Postdoc Slam Screening Judges

Screening Judges
These preliminary judges will review the video presentations submitted by postdocs and will choose the finalists for the Postdoc Slam contest. See also the final judges, who will choose the winner and runner-up at the live event.


Atul Butte, MD, PhD is the inaugural Director of UCSF’s Institute of Computational Health Sciences, and a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics. He is also the executive director for Clinical Informatics across the six University of California medical schools and medical centers. He trained in both computer science and medicine at Brown University, and received his PhD in Health Sciences and Technology from Harvard Medical School and MIT. He is also a founder of several Bay Area biotech startup companies. Butte’s research laboratory focuses on building and applying computational tools to convert hundreds of trillions of points of molecular, clinical and epidemiological data collected by researchers worldwide over the past decade, now commonly known as “big data,” into new diagnostics, therapeutics and insights into both rare and common diseases.

Claire Conway, MFA, MSJ, is a senior marketing and communications writer at UCSF, where she is in the business of writing engaging stories about the research going on at UCSF. She has a master of fine arts degree in fiction from St. Mary's College of California and a master's in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Read Conway's recent article "Sowing Stem Cells: Lab-Grown Organoids Hold Promise for Patient Treatments."

David Galgoczy, PhD works in technology strategy and development for GFF, a private equity funded industrial biotechnology company. He is also a biotechnology and energy consultant to numerous industrial and investment firms. He received his PhD in genetics from UCSF, where his research involved studying evolution of transcriptional circuits in yeast species.

Sarah Goodwin, PhD is the director of iBiology, an NSF and NIGMS-funded project with the mission of producing open-access videos about cutting-edge research and topics related to science and the scientific community for a worldwide audience. Since joining iBiology in 2011, she has helped craft the vision and long-term strategy of the project, including increasing the diversity of speakers and developing video resources and materials for the undergraduate biology classroom. Goodwin received her PhD in cell biology from UCSF, where she discovered a microtubule binding protein that she named "Patronin" after the Harry Potter Patronus charm. Check out some of iBiology's science education videos.

Robert Judson-Torres, PhD is a Sandler Fellow in the UCSF Department of Dermatology. His research program's mission is to move toward a complete understanding of human melanoma by engineering its progression in vitro, piece by piece, inside and out, and to use this knowledge to drive discoveries in prevention, diagnostics, and treatment. He received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences here at UCSF, followed by postdoctoral research, also here at UCSF, under the mentorship of Dr. Boris Bastian. Recently, Judson-Torres was part of a team – along with Maria Wei and Michael Keiser – that won UCSF's 2017 Cancer Center Impact Grant for their proposal for an artificial intelligence-based skin cancer screening tool.

JJ Miranda, PhD is an assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, and assistant professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. Research in his lab focuses on the molecular basis of how genes are organized in a cell. For these investigations, Miranda studies human viruses associated with cancer—including the Epstein-Barr virus and the Human papillomavirus (HPV)—with the goal of identifying drug targets that disrupt the viral life cycle. Miranda earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Reed College and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard. He then joined the UCSF Fellows program, which allows young scientists to establish independent research laboratories immediately after finishing graduate school. Listen to a November 2015 interview with Miranda on Carry the One Radio.

Elise Riley, PhD is a professor in the Department of Medicine. She is interested in how clinical, biological and behavioral factors converge to influence health. Her community-based research focuses on co-morbidities and competing risks in very low-income populations, with an emphasis on homelessness and associated conditions. She works with a team of multidisciplinary investigators and postdoctoral fellows on a research program that includes “Polysubstance Use and Health Outcomes Evaluation” (PULSE). PULSE investigates the combined influences of HIV, co-infections and substance use (medications, legal drugs and illegal drugs) on the cardiac health of homeless women. Her work has informed the adaptation of health assessment scales for HIV-infected unstably housed persons and informed health policies targeting them.

Elizabeth Silva, PhD is associate dean for graduate programs in the UCSF Graduate Division. She trained as a developmental biologist and geneticist in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., and has interests and experience in science policy, particularly relating to publication and research ethics, reproducibility of research, and training of biomedical graduate students and postdocs. Before becoming associate dean, Silva was director of UCSF's NIH-funded Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program, one of 17 experimental programs across the country that aim to bring biomedical research training in line with the realities of the career outcomes for graduate students and postdocs. Recently, she has spearheaded the Graduate Division's Advocating for Science and Scientists series. Silva received her PhD from University College London, and did postdoctoral training at UCSF with mentor Patrick O'Farrell.

Janice Tsoh, PhD is a professor in residence in the Department of Psychiatry, as well as a practicing clinical psychologist. The mission of her research program is to promote health equity by developing accessible interventions to empower individuals to make informed health decisions. Her current research focuses on nicotine dependence and depression, smoking cessation treatment in special populations, and health promotion in underserved Asian American communities. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rhode Island, and did postdoctoral research here at UCSF.

Nicholas Weiler, PhD joined UCSF University Relations in 2015 as a public information representative. He covers new developments in basic biological research at UCSF, including stem cell biology, neuroscience, and cancer biology. A native of Oakland, Nick has a PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University and a certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz. He has covered science, nature, and the environment for local and national publications including Science Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford Magazine, and mongabay.com.


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