5th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium - Emory University ...


5th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium - Emory University ...

The Postdoc Newsletter

Edited by Science Writers Committee

March 2012

Volume 5, Issue 1

Welcome to the Postdoctoral Newsletter for the Emory Scientific Community. The Postdocs

Newsletter provides information, resources, articles, views and opinions for and by Postdoctoral

Fellows at Emory University.

Editors: Mihaela Marina and

Anca Doloc-Mihu

Inside this issue:

OPE Calendar of Events Spring 2012 2

Grant Writing Tutorial Schedule 2

Stepping Away from the Bench: Science Writing 3

The 5th Emory Postdoctoral Fellow Research Symposium 4

Cancer and Exercise 7

Jackson Laboratories Calendar of Events 7

Postdoc Appreciation Day 8

Customs Around the World 8

Postdoctoral Association Committees (PAC) 10

Our Postdoc Web site:


Cover photo by Dr. Cengiz Gunay

Atlanta skyline from Stone Mountain



Pre-registration required for all Lab Management

and Ethics Courses


Time: 1-3PM

Lab Management in Academia I

Room: SOM_190P

14/Wednesday Ethics Course I

Time: 3-5:30PM Room: SOM_153A


Time: 1-3:30PM

Ethics Course I

Room: SOM_178P

22/Thursday Lab Management in Academia II

Time: 1-3PM Room: SOM_130

23/Friday Ethics Course II

Time: 1-3:30PM Room: SOM_153A

28/Wednesday Ethics Course II

Time: 3-5:30PM Room: SOM_153A


Time: 1-3PM


Time: 8AM-5PM


Seeking/Obtaining Private

Funding for Research

Room: SOM_130

Postdoc Research Symposiums

Room: SOM_130/Lobby


Pre-registration required for all Lab Management

and Ethics Courses

10/Tuesday Lab Management in Academia III

Time: 11-1PM Room: SOM_178P

16/Monday Ethics Course III

Time: 1-3:30PM Room: SOM_153A

18/Wednesday Ethics Course III

Time: 3-5:30PM Room: SOM_178P

19/Thursday Lab Management in Academia IV

Time: 12-2PM Room: SOM_178P


Time: 3-5:30PM


Time: 1-3:30PM


Ethics Course IV

Ethics Course IV

Time: 9AM-12PM

Room: SOM_178P

Room: SOM_153A

New Postdoctoral Fellows


Room: SOM_170A

Grant Writing Tutorial

Class Type Class Schedule Class Time




Preparing for K Awards and other CDAs


Class #1 March 12 9-11 170A

Class #2 March 19 9-11 170A

Class #3 March 26 9-11 6/12/2012 170A

K Award: Preparing a resubmission

Single class

March 26 11:15-12:30 7/12/2012 170A



June, TBD 9-11 8/8/2012 TBD



By Amber Young, PhD

ften, graduate students and postdoctoral

fellows are only exposed


to the one career option we know, the

tenure track faculty position. However,

there are more options out there to explore

if academia does not seem like the

best fit for you. If you find yourself enjoying

the „learning about‟ science more

than the actual „doing of‟ science, science

writing may be a good career option

for you. Science writers are able to

disseminate complex scientific jargon

into lay language that is readable by the

general public. Science writers cover a

variety of topics and often get to interview

the top scientists in various fields.

Before jumping head first into science

writing, it is important to consider if you

have the qualities necessary to excel at

it. Being a good writer is just the beginning

if you are seriously considering

science writing as a career. Science writers

often work alone in their own homes.

You also need to have a constant curiosity

for knowledge. Start out by asking

other scientists around you about their

research, building contacts and learning

more about the science around you.

Working on your own and selling yourself

can be intimidating, but these are

skills necessary to be a good science

writer. Leaving the bench for science

writing involves a level of risk taking,

but the rewards are worth it if you truly

love the job.

