Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

"A great University, true to its name, must encompass a universe of backgrounds and experiences, ideas and ideologies, theories and perspectives." These are the opening words of Penn's Diversity Action Plan, which evokes a vision of "one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran statuses, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds."

Our Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity are a key element of this commitment to achieve eminence through diversity, as expressed in both the original Action Plan and its recent progress report:

Penn's Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence
Progress Report on Penn's Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence
Current Recipients
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Kandis Abdul-Aziz

Education:
PhD, Chemistry,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL


B.Sc, Chemistry,
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Thesis Title
Surface Chemistry to Control Bulk Reaction Dynamics of Native Point Defects in Rutile Titanium Dioxide

Thesis Research Advisor:
Prof. Edmund Seebauer

Postdoc Research Topic:
Thermodynamics of Supported Catalyst Materials

Penn Department:
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Penn Mentor:
Prof. Ray Gorte

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Alexander Bennett

Education:
PhD, Mechanical Engineering,
MA, Mechanical Engineering,
BA, Mechanical Engineering
University of Floriday, Gainesville, FL

Thesis Title
Regular and Irregular Wear of Elastomers in Combined Rolling and Sliding

Thesis Research Advisor:
W. Gregory Sawyer

Postdoc Research Topic:
Interfacial Mechanics of Soft Matter

Penn Department:
MEAM

Penn Mentor:
Kevin Turner and Rob. Carpick

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Michael Gonzalez

Education:
2015, PhD, Immunology and Infectious Disease,
Washington State University, Pullman WA

2011, MS,Forensic Science,
California State University, Fresno, CA

2007, BS, Medical Biology,
California State University, Riverside, CA

Thesis Title
Identification and Characterization of a Genome-wide Significant Region Associated with Erythrocyte Phenotypes in Domestic Sheep

Thesis Research Advisor:
Stephen White

Postdoc Research Topic:
Genetics of Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain in Pediatric Populations

Penn Department:
Center for Applied Genomics, Division of Rheumatology, Children's Hospital

Penn Mentor:
Hakon Hakonarson, MD PhD and David Sherry, MD

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Kathryn Hacker

Education:
PhD, Public Health,
M Phil, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
California State University, Fresno, CA

BS, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Thesis Title
Environmental Heterogeneity, Rodent Population Dynamics, and Leptospirosis in Urban Slum Environments

Thesis Research Advisor:
Dr. Albert Ko

Postdoc Research Topic:
Dynamic Risk Map Modeling in Changing Urban Environments

Penn Department:
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics

Penn Mentor:
Dr. Mike Levy

  • Kandis Abdul-Aziz

    Chemistry
  • Alexander Bennett

    Mechanical Engineering
  • Michael Gonzalez

    Genomics- Rheumatology
  • Kathryn Hacker

    Biostatistics & Epidemiology
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Sobukwe Odinga

Education:
2016, PhD, Political Science,
The City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY

2004, MA, Africana Studies,
New York University, New York, NY

2000, BA, Political Science,
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Thesis Title
Looking for Leverage: Strategic Resources, Contentious Bargaining, and US-African Security Cooperation

Thesis Research Advisor:
Irving Leonard Markovitz

Postdoc Research Topic:
Postdoc Research Topic: US-Africa relations with an emphasis on the politics of security cooperation

Penn Department:
Political Science

Penn Mentor:
Robert Vitalis

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Francis Seuffert

Education:
2016, PhD, Rutgers University,
Camden, NJ

2009, BA, Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Thesis Title
An extension of the Bianchi-Egnell stability estimate to Bakry, Gentil, and Ledoux's generalization of the Sobolev inequality to continuous dimensions and applications

Thesis Research Advisor:
Eric Carlen

Postdoc Research Topic:
Functional Analysis and PDEs

Penn Department:
Mathematics

Penn Mentor:
Ryan Hynd

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Atiya Strothers

Pending

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Annabel Torres

Education:
2015, PhD, Immunology and Infectious Disease,
Washington State University, Pullman WA

2011, MS,Forensic Science,
California State University, Fresno, CA

2007, BS, Medical Biology,
California State University, Riverside, CA

Thesis Title
Identification and Characterization of a Genome-wide Significant Region Associated with Erythrocyte Phenotypes in Domestic Sheep

