Skip to Content

Office of the Vice President for Research


USC Postdoctoral Association

Executive Board

At USC, postdoctoral scholars receive research training and professional opportunities to help them build upon the foundation they developed in their doctoral training. At the same time, these scholars provide great service to their academic communities, enhancing research and educational programs throughout the university.

The USC Postdoctoral Association was formed in early 2014 to connect postdoctoral fellows from every discipline, and provide opportunities for them to share their experiences and learn from faculty and other mentors. Their mission is to support and improve the postdoctoral training experience at USC by providing opportunities and resources for networking, professional development, social interaction, research and teaching.

 

2017-2018 Executive Board

Dr. Ratanesh Seth

President Ratanesh K. Seth, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Seth has completed his education and training from premier/renowned Institutions, Universities and Pharmaceutical Industry from India and USA. He has contributed significantly to the field of the environment associated human disease especially environmental toxicology and immunology. He has worked on many national/international collaborative projects and published more than 28 peer reviewed research article in various high impact scientific journals and presented at more than 20 national/international conferences. He is passionate about identifying molecular cues and mechanism which connects environment and inflammatory liver disease in order to improve human health. Dr. Seth also teaches a course “ENHS 321-Environmental Pollution and Health”. He has contributed to the scientific administration as editorial board member, reviewer of several high impacted journals and grant proposals from the USA and abroad.

Dr. Marpe Bam

Vice President Marpe Bam, Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

After my PhD in Immunology from India, I worked in pharma companies and later began my postdoctoral position in the present lab. Here, I have been working on understanding the regulation of inflammation in Posttraumatic stress disorder and Ischemic stroke by epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation, histone modifications and role of miRNAs. I got this opportunity to serve the USC PDA for the session 2017-2018 as the VP of the association. I strongly wish to see that all our postdocs come united under this banner and work together to become the force in improving our individual career and contribute to the university as a whole.

Dr. Alexandra Kingston

Treasurer Alexandra Kingston, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

I am a postdoctoral fellow in Biological Sciences. I received my B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University and my Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Currently, I study the evolution of complex traits using integrative and comparative approaches. My research focuses on the evolution of eyes in molluscs and the evolution of weaponry, armor, and visual systems in crustaceans. Along with serving USC’s PDA, I serve as the postdoctoral representative to the Division of Neurobiology, Neuroethology, and Sensory Biology for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB).

Dr. Rachel Saylor

Secretary Rachel Saylor, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Rachel is a postdoctoral fellow in the Hashemi lab, and is interested in the fundamental serotonin neurochemistry underlying depression and antidepressant efficacy.  To investigate these mechanisms, Rachel employs fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and mouse behavioral models.  Rachel has also spent time at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, where she investigated the effect of antidepressants on the serotonin transporter dynamics using confocal laser scanning microscopy of living neuronal cells.  In her free time, Rachel enjoys running, dancing, hiking and being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Tine Verreet

International Officer Committee Chair Tine Verreet, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

Tine Verreet obtained her Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology and radiobiology from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium, where she studied the early- and long-term effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure during mouse brain development. Passionate about neurobiology research, Tine came to the United States as a postdoc to have a new experience and work with the zebrafish as a new model for studying nervous system development. In the Poulain lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, Tine is investigating the intracellular mechanisms underlying axon guidance and degeneration.

Dr. Vancho Kocevski

International Officer Committee Member, Vancho Kocevski, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kocevski earned his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden, before working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Northwestern University for 2 years. His research interests include thermodynamic modeling of materials, electron microscopy, and developing and utilizing methodologies for materials discovery and design. He has experience using computational materials approaches such as density functional theory, ab-initio and classical molecular dynamics, and the multislice method. Kocevski has served as a chair of the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) Social Committee and as a member of the NUPF Career and Professional Development committee.

Dr. Alexandra Basilakos

Outreach Committee Chair Alexandra Basilakos, Ph.D., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Alexandra Basilakos, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery. She earned both her B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina, punctuated by time spent at the University of Georgia for her M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to aphasia recovery, her research interests include improving the differential diagnosis of post-stroke motor speech disorders (apraxia of speech and dysarthria) to improve the clinical management of aphasia and frequently co-occurring speech production deficits. To this end, her work utilizes a combination of neuroimaging modalities in addition to acoustic and perceptual analyses of speech.

Dr. Sayward Harrison

Faculty Advisor Sayward Harrison, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

Dr. Sayward Harrison is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Psychology with a specialization in Pediatric School Psychology from East Carolina University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Harrison has six years of clinical experience working as a pediatric school psychologist in a variety of settings including school-based health centers, public schools, and hospital clinics. Her research examines the impacts of chronic health conditions on children’s learning and development, with a particular emphasis on promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of children and families impacted by HIV.

 

Past Executive Board Members

2016-2017 Executive Board

Dr. Madison DeMello

President Madison DeMello, Ph.D., College of Nursing

I am originally from Massachusetts and received my Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the Arnold School of Public Health in 2016. My dissertation discussed the health benefits of a 6-month aerobic intervention underweight stable conditions. Currently, I am researching ways to reduce sedentary behavior among cancer survivors following treatment using wearable technology. I am also interested in identifying ways for cancer survivors to maintain their activity long term following an exercise intervention. In my free time I enjoy walking the Soda City Farmers Market with my husband and dog, outdoor runs and Gamecock football. I plan to purse a faculty position following my post-doc fellowship. 

Dr. Brielle Stark

Vice President Brielle Stark, Ph.D., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Dr. Brielle Stark is a cognitive neuroscientist whose work focuses on the neural markers and mechanisms of expressive language in aphasia. She uses innovative neuroimaging to model lesion-damage and brain connectivity to investigate different facets of expressive language, including naming and discourse. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College in Psychology with a concentration in neural and behavioral science and her PhD as a Gates Scholar the University of Cambridge (UK).

Dr. Sayward Harrison

Secretary/Treasurer Sayward Harrison, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, and SC Smart State Center for Healthcare Quality

Dr. Sayward Harrison is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Psychology with a specialization in Pediatric School Psychology from East Carolina University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Harrison has six years of clinical experience working as a pediatric school psychologist in a variety of settings including school-based health centers, public schools, and hospital clinics. Her research examines the impacts of chronic health conditions on children’s learning and development, with a particular emphasis on promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of children and families impacted by HIV.


2015-2016 Executive Board