When you think of writing, newspapers

and magazines come to the forefront of

the mind, but there are job opportunities

in many other areas. Often science writers

are hired by pharmaceutical companies

or medical device companies to produce

regulatory or technical documents

for the Food and Drug Administration

(FDA) or for patient drug inserts. These

companies also need marketing materials

or press releases which require knowledge

of the specific legal and ethical

considerations involved when dealing

with human patients. This is knowledge

that you can obtain on the job or though

certifications. Broadcast journalism provides

potential not only for researching

stories but also for preparing podcasts or

talking on the radio.

As opposition to working for a company,

many science writers work freelance. To

excel at freelance writing, it must be

treated like a business. You will need to

be in a constant cycle of marketing, writing

and pitching. The first step is to get

your name out there through networking.

Once you get good contacts, it is incredibly

important to maintain a good relationship

with them. Never be late on a

deadline; if something comes up, let

your employer know as soon as possible.

An aspect that can be viewed as much

more uncomfortable than marketing is

charging/pricing. There are resources

online from science writers who have

been freelancing for a while or ask your

network. This will depend on your experience

level, your knowledge of the

subject, on article length, and other factors.

Finally, always have ready story

ideas to pitch when someone contacts

you for work.

A third arena for science writers is in

editing, which can be either for a company

or as freelance. Often editors start

out in companies as staff writers and

they work their way up the company

ladder to a higher position that involves

primarily editing. You can also offer

your editing skills as a freelance to supplement

your writing freelance income. I

suggest maintaining some writing while

editing in order to keep yourself fresh in

the field as well as to continue adding to

your portfolio. This also allows you to

maintain good contacts with past clients

and allow editing clients to know you

have writing skills as well.

So just how are you supposed to jump

from bench science into science writing?

You have spent the past 6, 7, 8 years

doing bench science and changing careers

is a big step. You can get started

now while still working on your postdoc

to get your feet wet. This will help twofold:

you can learn just how much you

would enjoy it and you can start to build

a portfolio/client list that can serve you

once you decide to start your science

writing career full time. Getting your

name out through marketing is step one.

Start a blog, get a Facebook page or join

medical writing associations such as

American Medical Writers Association

(AMWA) or National Association of

Science Writers (NASW). Becoming a

member of AMWA gives you access to

their freelance postings list as well as

chances to go to their regional and national

meetings which allow you to make

contacts with in the field. These networking

experiences will become invaluable

to your career.

You may be wondering if you need to go

back to school to get a journalism degree

in order to be a successful writer. Opinions

on this seem to be that getting a degree

in journalism or science writing can

help improve your skill level and give

you guidance. Taking these classes also

give you access to people you might not

have met otherwise. However, this time

could also be spent writing articles for

experience or for money which you can

add to your portfolio. Emory does not

offer a separate science writing degree,

but the University of Georgia does.

Emory offers a single class in science

writing which may be more manageable

than a separate degree. Other certifications

to consider are ones in clinical trials

and good medical practices. Don‟t

forget, Emory offers tuition reimbursement!

Also, the Postdoc Newsletter is a

good opportunity to get started.

When considering a career in science

writing, think about your feelings towards

bench science. Will you be able to

handle solitary work? Will you be able

to motivate yourself to work each day?

Spend some time building networks and

writing for any publication that you can.

Maybe take a few classes, and then you

can take the plunge a more informed






By Anca Doloc‐Mihu, Ph.D.

Biology, Emory College

Event details:

May 31, 2012, 9:00AM-4:30PM

School of Medicine 130/Lobby




he fifth annual Research

T Symposium of Postdoctoral

Fellows from different

departments and divisions of

the Biomedical Sciences at

Emory University will be held

on May 31, 2012. Events will

include the keynote speaker,

Dr. Harriet Robinson, Ph.D.,

Yerkes Research Center, as

well as oral presentations and

posters by postdoctoral fellows

providing a great opportunity

for Postdoc Fellows to network

and exchange ideas. There will

be four sessions of 10-minute

presentations and two poster

sessions during the day.

All Emory postdoc fellows are

encouraged to submit abstracts

of their work for participation

in the symposium. The Postdoc

Research Symposium

Committee selects a number of

abstracts from the submissions

for the oral presentations.