Thesis Research Advisor:
Stephen White

Postdoc Research Topic:
Genetics of Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain in Pediatric Populations

Penn Department:
Center for Applied Genomics, Division of Rheumatology, Children's Hospital

Penn Mentor:
Hakon Hakonarson, MD PhD and David Sherry, MD

  • Sobukwe Odinga

    Political Science
  • Francis Seuffert

    Mathematics
  • Atiya Strothers

    Education
  • Annabel Torres

    Pathology
Continuing Fellows
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Elliot Aguilar

Education:
2015, PhD, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior,
City University of New York, NY

2013, M. Phil. Biology,
City University of New York

2004, BA, Physics,
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Thesis Title
Predicting the past: modeling the history of a cultural trait

Thesis Research Advisor:
David C. Lahti, PhD, Department of Biology, City University of New York

Penn Department:
Department of Biology, School of Arts and Sciences

Penn Mentor:
Erol Akcay, PhD

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Erin Bogan

Education:
2016, PhD, Education and Psychology,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

2016, MA, Psychology,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

2010, MS, Education,
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2006, BA, English and Social Welfare,
University of California, Berkeley, CA

PhD Dissertation Title:
Beyond Supportive Parenting: The Mediating and Moderating Role of Preschoolers’ Self-Regulatory Competencies in the Relation Between Supportive Parenting and Academic Readiness Outcomes Among Families Participating in Head Start

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Tabbye Chavous and Jacqueline Mattis

Postdoc Research Topic:
Children’s development and positive family processes in the context of poverty

Penn Department:
Graduate School of Education, Education Policy Division

Penn Faculty Mentor:
John Fantuzzo and Vivian Gadsden

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M. Brielle Harbin

Education:
2016, PhD, Political Science,
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

2013, M. Political Science,
Brown University, Providence, RI

2006, BA, Government,
Smith College, Northampton, MA

PhD Dissertation Title
Stereotypes and Stories: The Effect of Storytelling in the Political Arena

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Dr. Larry Bartels and Dr. Marc Hetherington (co-chairs)

Penn Department:
Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Daniel Hopkins (Political Science)

Website

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Beth Harvey

Education:
2016, PhD, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

2010, BS, Chemistry and Animal Science,
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

PhD Dissertation Title
Mapping Sites of O-Glycosylation on Drosophila Notch and Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of How Drosophila Fringe Modulates Notch-Ligand Binding

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Robert S. Haltiwanger

Postdoc Research Topic:
Optic Nerve Regeneration in Zebrafish

Penn Department:
Cell and Developmental Biology

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Michael Granato

  • Elliot Aguilar

    Biology
  • Erin Bogan

    Education
  • M. Brielle Harbin

    Political Science
  • Beth Harvey

    Cell and Developmental Biology
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Kevin Jenkins

Education:
2015 Ph.D. Sociology and Criminology and Law,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

2009, M.A.S.S., History,
Florida A&M University, Tallhassee, FL

2004, BA, History,
North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC

PhD Dissertation Title
The Social Construction of Race in Medicine

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Barbara A. Zsembik, Ph.D.

Postdoc Research Topic:
Hue Process: The Quantitative Measurement of Race and Racism in Medicine

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Ezekiel Dixon-Román, Ph.D.

Website

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Kelsey M Jones

Education:
2015 PhD University of Pennsylvania,
Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development

2010 MS Ed Childhood Special Education
Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY

2008 BA, Williams College
Williamstown, MA

Thesis Title:
Never Been: An Exploration of the Influence of Dis/ability, Giftedness, and Incarceration on Adolescents in Adult Correctional Facilities

Penn Department:
Applied Psychology & Human Development Division, Graduate School of Education

Penn Mentor:
Howard C. Stevenson, PhD

Website

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Antonia Kaczkurkin

Education:
2014, PhD, Clinical Psychology
2011, MA, Clinical Psychology
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

2008, BA, Psychology
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

PhD Dissertation Title:
The contribution of fear conditioning to pathological anxiety: an investigation of conditioned fear generalization in OCD Traits and PTSD

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Shmuel Lissek, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota

Postdoc Research Topic:
Neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to the etiology of anxiety disorders

Penn Department:
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Theodore Satterthwaite, MD, Psychiatry Department, Perelman School of Medicine

