represent trainees. I look forward to meeting you and hearing new ideas and suggestions that you might have that I could help implement through NextGen!

Back to top

Alexandra (Alex) Grote

My name is Alex and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Bacterial Genomics group here at the Broad! During my three years at the Broad, I have attended many NextGen meetings and events and believe strongly in its mission to support graduate students and postdocs. Being a trainee is both an exciting and sometimes difficult experience and, as a chair of NextGen, I would pursue programs to provide as much support as possible to our diverse trainee community. If elected, I would be committed to serving as an advocate for the trainee community with the following goals in mind:
• Support trainee mental health
• Provide resources and support around fellowship applications
• Prepare trainees for their next career moves in industry or academia
• Foster a greater sense of community through fun social events.
NextGen has provided a supportive and encouraging environment in my time at the Broad and I would be honored to have a chance to serve as a chair of the NextGen Association and give back to our Broad Community.

Back to top

Ricardo Harripaul

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is a uniquely vibrant, collaborative, and diverse research institution. The cutting-edge science and the opportunity to make the world a better place through scientific advancement has attracted and motivated many of the brightest individuals through its doors. The importance of maintaining and improving such a unique enterprise cannot be understated in an ever-changing and adapting world. I am running as a NextGen Association co-chair to improve the policies and experience of graduate students and postdocs at the Broad Institute. I want to maintain the tradition of excellence while expanding our career opportunities, training resources and improving diversity, networking and inclusion.
I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and moved to the Broad during the pandemic lockdown. During my Ph.D., I served on several committees to improve computing knowledge through steering policies and developing educational workshops.

I have been at the Broad Institute for 13 months as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanley Center and Medical and Population Genetics. During that time, I have served on the Belonging@Broad Steering Committee, the LatinX Steering Committee and attended NextGen Association meetings. Through the Broad, I have taught middle school students science classes through a grassroots initiative. I spearheaded the LatinX Speaker Series which has the goal of promoting young researchers and trainees to a larger audience while enhancing the diversity in genomics research and allowing greater networking. I strive to meet your needs as trainees and will encourage more engagement through town halls and feedback in different formats. I am also an American Society of Human Genetics Scholar and I interact with a larger network including industry partners.

Back to top

Sophia Liu and Andy Russell

Hello, we are Andy and Sophia! 

About Us
Andy is a post-doc, and Sophia is a graduate student in Fei Chen’s Lab at the Broad Institute. As co-chairs of the NextGen Association, we would be proud to work with Angela and Orysell and build upon the excellent work of past chairs to establish a highly-connected community that fosters academic collaboration, personal empowerment, and resilience. We value inclusion and prioritize building a community at the Broad that invites and fosters belonging.

Sophia and Andy have had several experiences planning large-scale events–independently and together. Before joining the Broad as a graduate student, Sophia was president of the MIT Undergraduate Association, where she coordinated campus-wide events, led initiatives to characterize campus space allotted to affinity groups, and advocated for increased resources to professional affinity groups. She also worked in Alex Shalek’s Lab as an undergraduate, where she was first exposed to the supportive community at the Broad. Before joining the Broad, Andy was president of his college student union during his undergraduate degree at Oxford University, where he advocated for increased representation of affinity groups at governing body meetings, amongst other campaigns to improve the overall quality of student experience. In addition, he organized many events as social secretary of his student union, soccer club president, and president of Cambridge University triathlon club during his Ph.D. 

At the Broad, Sophia and Andy have worked together to plan events such as lab ski trips and summer outdoor parties and have also attended several NextGen events. 

It is important that all trainees feel connected to the NextGen Association. We will increase engagement with: periodic social events, new occasional events, and a new Slack channel. We also recognize the important role of NextGen in supporting the professional goals of trainees at the Broad. From building templates for meetings between rotation students and potential labs to professional headshot events and CV reviews to seminars outlining the faculty and industry interview processes, we aim to build up Broadies’ confidence in and knowledge of various career paths.

We would be honored to serve as your representatives and advocates on NextGen.

Back to top

Petra Palenikova

Hi all! My name is Petra Palenikova and I joined the Broad as a postdoc in the Lage lab in May this year. Our group is part of the Stanley Center so you might have seen me at the 8th floor of Ames Street building. Although my time at the Broad has been short so far, I got a chance to experience its diverse community and enjoyed meeting other trainees at NextGen events. I believe NextGen plays a vital role in fostering a supportive environment and community for all graduate students and postdocs at the Broad. This is why I am running for the NextGen Association Co-Chair, to continue the work of advocating for the needs of the trainee community and promoting both career development and social events. As an international postdoc I know that navigating all onboarding tasks and settling in Boston can be difficult and confusing. As a NextGen Co-Chair I would like to help develop resources for new trainees to make finding important contacts and the whole process easier. I have previous experience with advocating for student wellbeing and gender equality from a role of women’s officer and with organizing career events and a student conference from a role of education officer I held during my PhD studies. I would be happy to utilize these skills in NextGen Association to make a positive contribution towards your trainee experience at the Broad. 

Back to top