There are many wonderful

mentors here at Emory who

have mentored and guided a

significant number of Postdoc

Fellows in their research and

career development. These

mentors definitely play an important

role in developing a

healthy and functional research

and education community at

Emory. It is due to the latter

that the Office of Postdoctoral

Education (OPE) asks postdocs

to nominate mentors who

have gone above and beyond

in helping postdocs to accomplish

their goals while at


The program will conclude

with Outstanding Mentor

Awards and Honors Awards

for Postdoctoral Fellows who

have distinguished themselves

in research in the past year.

In the past year, Postdoctoral

Fellows who had distinguished

themselves in the research

were recognized, and each received

an Honor Award. Forty

three postdocs received training

awards, grants and fellowships,

28 won travel awards to

research meetings, and 30

postdocs were invited to give


The day will end with a Social

at 5:00pm. For a more detailed

program schedule, please visit

the website. Here‟s to an informative

and enjoyable Postdoc

Research Symposium!

Perspectives on the 2011

Postdoctoral Research Symposium

from the Poster

Award Winners

n an effort to provide this

I year‟s participating postdocs

information on what how

to prepare for the awards competition

of the Emory Postdoctoral

Research Symposium we

have asked advice from last

year‟s winners. Enjoy the inside


Abdel A. Alli, PhD, MPH

Physiology, SOM

I did my undergraduate and

graduate studies at the University

of South Florida, earning a

Doctor of Philosophy degree

and a Master of Science degree

in Medical Sciences from the

College of Medicine and a

Master of Public Health degree

in Global Health from the College

of Public Health. I am

currently a second year postdoctoral

scholar and FIRST

IRACDA fellow.

My research involves investigating

the regulation of the

epithelial sodium channel

(ENaC) using biochemical and

electrophysiological approaches.

My future research

and career goals include becoming

a full professor at a

Tier 1 research university with

the opportunity to conduct biomedical

research, teach at the

graduate level, and become a

director of a center or program.

My research project that I presented

at the 4th Annual Postdoctoral

Research Symposium

focused on identifying the role

of myristoylated alanine-rich C

kinase substrate (MARCKS)

protein in the phosphatidylinositol

phosphate (PIP) dependent

regulation of ENaC.

This presentation introduced

several novel polyclonal antibodies

and recombinant fusion

proteins that help make it possible

to study the molecular

mechanism between PIPs,

MARCKS, and ENaC. The

direct regulation of ENaC by

PIPs is known, but neither

ENaC nor PIPs are abundantly

present at the apical membrane

of polarized epithelial cells and

an understanding of the interaction

between ENaC and PIPs

has been lacking. The research

addressed the role of

MARCKS to function as a

scaffolding/adaptor protein in

sequestering PIPs for presentation

to ENaC. ENaC is regulated

at many different levels,

and its activity is important for

maintaining sodium balance,

extracellular fluid volume, and

long term blood pressure control.

A clear understanding of

the mechanism that regulates

ENaC may allow for novel

drug targets and therapeutics

for the control of lung fluid

clearance and blood pressure.

Presentation tips: I would encourage

all postdocs to participate

in this event because it

allows for scientific networking,

opportunity for collaborations,

and the development of

critical presentation skills. I

would advise participants to be

able to present their research in

layman's terms, be comfortable

answering specific questions

regarding any novel methodologies

and observed results,

and to be receptive to feedback

and suggestions.



Kevin Murnane, PhD

Neuroscience, Yerkes

The central topics of my research

interests are the factors

that predispose individuals to

abuse illicit drugs and the behavioral

and neurobiological

consequences of abusing these

substances. My five year plan

includes acquiring a position

as an academic research scientist

and initiating an independent

research program.

At the 2011 Emory Postdoctoral

Research Symposium, I

presented research findings

related to the consequences of

exposure to a set of amphetamine

derivatives. The basis for

these studies was a body of

work showing that amphetamine

derivatives can deplete

brain levels of monoaminergic

neurotransmitters. However,

fewer studies had examined

whether these compounds affect

other neurotransmitter systems

or whether the neurochemical

deficits engendered

by these compounds lead to

persistent deficits in behavior.

