2015 NextGen Association Election Results

It is with great pleasure we announce the results of the 2015 NextGen Association for Postdocs and Graduate Students election.

The 2015 co-chairs are Andres Colubri and Monika Kowalczyk.

The 2015 co-vice chairs are Sixun Chen and Daniel Hitchcock

The responsibilities of the elected chairs include convening planning meetings, requesting volunteers to coordinate specific events, and working with the Office of Academic Affairs to provide oversight to ongoing programs such as the career development series.

Thank you to all who voted.

You are all encouraged to stop by a NextGen Association meeting to learn about the Association and how you can get involved. The next scheduled meeting will take place on November 9 from 12:00-1:00 PM in the Everest Room (7th Floor, 415 Main). Meetings are open to all Broad-affiliated academic trainees and lunch is served.

Please reach out to the NextGen Association or the Office of Academic Affairs if you have any questions or would like additional information on how to get involved.

“Topics for New Managers or Why Communication May Save You,” November 2

Broad trainees are invited to the next career development seminar, “Topics for New Managers or Why Communication May Save You,” November 2, from 12:00-1:00 PM in the Monadnock Room. This seminar will be presented by Joanne Kamens, PhD, Executive Director, AddGene.

Everyone knows someone who is a great scientist but a bad supervisor.  This talk is designed to give you an introduction to the skills you can develop to be a good Manager.  Talented managers of scientists get more science done.  Just like doing research-this is a skill you can learn and at which you can excel.  Useful resources and tools will be provided for future training.
Lunch will be served and no RSVP is necessary.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the NextGen Association for Postdocs & Grad Students as part of an ongoing series of professional development workshops.

Contact Angela Florentino with questions.

NextGen Association Meetup: Data Visualization, October 29

Join us for the next NextGen Association Meetup on Data Visualization on October 29, 11:30-1:30 p.m. in the Katahdin Room.
During this meetup, we will discuss different programming frameworks and tools for visualization of genomic data, ranging from D3 and Genome3DPlot, to software packages developed here at the Broad.
Presenter: Andres Colubri, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sabeti Lab, Harvard University, Broad Institute

This meeting is open to all in the Broad community and refreshments will be served.

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.

CV writing workshop, September 9

All postdocs and grad students are invited to a CV writing workshop:

Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 12:00-1:30 PM
Location: Monadnock Room, 2nd Floor, 415 Main Street
Speaker: Bob Dolan, MIT Global Education & Career Development

Your CV is used for the academic job search and in some cases for PhD’s seeking positions in industry or other research settings. This workshop will cover the important elements of a CV, including strategies for how to showcase your particular knowledge and experiences effectively.  We will also discuss how to covert a 4-6 page CV into a 2-page resume for industry.  Handouts will include actual academic hiring committee interview questions and an actual postdoc industry resume.

This event is open to all and no registration is required.

About Bob Dolan

Bob Dolan provides career guidance and counseling for MIT Postdoctoral Scholars and supports all courses and disciplines. He joined MIT in 2005 and has worked with undergrads, graduates, and alumni.  Bob is a Certified Job Search and Career Transition Consultant with experience in career management since 2001. Bob holds a BS in Business and an MBA. Before joining MIT, Bob had a private career consulting practice and worked with clients across multiple industries. He has industry experience in the Publishing, Chemical, and Telecomm industries where he managed local and global finance organizations supporting the Corporate, Tax, R&D and Manufacturing Engineering functions.

Sponsored by the Broad Institute Office of Academic Affairs and the NextGen Association for Postdocs and Grad Students

Contact Angela Florentino for more information.

2015 CV Writing

2015 NextGen Association for Postdocs and Grad Students Chair Elections

Now’s your chance to get involved! The NextGen Association for Postdocs and Grad Students will be seeking nominations for two co-chair positions and two vice-chair positions to lead the Association. Nominations will be accepted beginning Tuesday, September 1 until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18. Both self-nominations and nominations of others are acceptable.

To nominate yourself or a colleague, please email academicaffairs@broadinstitute.org.
The Association is open to all postdoctoral scholars and graduate students with a Broad Institute affiliation. If you would like to get involved and help lead the Association, please nominate yourself. Or you may nominate a postdoc or grad student colleague working here at the Broad whom you think would be a good candidate to help guide the Association (names of nominators will be kept confidential and we will ask the candidate if s/he is willing to run for election).

What is expected of the chairs:

  • convene meetings of the Board to plan events and activities
  • request volunteers to coordinate the planning and management of specific events and provide oversight
  • coordinate with the Office of Academic Affairs on the oversight of ongoing programs

The benefits of participating include:

  • planning the events that you would want to attend
  • building leadership skills
  • meeting postdocs and grad students from outside your lab
  • networking
  • developing negotiating and planning skills
  • serving the community

Upcoming NextGen Association planning meetings:

  • Friday, September 4, 12:00-1:00, Cascades Room (11th Floor, 75 Ames)
  • Tuesday, September 22, 12:00-1:00, Cascades Room (11th Floor, 75 Ames)
For more information contact Angela Florentino or one of the current chairs.

“The Challenges of Visualizing Large Datasets” July 27

Join us for the next NextGen Association Meetup on Data Visualization, “The Challenges of Visualizing Large Datasets” on Monday, July 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Yosemite Room.

This month’s meetup will include discussions led by Nils Gehlenborg (Harvard Medical School) and Kim Albrecht (Barabasi Lab at Northeastern University).

This meeting is open to all in the Broad community and refreshments will be served.

Please click here for more information about NextGen Association Meetups. This event is sponsored by the NextGen Association for Postdocs and Grad Students and the Office of Academic Affairs.

NextGen Association Planning Meeting, July 20

All Broad-affiliated postdocs and grad students are invited to attend the next planning meeting for the NextGen Association for Postdocs & Grad Students on Monday, July 20 in the Cascades Room.

Members of the association work with the Office of Academic Affairs to brainstorm and plan professional development and social events and programs for the trainee community at Broad.

Lunch will be served and it’s open to all trainees. Drop by and see what the association is working on!

“The Nuts & Bolts of an Academic Job Search,” July 10

Interested in a career in academia?  Join us on Friday, July 10, 12:00-1:00 in the Moandnock Room for “The Nuts & Bolts of an Academic Job Search,” presented by Professor Ali Khademhosseini, Harvard-MIT HST.

This seminar will provide an overview of finding academic positions and the academic job search process.

Lunch will be served and no RSVP is required.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the NextGen Association for Postdocs & Grad Students as part of an ongoing series of career development workshops and seminars. Please contact aflorent@broadinstitute.org with any questions.

“Taste of the USA,” June 25

You’re invited to the next Postdoc/Grad Student Social:“Taste of the USA” on Thursday, June 25, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Yellowstone Room.

This month we are joining the International Office for a special joint social featuring cuisine from around the USA and a special Ice Cream bar staffed by members of Broad’s International Office!

All postdocs and grad students are invited!

June 2015 Taste of USA