Website

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Brandon King

Education:
2015, PhD, Chinese Studies,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

2012, M.A., Chinese Language and Literature,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

2010, M.A. with distinction, Chinese Law,
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK

2005, BA, Economics and Chinese Language and Literature
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

PhD Dissertation Title
Adapting with the Times: Fajia Law and State Development

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Professor John Lagerwey

Postdoc Research Topic:
Legalism and other Warring States philosophical traditions

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Professor Paul Goldin

  • Kevin Jenkins

    Sociology, Criminology, Law
  • Kelsey M Jones

    Applied Psychology
  • Antonia Kaczkurkin

    Psychiatry
  • Brandon King

    Chinese Studies
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Angel Martinez

Education:
2009 BS Physics
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA

2014 PhD Physics,
University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Thesis Title:
Optical shaping of structural self-organization and topology in soft matter

Thesis Research Advisor:
Ivan I. Smalyukh, PhD
Department of Physics and Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Penn Department:
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

Penn Mentor:
Arjun Yodh, PhD, Professor of Physics and Director of The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

Website

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Akira Rodriguez

Education:
2014, PhD, Public Policty,
Rutgers, New Brunswick, NJ

2008, MPA. Public Policy,
University of Pennyslvania, Philadelphia, PA

2004, BS, Economics,
Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

PhD Dissertation Title
The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing: Race, Planning, and Inclusion, 1936-1975

PhD Thesis Advisor:
James DeFilippis

Postdoc Research Topic:
Preserving Black political spaces in the post-public housing city

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Amy Hillier

Website

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Brittany Taylor

Education:
2016, PhD, Biomedical Engineering,
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

2010, BS Biomedical Engineering,
Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

PhD Dissertation Title
The Development and Characterization of an Osteoconductive Pre-Vascularized Scaffold for Bone Regeneration

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Joseph Freeman, Ph. D.

Postdoc Research Topic:
Bilayered Delivery System to Mitigate Inflammation During Rotator Cuff Repair

Penn Department:
Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Louis Soslowsky, Ph.D.

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Jasmine Travers

Education:
2016, PhD, Nursing,
Columbia University School of Nursing New York, NY

2015, MPhil. Nursing,
Columbia University School of Nursing New York, NY

2013, MS Nursing,
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

PhD Dissertation Title
Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Nursing Home Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Receipt and Non-Receipt

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Dr. Patricia W. Stone

Postdoc Research Topic:
Health Disparities, Access and Utilization to Long-Term Services and Supports and Health Promotion and Illness Prevention for Vulnerable Older Adult Populations, Workforce Diversity

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mary D. Naylor

  • Angel Martinez

    Structure of Matter
  • Akira Rodriguez

    Public Policy
  • Brittany Taylor

    Biomed Engineering
  • Jasmine Travers

    Nursing
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Elizabeth Williams

Education:
2014, PhD, Earth & Environmental Sciences,
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

2009, BS Chemistry,
Howard University, Washington DC

PhD Dissertation Title
Characterizing the stability of coastal wetland and riverine soil and sedimentary organic carbon

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Dr. Brad Rosenheim

Postdoc Research Topic:
The effects of pyrogenic carbon amendment on soil organic matter persistence

Penn Department:
Earth and Environmental Science

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Alain Plante

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Jennifer Wilson

Education:
2014, PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

2008, BA, Russian Literature and Culture
Columbia University New York, NY

PhD Dissertation Title:
Radical Chastity: The Politics of Abstinence in Nineteenth-century Russian Literature

Penn Mentor:
Professor Ilya Vinitsky

Postdoc Research Topic:
Slavic Languages and Literatures

Website

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Carolyn Yrigollen

Education:
December 2014 Ph.D. Genetics
University of California, Davis, Davis CA

May 2004 B.Sc. Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology
Yale University

PhD Dissertation Title:
The structure and function of the human FMR1 gene

PhD Thesis Advisor:
Flora Tassone

Postdoc Research Topic:
Gene-editing of FMR1 using CRISPR/Cas9

Penn Faculty Mentor:
Beverly Davidson

Website

  • Elisabeth Williams

    Nursing
  • Jennifer Wilson

    Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Carolyn Yrigollen

    Genetics
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