In the studies that I presented,

we found that exposure to

methamphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine

(“ecstasy”), or parachloroamphetamine


deficits in long-term and shortterm

memory performance in

mice. Moreover, using a novel

technique called magnetic

resonance spectroscopy, we

found that these same derivatives

depleted levels of the major

amino acid neurotransmitter

glutamate in the hippocampus,

a brain area that has been

closely linked to memory performance.

These studies demonstrate

that the neurochemical

effects of amphetamine derivatives

in mice extend beyond

monoaminergic systems and

provide evidence that memory

performance can be impaired

by exposure to these compounds.

Presentation tips: For the 2012

presenters, I suggest that you

concentrate on the clarity of

your presentation. The judges

often have tight time constraints,

and anything you can

do to make your presentation

more clear and concise will

increase how favorably they

view your presentation. Moreover,

I believe that it is important

not to obfuscate and to

bring some humor and humility

to your presentation. Put

simply, let your personality


Chesnal Arepalli, MD

Radiology, SOM

I am research associate in the

dept. of cardiothoracic imaging

/ radiology. I graduated

from Gandhi and Osmania

medical colleges in Hyderabad,

India. Subsequently I did

clinical fellowship in cardiovascular

radiology at AIIMS,

New Delhi. My career goal is

to be a physician scientist

wherein I can translate my research

experience and findings

into clinical arena.

Patients with identical calcium

amounts may have different

scores depending on heart rate,

vessel displacement and calcium

distribution. This may

lead to misclassifying patients‟

coronary risk. Atherosclerotic

calcific plaques develop in left,

right and circumflex coronary

arteries (LCA, RCA and LCX

respectively). Calcification is

quantified by computerized

tomography (CT) coronary

calcium score (CS). Based on

CTCS, patients are categorized

into high (≥400), moderate

(100 -399), moderately low

(10 - 99) and very low risk (0 -

10) for cardiovascular events.

My research project evaluated:

„Effect of Heart Rate, Coronary

Artery Displacement and

Vessel Trajectory on CT Coronary

Calcium Score‟. By utilizing

a phantom model, eight

explanted coronary arteries

having variable calcific

plaques were subjected to different

heart rates (60, 80 and

100 beats per minute) , different

coronary vessel excursions

(1.25 and 2.5 cm) and characteristic

3D trajectory of LCA,

RCA and LCX so as to simulate

a clinical patient. Vessel

displacement of 2.5 cm decreased

score by 16%




cell cycle progression, causing defects at

the G1/S transition. Along these lines we

reasoned that BAP1s ability to influence

cell cycle progression may explain its link

to cancer; germline BAP1 mutations predisposes

one to cancers of the lung, and

loss of BAP1 has been implicated in metastasis

of uveal melanomas. The best

studied BAP1 binding partner is HCF-1 –

an adapter protein that recruits chromatinmodifying

complexes to a sub-class of

transcription factors. Of these transcription

factors regulated by HCF-1 are the

E2F-family members E2F1 and E2F4,

which are known control transcription of

genes that govern cell cycle progression.

We hypothesized that BAP1/HCF-1/E2Fs

together regulate cell cycle progression,

and my poster displayed some of the data

we have to support this hypothesis. The

most important finding is that BAP1 and

E2F4 co-immunoprecipitate at endogenous

levels. We are currently trying to

understand what BAP1 is doing at E2F4/

HCF-1 complexes, and data from other

groups suggest that BAP1‟s substrate

when localized to chromatin is histone

H2A. Ubiquitination and deubiquitination

of histone H2A is an epigenetic modification

thought to relax and condense chromatin

respectively, so the presence of

BAP1 at a specific gene locus should be

associated with transcriptional repression.

This is consistent with our data as E2F4 is

generally a transcriptional repressor,

while E2F1, which did not co-IP BAP1,

is a transcriptional activator. Our findings

are significant as they link BAP1 to cell

cycle regulation – possibly explaining

why loss of BAP1 function is associated

with human cancers.

