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The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is organizing the inaugural Meet the Postdocs event to celebrate our postdoctoral fellows’ significant contributions to research and discovery at the university. We invite all postdocs, graduate supervisors, doctoral students and the university community to join us in this event.  

Meet the Postdocs

Thursday, September 27, 2018
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC), Room 1058

10 to 10:15 a.m. Registration; Coffee and refreshments
10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Opening remarks; Research and industry partnerships
10:30 to 11 a.m. Panel discussion: How to be a postdoc
11 a.m. to noon Workshop 1: Grant proposal writing
Noon to 1 p.m. Networking lunch
1 to 2 p.m. Workshop 2: Beyond academia: Non-traditional Career Paths



Nisha Rani Agarwal, PhD
Nisha Agarwal received her PhD from Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy in 2013 as an Erasmus scholar working in the field of nanotechnology and materials science focusing on Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). She further pursued five years of postdoctoral research at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Genova, Italy) Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden) and McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), broadening her expertise in non-linear microscopy with applications in plasmonics, pharmaceutical and biological sectors, development of super-resolution techniques and paper-based point-of-care diagnostics. She currently holds an Assistant Professor position in Physics in the Faculty of Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

Her main research interests lie in innovation and development of new emerging high-resolution (nanoscale regime) technologies and integrating it with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Raman spectroscopy. The technology is applied to solving real-world problems such as biological study of neurological disorders, Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial dysfunctional studies in yeast cells as a model for Alzheimer's, study of metastasis in colo-rectal cancer cells and environmental problems. Additionally, the applications extend to understanding physical phenomena at the interfaces of nanomaterials, thus building the field of plasmonics.

Jesse Allan, PhD
Jesse Allan is a Research Chemist at LANXESS Canada, a position he has held since 2017. In this role, he develops and studies novel grease products and formulations for use in many different applications. As well, he supports new development in detergent-based chemistry. He holds a PhD in Materials Chemistry, as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry from UOIT. Jesse has held several prestigious graduate and postgraduate scholarships, including UOIT’s Presidential Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholarship and the Alexander Graham Bell Award from NSERC. He has also had several publications in the field of electrochemistry and organometallic materials.

Alison Burgess, PhD
Alison Burgess holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Guelph and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto. After spending several years in a research lab at Sunnybrook Hospital studying Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr. Burgess moved to the Durham Region and began working in the Office of Research Services. She is now the Manager of Research Partnerships, working with faculty members across the university to build and maintain relationships with research partners. A champion of innovation, Dr. Burgess is dedicated to maximizing the real-world impacts of the university's cutting-edge research and development.

Joanne Gourgouvelis, PhD
Joanne Gourgouvelis completed her PhD in Applied Bioscience at UOIT. Her PhD research investigated the effects of exercise on neural function in people with major depressive disorder. Dr. Gourgouvelis is currently the Senior Lead of the central east Local Health Integration Networks Opioid Strategy at Lakeridge Health. Her research interests include mental health and medication-assisted treatment for opioid and alcohol use disorders.

Laura Rendl, PhD
Laura Rendl received her Honours Bachelor of Science and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto. Dr. Rendl's thesis focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of mRNA decay employed by sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She joined the Office of Research Services at the UOIT in 2009. In her current role as Grants Team Lead, Dr. Rendl oversees a dynamic three-member team. She supports faculty in the development and management of competitive research grant applications and leads strategic research initiatives at the university. In her role she maintains a strong liaison relationship with external granting agencies, supports faculty research interests and promotes the university research culture. Dr. Rendl enjoys the creativity and strategic thinking she gets to exercise in her daily work, as well as the amazing and diverse group of people she works with.

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