Postdoc Slam 2019 Screening Judges

The screening judges review the video presentations initially submitted by postdocs and choose the finalists in the Postdoc Slam contest. A separate panel of final judges will determine the prize winners at the live Postdoc Slam event. 

Kaveh Ashrafi, PhD is associate professor of physiology at UCSF and co-director of the Tetrad PhD program. His lab studies energy balance in intact organisms, primarily using C. elegans as an experimental system to investigate neural circuits that regulate feeding behavior, neuroendocrine regulators of fat metabolism, and how metabolic state regulates behavioral plasticity. Ashrafi got his PhD in molecular cell biology and biochemistry at Washington University School of Medicine and did a postdoc at Harvard Medical School.

Angela Dalfen, JD is the director of alumni relations for UCSF’s School of Pharmacy and Graduate Division. In this role she is responsible for developing and maintaining service-oriented alumni programming for thousands of alumni, and overseeing school-specific Alumni Weekend events, including the Graduate Division's popular Discovery Talks. Angie earned a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, after which she practiced plaintiff’s-side employment law for several years.

Ariel Deardorff, MLIS is the UCSF Data Services Librarian and member of the Library’s Data Science Team. She teaches classes and does research on data management, open science, and reproducibility in the health sciences. She has a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia and was a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow before arriving at UCSF.

Zev Gartner, PhD is a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF. His lab works to understand how cells assemble into multicellular tissues, how the structure of tissues controls the behavior of individual cells, and how changes to tissue structure drive the progression of diseases like cancer. Gartner received his PhD from Harvard University, and did a postdoc at UC Berkeley with mentor Carolyn Bertozzi.

Laura Kurtzman, MS is a senior public information representative in the UCSF Office of Communications, where she covers translational health research, including digital health and precision medicine, global health and infectious disease, women's reproductive health, health policy and medical and graduate education. She was a reporter for many years at the San Jose Mercury News, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. She holds a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Courtney McFall is the scientific project manager in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, where she provides project management for various initiatives, including precision medicine, research strategy, institutional operational improvements, and local and national research initiatives. She received a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University.

Mercedes Paredes, MD, PhD is an assistant professor of neurology at UCSF. Her research focus is on cortical brain development, and her clinical work addresses neurodevelopmental disorders with a focus on adult patients with epilepsy. She is an alum of UCSF's Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and later did a postdoc at UCSF in the lab of Arturo Alvarez-Buylla.