Presentation tips: It was very gratifying

to receive an award for my poster! I

would say it was a result of hard work,

preparation, and a little luck. Hard work

in mining the literature, forming a hypothesis,

and then learning the techniques

needed to test it. Preparation in that I presented

a poster at a Cold Spring Harbour

meeting a few weeks prior; the major

criticism there was that my poster was too

dense with text and figures. I was trying

to show data from three looselyconnected

projects, so for the Emory Post

-doctoral Symposium I made a new

poster and just focused on the most exciting

story. Luck in that our hypothesis

turned out to be true, and that the judges

were impressed with my work!

Mohammad Rahman, PhD

Hematology and Oncology, SOM

My educational background includes

training in biochemistry, molecular biology,

cancer biology and developmental

strategies for siRNA-based drug delivery

system. I received both BS and MS degrees

in Biochemistry from Dhaka University,

Bangladesh in 1998 and 1999,

respectively. In 2003, I was awarded the

Japanese Government Scholarship to pursue

my doctoral training in Cancer Biology

Division at Nagoya University

School of Medicine, Japan. My goal is to

build up a career as a Molecular and Cell

Biologist, particularly in the field of Cancer

Biology and Drug Development.

The title of my poster at Postdoctoral Research

Symposium 2011 was “Nanoparticle

mediated delivery of siRNA targeting

RRM2 inhibits tumor growth of

head and neck and lung cancers”.

Despite the promising future of using

small interfering RNA (siRNA) to silence

a chosen gene, their systemic delivery

remains challenging due to poor stability

under physiological conditions. Ribonucleotide

reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) is

an essential protein for providing a balanced

supply of precursors for DNA synthesis

and repair. In our study, we investigated

a nanoparticle that encapsulated

RRM2 siRNA and thus it was protected

from any degradation in systemic delivery.

In addition, we evaluated its efficacy

and mechanism of action on head and

neck cancers.

In a mouse xenograft model, we found

that RRM2 siRNA-nanoparticles delivered

siRNA targeted to head and neck

tumors and significantly reduced tumor

progression by suppressing cell proliferation

and by induction of apoptosis. Our

novel finding add to emerging knowledge

of the regulatory effects of RRM2 and

demonstrates that targeted nanoparticles

can deliver RRM2 siRNA to head and

neck tumors in mice and highlights

RRM2 as an excellent target to induce

potent apoptosis and tumor growth inhibition.

Such study shows promising strategy

for the development of siRNA-based

therapeutics and will be critical for

knockdown of any desired protein and

formulation of therapeutic regimen.

Presentation tips: Several key points are

always in my mind before presentation:

1) Logical sequence to present the desired

image, 2) Remain calm. Speak confidently

and clearly, 3) Appropriate emotion

and feeling relating to topic is important.

Sources for funding opportunities can be found at the OPE website:

http://med.emory.edu/postdoc/CurPostdoc/funding_ opportunities.cfm



By Manish Pathak, PhD

Biochemistry, SOM

ancer treatment typically induces

C muscle atrophy due to perturbations

in muscle protein metabolism which involves

decreased synthesis and increased

degradation of muscle protein. It

has been shown that cancer survivors are

less likely to engage in strenuous exercise

such as running or jogging, than

those with no cancer history. However, it

is important to note that even moderate

exercise can lead to a modest increase in

muscles in cancer survivors.

The complementary and alternative

medicine uses exercise as a therapy

which is considered to mitigate some of

the common side effects or symptoms of

cancer treatment. This is believed to

boost the immune system, and may prevent


Cancer patients often report impaired

sleep quality which may be due to increased

levels of sleep-mediating cytokines

resulting from cancer treatment.

Exercise has a positive influence on

sleep-mediating cytokines, such as interleukin-6,

tumor necrosis factor-alpha,

and soluble tumor necrosis factor-alpha

receptor, which may ultimately improve

sleep quality.

Moderate physical exercise has been

shown to improve sleep quality in cancer

survivors. Exercise may improve

sleep quality through the regulation of

proinflammatory cytokines that would

other-wise stimulate the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal

axis and promote cortisol

production. Regular exercise training

reduces low-grade inflammation by

triggering the immediate but transient

release of IL-6 from skeletal muscle.

Cancer-related fatigue, another commonly

reported symptom in patients,

also has a significant negative impact on

quality of life. Its management could

efficiently reduce the burden associated

with the treatment. Exercise can indirectly

reduce the overall risk of premature

death by warding off many other

diseases such as diabetes, hypertension

and obesity.

