2017 Postdoc Slam Finalists Announced!

The Office for Postdoctoral Scholars is pleased to announce the finalists for the second annual Postdoc Slam competition at UC San Francisco. Postdoc Slam is based on the popular “Grad Slam” contest for graduate students, which is now held at all ten campuses across the UC system. The contest challenges postdocs to present a compelling presentation of their research in three minutes or less, using language that not only their peers – but also non-scientists – will understand.

The finalists are:

Selim Boudoukha (Hiten Madhani, faculty mentor)
Sarah Engelberth (Stefan Habelitz, faculty mentor)
Sol Fereres Rapoport (Tom Kornberg, faculty mentor)
Leonardo Ferreira (Jeff Bluestone and Qizhi Tang, faculty mentors)
Aaron Hardin (Nadav Ahituv, faculty mentor) not pictured
Yue Leng (Kristine Yaffe, faculty mentor) not pictured
Melanie Morrison (Janine Lupo, faculty mentor)
Ana Ruiz-Saenz (Mark Moasser, faculty mentor) not pictured
Christy Sheehy (Ari Green, faculty mentor) not pictured
Yvette van der Eijk (Stella Bialous and Stan Glantz, faculty mentors)
photo of three of the finalists Boudoukha, Rapoport, and Morrison

Postdoc Slam Live

The 10 postdoc finalists will present their research in a live contest on Tuesday, September 19 at 4 p.m. in Byers Auditorium at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

The panel of five, live-contest judges includes prominent science journalists Lesley McClurg, science reporter for KQED and an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award winner, and Jacob Ward, science and technology correspondent for Al Jazeera and previous editor of Popular Science Magazine. McClurg and Ward will be joined by UCSF insiders, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Daniel Lowenstein, MD; Kishore Hari, director of the Bay Area Science Festival; and Pete Farley, director of communications for research and education in University Relations.

photo of three of the finalists

Twenty-two postdocs submitted their talks on video to enter the Postdoc Slam contest. A team of ten preliminary judges, which included both scientists as well as non-scientist communications specialists, reviewed the videos and chose the 10 finalists.

Dr. JJ Miranda, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF, chaired the preliminary judges panel.

“Communicating the power of science to both inform and improve our lives is one of the most important skills a researcher can learn," said Miranda. "Our community is lucky to have such brilliant advocates sharing their work.”

The entire UCSF community and the public are invited to attend the September 19 event, which will culminate in the announcement of the winner, who will be awarded $3,000. The runner-up will receive $1,500, and the “people’s choice” winner, chosen by the audience present, will get $750.

Postdoc Slam is part of UCSF’s celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, a period recognized by Congress to call attention to postdocs’ invaluable contributions to the research enterprise.