Meet the STEM Peers-Part 1

in ClubSciWri by


 Why I registered for STEM Peers?

Sayantan Chakraborty (Postdoc, NIH) says, “One of the essentials for advancing in our careers during current times is networking. Whether it’s academics, industry, entrepreneurship, science policy, IP or any associated fields wherein STEM professionals can make a mark, networking events are indispensable. STEM Peers 2017 provides me that networking platform. As an open-minded career professional, I’ll have the opportunity to not only interact with the speakers, but with the audience too. This in turn will benefit me as I’ll get to learn about various career paths, what to and what not to in order to succeed, and of course, get to know the people who are in such profession(s). STEM Peers 2017 is a venue to build a career oriented support network. Plus, looking at this event as a symbiosis, I will also be able to present myself to a diverse audience – for them to know me better.”

About Sayantan: Sayantan is an IRTA postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore. A geneticist by training, he is now exploring the realms of transcription factor dynamics in T cells using quantitative microscopy and systems biology tools. His interests extend to being the Editor-in- Chief for the online blogging journal Club SciWri and Editor for NPR Office Hours and Friends of Joe’s Big Idea. As he grows, he’s looking forward to interacting and networking with fellow science communicators and outreach managers across the globe. Additionally, he’s also volunteering as a Crisis Counsellor with the 24/7 Crisis Text Line (CTL).

Now let’s get to know our Speakers!

Melina Fan: Keynote Speaker at STEM Peers


Melina Fan is passionate about open science and entrepreneurship. She received her PhD from Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Bruce Spiegelman.  Following graduation, she co-founded Addgene, a nonprofit plasmid repository that facilitates research through scientific sharing. Addgene distributes over 100,000 plasmids per year and curates sequences, protocols, and other educational resources for the community. Melina is the Chief Scientific Officer and is responsible for new initiatives, including Addgene’s latest initiative to produce and distribute ready-to-use viral vectors. She loves that her job brings her in contact with scientists from around the world working on everything from cancer to biofuels.

Ambrish Roy: Panelist on Careers in Industrial Research

Ambrish Roy did his PhD with Dr. Yang Zhang at University of Michigan, where he focused on developing methods for modeling 3D structure of proteins and using them to understand their function. His work is currently implemented as part of I-TASSER server and downloadable package. There after, he joined as a post-doc in computational chemistry at Georgia Tech with Jeffrey Skolnick. Currently, he is a research scientist at Vertex, as part of Modeling and Informatics team with interest in chemical biology and application of machine learning in drug discovery.

Ana Batista: Panelist on Careers in Science Communication

Ana Batista did a PhD at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and IU Cancer Center studying pediatric leukemia, and a Post-Doc at MGH working on brain tumors.  Ana’s role at Trends in Cancer is to develop the journal strategy, commission expert reviews and commentary pieces in cancer, and oversee the editorial process. As part of growing the journal outreach, Ana is also involved in the planning of conferences, marketing and sales events, and also manages graphic content.

Rajnish Kaushik: Panelist on Careers in the Business of Science

Rajnish Kaushik joined the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC, formerly CVIP) at University of Massachusetts Lowell in August 2010. Prior to joining UMass Lowell, Rajnish worked at the Office of Technology Management at UMass Medical School and in interned at the Partners Innovation office in Boston working with evaluation and marketing of new technologies and assisting with patent prosecution. Currently, he is also a member of thew Executive Advisory Board of M2D2 (Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center), an incubator for the early-stage medical device and life sciences startups. A virologist by training, Rajnish’s 15 years of research has been in the area pathogenicity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) as well as many animal viruses. His research resulted in many scientific publications, conference presentations and one US patent. He was a recipient of amfAR research grant for HIV research. Rajnish recently received a degree in Masters of Business Administration from the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell with focus on the entrepreneurship. Prior to that, Rajnish received his M.S. in Biotechnology from University of Pune, India and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, India.

A few words from the organizer, Ananda Ghosh (Founder, PhD CSG)

Why you might consider registering for STEM Peers 2017?

For most academic scientists, especially those who have not been exposed to life outside the lab, the realization that one has to network or attend networking events can be daunting.

I remember my first networking event in NYC, surrounded by people who were talking business, people whom I was not used to interact with, topics which were at that time tasteless.. I remember I came out of the meet dejected. I was standing at the corner of the big hall, shaken, standing aloof….. had no idea how to introduce, how to strike a conversation..this was a world which was unknown to me.

When STEM Peers was conceived, it was especially designed to help us familiarize with this world but in a much more comfortable setting. In STEM Peers you will meet participants who are like you or were like you. They can converse in your language as well as the language they have now adapted to if they have transitioned. It will be a known setting, with a known culture.

Networking can’t go better than this. It will be an event where you can meet your mentors who might be your mentors for life. You can meet friends who might become your friends for next 20-30 years. You might meet people who are willing to listen to your troubles and advice you or get you connected to their network which can help you.

The entire event is designed to help those who need it but dont know how to proceed in an unknown territory. If you need further help or discussion on whether you are the right person to attend the conference, mail us at


Don’t wait anymore, click Here to Register Or Scan this QR Code

  1. Please complete required information in STEM Peers 2017 registration form.
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  3. Name: Please provide your full name
  4. Organization: Please provide your current associated Organization/ University.
  5. Designation: Please provide your current designation.
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  8. Food: Please provide information if you have any dietary restriction.
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Click “Donate” to help PhDCSG (Please include your name, email address and phone number as an additional note while making the donation)

PhD Career Support Group (PhD CSG) for STEM PhDs is a US Non-Profit 501(c)3  organization and all donations to PhDCSG are tax deductible

We thank our event sponsors


Abhinav is a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University and a Young Investigator Awardee from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. He is also the co-founder of PhD Career Support Group (CSG) for STEM PhDs and ClubSciWri

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