The observation that athletes have lower

levels of circulating testosterone than

non-athletes, and the negative role of

testosterone in prostate and testicular

cancer, has led to the hypothesis that

physical activities might protect one from

developing prostate and testicular cancer.

To improve the efficacy of cancer treatment

and prolong survival of patients,

physical activity is absolutely necessary.

Physical activity has significant effects on

many aspects of the human body, thereby

decreasing an overall cancer risk. These

effects include direct mechanical processes

such as improved circulation, ventilation

and bowel transit time, improved

energy balance and immune function, and

possibility of DNA repair too.

Positive outcomes from exercise emphasize

the need for home based aerobic and

resistance exercise training during radiation

treatment for non-metastatic breast

and prostate cancer patients. Exercise may

modify hypothesized biopsychosocial

mechanisms in the adjustment to cancer

(e.g., fitness, self-efficacy, social interaction).

In turn, changes in these mechanisms

might alleviate or prevent the occurrence

of many of the common associated

symptoms and its treatments (e.g.,

fatigue, insomnia, pain, anorexia) and

hence improve overall quality of life.


By Heather Mason-Suares, PhD

For more details: http://courses.jax.org/event-listings.html

Genetics, SOM

July 15-27

August 18-23

Aug 24-Sep 1

Sep 8-15

Sep 19-24

Sep 27-Oct 6

53rd Annual Short Course on Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics

Short Course on Genetics of Addiction

21st Annual Short Course on Experimental Models of Human Cancer

11th Annual Workshop on the Pathology of Mouse Models for Human Disease

Workshop on Phenotyping Mouse Models of Human Lung Disease

Genomic and Proteomic Approaches to Complex Heart, Lung, Blood, & Sleep Disorders



By JoAnna Perry, DVM

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience

Yerkes National Primate Research


s part of National Postdoc Appreciation

Week, the Office of Post-


doctoral Education hosted a Postdoc Appreciation

Day on September 22, 2011.

The event was a major success and

consisted of three events: morning luncheon,

afternoon career symposium, and

evening reception.

Approximately 30 postdocs attended the

morning luncheon at which Mrs. Sage

Russell gave a presentation about Science

& Technology Policy fellowships at

the American Association for the Advancement

of Sciences (AAAS). Mrs.

Russell earned her law degree from

Emory University and currently serves as

the Associate Director of Congressional

and Executive branch fellowships at

AAAS. During her presentation, Mrs.

Russell highlighted the difference between

„policy for science‟ (using policies

to guide scientific research) and „science

for policy‟ (using science to create policies

for health care, climate change, etc).

Referring specifically to the AAAS fellowship,

she discussed several desired

skills for applicants, including organization,

a desire to communicate science to

non-scientists, and public speaking. If

accepted into the program, fellows will be

assigned to such government entities as

the NIH, Department of Defense, and

Department of Homeland Security and

take part in such activities as collecting

and analyzing information, meeting with

constituents, and participating in drafting


If you are interested in applying for this

fellowship, visit the website http://

www.fellowships.aaas.org for more information.

Additional organizations that

have science policy fellowships are the

National Academy of Science

(www.nas.edu) and the California Council

on Science and Technology

(www.fellows.ccst.us). If you would like

to learn more about science policy, Mrs.

Russell recommended a book entitled

„Beyond Sputnik - US Science Policy in

the 21 st Century‟ by Homer Alfred Neal.

If you would like to contact Mrs. Russell

directly, feel free to e-mail her at srussell@aaas.org.

The afternoon session consisted of a Biomedical

Career Symposium, held by The

Partnership of Academia and Industry.

