We are pleased to present the 2012-2013 Executive Council:
Dr. Chris Corkery
CAPS-ACSP Chair (email@example.com)
Background: Dr. Chris
Corkery is a materials scientist, using polymer chemistry and some knowledge of
optics to make materials that give us better ways to manipulate light. He was
born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, earning a BSc and MSc (in polymer chemistry)
from the University of Manitoba. He then travelled to Australia, where he
completed a PhD in a combination of chemistry and optical physics at the
Australian National University in Canberra (the capitol city of Australia).
Returning to Canada, he moved to Western Ontario for postdoctoral studies and has
spent his time here making optically cured polymeric films and coatings. Chris
has been a member of the CAPS-ACSP Executive Committee over the 2011-2012 year as well
as the vice-president of the Postdoctoral Association at Western.
Goals for CAPS-ACSP (2012-2013): There are several organizations in Canada who are all interested
in ensuring that the Canadian postdoctoral experience is individually rewarding
as well as internationally competitive and respected. Through the excellent
work of the previous CAPS-ACSP council members, these organizations are now looking
to CAPS-ACSP as one of their ‘go-to’ sources for the opinions and needs of Canadian
postdoctoral scholars. I intend to ensure that this remains the case, by
keeping postdocs as informed as possible and making sure that our
collective voice is heard in the organizations who are looking to improve our
status and standing.
Dr. Chinyere (Chi chi) Nwafor-Okoli
CAPS-ACSP Vice-Chair Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nwafor-Okoli E Chinyere is an epidemiologist with special interest in the
epidemiology of infectious diseases from the Global Health perspective.
Chinyere (Chi chi) completed her DVM at the University of Nigeria and her PhD
at Hokkaido University, Japan. Her doctorate addressed the clinical and
laboratory investigation of leptospira infection in Sri Lanka and was fully
funded by the Japanese government MEXT scholarship. She is currently a postdoc at University of
Calgary and is investigating associations between human and animal salmonella
infections in Alberta. Her fellowship is funded by the NSERC. While undergoing
her doctorate training, Chi chi became a member of the executive council of the
Hokkaido University International Students Association (HUISA), in 2007 and
after her tenure, she remained in the advisory board of HUISA until 2011 when
she defended her doctoral thesis.
Goals for CAPS-ACSP (2012-2013): In the past one year, I have been following
issues and challenges surrounding postdocs in Canada through resources
available online. The status of a postdoc and postdoctoral funding in Canada
has a very confusing and inconsistent definition. As Vice-Chair Operations, I
want to join forces with people who are already working towards paving the way
to improve the overall status of postdocs in Canada, through the improvement of
remuneration and through increased recognition of postdocs as assets in the
national and international research communities
Dr. Maya Boudiffa
CAPS-ACSP Vice-Chair External (email@example.com)
Background: Dr. Maya Boudiffa is a
postdoctoral fellow at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal (IRCM) and
is affiliated with the University of Montreal. She obtained a M.Sc. in
Integrative Physiology in Extreme Conditions (University of Lyon, France) and a
PhD in Animal Biology and Physiology (University of St Etienne, France). Maya
is a fundamental research fellow, who is interested in how bone cells behave in
response to different stimuli, how this is translated in terms of bone mass
variability, and ultimately how other physiological systems are affected by
During her PhD, Maya
was involved in numerous PhD-student associations, and was part of the
executive committee of the French National BIOTechno Group (which organizes
conferences and workshops, in a friendly environment, for industry
representatives and PhD students to interact). As a postdoc, she co-organized
the first Biovision.Nxt Challenges and Solutions Symposium, held during the
International Biovision forum, in Lyon, France. She is currently the Features
Editor of the Journal “Hypothesis”.
Goals for CAPS-ACSP (2012-2013): Economy nowadays is
changing very fast. Stakeholders and policy makers are trying to adapt, also at
a fast pace. This might result in us, future scientists, being unprepared,
playing a game which rules we not know of. To prevent this, and as Vice-Chair
External, I will work on two levels:
the connections between CAPS-ACSP and outside stakeholders, and improve our
involvement in policy-making activities.
with institutional representatives throughout Canada to discuss and implement
tools that will help postdocs embrace their professional careers with
confidence and peace of mind.