Each speaker gave a 10-15 minute presentation

that highlighted the important

relationship between academia and industry

through their own individual career

paths. Some of these careers included

marketing in health care, entrepreneurship,

industrial science, clinical trial development,

and technology transfer. A

large number of postdocs attended the

career symposium and asked the presenters

insightful questions about these different

career paths.


the symposium,



was held

to allow

the postdocs to mingle with the symposium


Overall, Postdoc Appreciation Day provided

a wealth of information for postdocs

looking to pursue a career outside of

academia. We extend a big thank you to

the Office of Postdoctoral Education for

coordinating this event.



odka (Polish: wódka, pronounced

V voodka), although perhaps not as

wide-spread as during the time of our

fathers, is still the most popular alcoholic

"beverage" in Poland. Vodka-drinking

etiquette may differ slightly between different

parts of the country, but there are a

few things that I learned during my time

growing up in and traveling throughout

Poland (meaning: drinking vodka with a


variety of Poles from various parts of the

country) that seem to be quite constant. I

believe that the most important piece of

advice I can offer to ice-loving Americans

is about the function of ice in vodka

-based mixed drinks.

Although such drinks are not very popular

among Poles, as we prefer drinking

vodka straight, perhaps followed by a

chaser in the form of some juice

(popitka/poganiacz), and a little snack

(zakąska/zagrycha)--preferably pickled

herring, you may find yourself in a situation

in which a Polish person pours

vodka into your ice-filled glass (with the

expectation that you will complete the

drink with a beverage of your choosing).

If so, remember that with the

amount of ice in your glass you are indicating

how much vodka you want in your

drink. The understanding is that the ice

should be completely covered with the

alcohol. So, unless you really want to


drink a full glass of "vodka on the

rocks," you may want to think twice

before filling your glass up with ice,

like you would while drinking Coke…


Tomasz Smolinski, Ph.D.

Biology, Emory College

Coming from Turkey to the U.S. for

the first time, I was confused by the

apparent differences in interpersonal

communication. In Turkey, casual acquaintances

or guests are treated

friendly, with a smile and a positive

attitude. This agreeable attitude shows

politeness. In return, the guest knows

that the host is just being polite, and

expects the host to provide what is appropriate

and feels ashamed to ask for

anything extra. On the contrary, in the

U.S., the default attitude against a

guest is negative. Thus the guest is

placed at a distance and s/he is expected

to ask for what s/he needs. Although

initially I thought this was rude,

I quickly understood that it has its advantages

and can be very efficient.


For instance, in Turkey the host keeps insisting

to provide things even though the

guest may not need it. In the U.S., the relationship

improves quickly and once the

trust develops, it becomes much more


Notion of personal space is also very different

and inconsistent between the U.S.

and Turkey. In the U.S., one must ask to be

excused (by saying "excuse me!") when

coming to close proximity of someone,

while in Turkey it is quite common to be

standing very close to complete strangers,

mostly because of the high density of the

population and crowded urban environments

(such as stores and buses). Quite in

the opposite, while staring or smiling at a

stranger may get you in trouble in Turkey,

in the U.S., it is customary to show a pleasant

smile to strangers. This facilitates starting

a conversation and meeting new people.

This is a much more friendly attitude

than in Turkey!

Cengiz Gunay, Ph.D.

Biology, Emory College


A commonly used informal greeting in

the United States is the phrase „Hey,

what‟s up?‟ This greeting can be somewhat

confusing since it may be used as a

general acknowledgement of a person‟s

presence or as a conversation starter.

The best way to determine which framework

this question is in is to observe the

body language of the person greeting

you. If they are posing this question to

you while in motion it is safe to assume

the greeter intended to mean this phrase

as a simple „hello.‟ However, if you have

been asked this question while the

greeter is in a static position (i.e. standing

or sitting) they are most likely interested

in learning more about how things

are going with you. If you still are not

sure on how to respond you can always

reply to the greeter with the same phrase

and their response should aid you in deciphering

from which framework the

question was asked.

Jaqueline A. Fairley, Ph.D.,

Neurology, School of Medicine

Culture: The Peruvian culture is a fusion of different lifestyles and traditions, dress, practices and norms. Peru was first home to a

wide array of indigenous cultures followed by the arrival of the Inca Empire. In 1532, Incas succumbed to the Spanish. Such history

has made Peru's population multiracial. Thus Indian, Spanish and some other indigenous traditions and customs coexist

throughout Peru's territory. Such coexistence has provided a good opportunity for new traditions to emerge as a result of the multicultural

merge. Religious festivities represent a good example as they usually blend the European features of Catholic beliefs and

practices with indigenous music, dance and food.

Family: Families are very important as they show a high degree of unity and support among generations, as well as in the nuclear

family unit. As opposed to the US, children generally live with their parents rarely leaving before they get married. As most family

members spend their time at work during the weekdays, dinners are a good time to share their day with each other, and families

get together for a special lunch on weekends. Family life at all levels of society is nourished by several ceremonial events marking

important accomplishments in each individual's life, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions or important religious

events, such as baptisms, confirmations, and marriages. Family life is thus marked by small frequent gatherings celebrating

these special events.

Social Life: Peruvians enjoy getting together on weekends or special holidays. Casual parties are usually announced on short notice

with invitations given personally or over the phone. The host usually provides the food and drinks; however, guests are expected

to bring additional drinks. Formal parties are usually preceded by invitations but since RSVP cards are not commonly used,

hosts have to plan their parties based on the number of invitations they have sent out.

Interaction and Gestures: During conversations, Peruvians are animated and enthusiastically gesture with their hands. Maintaining

eye contact is important. People also stand close to each other, and hug or touch each other either on the arm or give a pat on the

back during a conversation. When introducing themselves for the first time, members of the opposite sex shake hands, while

women may shake hands as well or may even kiss each other on the cheek. However, women who know each other well will kiss

each other on one cheek and/or hug. Men who know each other well will shake hands or pat each other on the back. Friends usually

call each other by their first names or nicknames whereas older people are addressed by title and last name, and professionals

are addressed by their professional title and last name, e.g. Dr. Adams.

Patricia Jumbo Lucioni, PhD.

Hum Genetics, School of Medicine



of the Postdoctoral Association (PAC) @ Emory University, 2012

Postdoc Executive Committee (PEC)

(all chairs, co-chairs)

Heather Ross

Alaine Keebaugh

Herbert Patrick Ludewick

Hope Kara Anne Gole

Kevin Murnane

Anca Doloc-Mihu

Cengiz Gunay

Patricia Paola Jumbo Lucioni

Workshop Committee

Hope Kara Anne Gole ©

Ying Liu

Jing Huang

Juliya Kalinina

Tammi Taylor

Telsie Davis

Brandi Wynne

Kai Huang

Ko Eun Choi

Helena Gong

Michael Scullin

Social Committee

Heather Ross (co-chair)

Kevin Murnane (co-chair)

Amit Raisoni

Samantha Yeligar

Brian Crawford

Cristy Tower-Gilchrist

Jessica Crast

Jessica Alvarez

Xulei Qin

Wenqi Li

International Committee (IPC)

Cengiz Gunay ©

Patricia Paola Jumbo Lucioni ©

Shuzhao Li

Selva Maran

Ajchareeya "Miki" Ruangprasert

Akshay Sharma

Michel Corban

Amit U. Raysoni

Sylvia Hsu-Chen Yip

Science Writers Committee (SWC)

Jacqueline Fairley

JoAnna Perry

Heather Mason-Suares

Faith Bartz

Monika Anand

Anca Doloc-Mihu ©

Sheena Brown

Negar Fani

Jamie Mells

Mihaela Marina

Xiangyu Guo (Sean)

Steven Bray

Alicia Hawthorne

Benyam Yoseph

Elaissa Hardy

Matt Merrell

Laura Jones

Robert Tyx

Research Symposium Committee (RSC)

Alaine Keebaugh (co-chair)

Herbert Patrick Ludewick (co-chair)

Candace Adamo

Fang Liu

Jennifer Reiner

Michel Corban

Shaheen Ahmed

Alpa Khatri

Ying Liu

Hongchun Liu

Shujie Han

Tamisha Vaughan

Kajari Mondal

Ramesh Kandimalla

Amit Raysoni

We would like to thank all our Postdocs for their contribution to the newsletter. We are

highly encouraging and requesting Postdocs to come forward and send in their articles,

views, opinions, research work, jokes, light hearted entertainment for the coming issues of

the newsletter. We also welcome the new Postdocs who have joined the Emory University

in this session.


Science Writers Committee