Dr. Abdi Gharffari
CAPS-ACSP Vice-Chair Finance (firstname.lastname@example.org)
majored in Biochemistry at University of British Columbia and started his
graduate studies at University of Alberta in interactions between epithelial
and stromal cells in post-burn hypertrophic scar and wound healing in general.
He followed by completing his PhD degree in the same field but at University of
British Columbia. He moved to Kingston to take up a postdoctoral fellowship at
Queen’s University Cancer Research Institute and is currently working on role
of Src/Ezrin signaling pathway in tumour-induced angio- and lymphangiogenesis
in breast cancer. Abdi brings financing and fundraising experience from his
involvement as a treasurer in non-for-profit societies (University and City of
Edmonton) and a project manager in biotechnology industry.
Goals for CAPS-ACSP (2012-2013):
Dr. David Kent
CAPS-ACSP Vice-Chair International (email@example.com)
Background: David was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and completed his undergraduate degree in Genetics and English Literature at the University of Western Ontario in London. He then undertook his doctoral studies at the Terry Fox Lab at the University of British Columbia where he was involved with Let’s Talk Science and GrasPods – two groups which helped shape his passions for science outreach and science advocacy. David currently works as a postdoctoral fellow researching adult blood stem cells and their role in blood stem cell diseases in Cambridge, UK and also runs the Black Hole blog for early career researchers in Canada (http://www.universityaffairs.ca/the-black-hole/).
Goals for CAPS (2012-2013): Over the past 15 years, there has been an enormous shift in the human resources performing scientific research. Specifically for postdoctoral fellows this training period has lengthened significantly and adjustments must be made to address the growing concerns of young scientists. Many individuals, who do not have permanent positions, share a unique set of experiences and challenges that need to be better addressed in order to avoid wasting the substantial resources invested in their education and training. CAPS-ACSP is uniquely situated to address these concerns and can act as a unified, permanent voice for the concerns of postdoctoral fellows. International postdocs are particularly under-supported and often lack a formal mechanism for sharing their concerns. It is my hope that CAPS-ACSP can help international postdocs find that voice and become even more involved in the Canadian research community.
| Dr. Alexandra Merkx-Jacques
CAPS-ACSP Vice-Chair Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background: Dr. Alexandra Merkx-Jacques is an NSERC Industrial R&D Fellow at Ocean
Nutrition Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. After receiving her M.Sc. (2001)
and Ph.D. (2008) in Microbiology and Immunology at Western University (formerly
The University of Western Ontario) in London, Ontario, she worked for three years
at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a Canadian Government Laboratory
Visiting Fellow. As a postdoctoral scholar, Alexandra has advocated for
postdocs as webmaster (2009-2011) and Vice-President (2010-July 2011) of the
Postdoctoral Association of Western (PAW). She has also been very involved with
Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS-ACSP) since 2009 and was
the Vice-Chair of Communications from 2011-2012.
Goals for CAPS-ACSP (2012-2013): As
postdoctoral scholars, one of our challenges is understanding where we fit in
the system, whether it is during tax season, or simply in our own institution.
Indeed, many institutions do not even know how many postdoctoral scholars they
have working for them. Postdoctoral scholars may also not be aware of who to
contact about getting more information on the services available to them. A
critical mission for CAPS-ACSP is to reach out and let postdocs know that we
are here for them and providing a venue for postdocs in Canada to discuss their
concerns or experiences. For these reasons, last year we have made a concerted
effort to getting CAPS-ACSP institutional representatives from Canadian
institutions as well as letting postdocs know that they can use our General
Member Google site and Facebook Fanpage to share relevant information between
themselves. Furthermore, we have taken the initiative in starting the
translation of key sections of our website into French so that we can provide
important information in both of Canada’s official languages.
I have had the opportunity to be part of CAPS-ACSP since 2009 first as webmaster
than as the Vice-Chair communications. My goals are to updatepostdocs on what CAPS-ACSP is doing on
their behalf as well as reaching out and making sure all Canadian institutions
that hire postdocs have a CAPS-ACSP institutional representative.