Bay Area

The Future of Research is coming to the Bay area this summer. Get involved and make it happen.

So what is Future of Research (FOR)? FOR started in the Boston area when engaged early career scientists got together and wanted to change academia for the better. More inclusiveness, more openness, better communication, better training and better mentoring . They hosted a conference discussing the future of research with several distinguished panel members. The Bay Area will follow suit this summer 17-18th July hosting an highly anticipated conference at UCSF, Genentech Hall, Mission Bay Campus. Come join other Future Fellows from UCD, UCB, UCSF and Stanford to makes this a truly impactful  event. Contact Bay Area organizers at, and follow us on twitter at @FORSF2015

Visit our Twitter page


We are a group of postdocs and graduate students at Universities of California who decided to organize a symposium focused on addressing the future of academic research. The symposium will be held at Byers Auditorium, Genentech Hall, Mission Bay Campus at UCSF on Friday and Saturday, July 17-18 2015. Our goal is to involve a large number of young scientists in facilitated discussions on what we see as the biggest challenges to the research enterprise including funding, training, diversity and research transparency. We are hoping to provide a way for graduate students and postdocs to weigh in on the important issues facing science today. We are planning talks and panel discussion followed by interactive workshops focused on identifying actionable items directly within the power of the trainees to affect change!

Contact Bay Area organizers at, and follow us on twitter at @FORSF2015.

Meeting information

Friday 17th July

  • 9-10am: registration and coffee
  • 10– 11.15am: 1st Panel – The future of diversity in academia. Confirmed speakers: Janet Stemwedel, Leticia Márquez-Magaña, Michael Penn, Kelly Chavez.
  • 11.15-11.30am: Break
  • 11.30-1pm: 1st Workshops – The future of diversity in academia.
  • 1-1.45pm: lunch
  • 1.45-2pm: Sponsor presentation – Cyagen
  • 2 – 3.15pm: 2nd Panel – The future of open and reproducible science. Confirmed speakers: Fanglian He, Fraser Tan, Carl Boettinger, Lenny Teytelman.
  • 3.15-3.30pm: Break
  • 3.30-5pm: 2nd Workshops – The future of open and reproducible science
  • 5-5.15pm: Break
  • 5.15-6.15pm: Keynote: Mike Eisen
  • 6.15pm: Social event

Saturday 18th July

  • 9-10am: registration and coffee
  • 10– 11.15am: 3rd Panel – The future of academic training. Confirmed speakers: Elizabeth Silva, Josh Babiarz, Matthew Cook, Nick Mordwinkin.
  • 11.15-11.30am: Break
  • 11.30-1pm: 3rd Workshops – The future of academic training
  • 1-2pm: lunch
  • 2 – 3.15pm: 4th Panel – The future of science policy and funding. Confirmed speakers: Bruce Alberts, Sahar Houshdaran, India Hook-Barnard, Jessica Lao and Don Gibson.
  • 3.15-3.30pm: Break
  • 4th Workshops – The future of science policy and funding
  • 5-5.15pm: Break
  • 5.15-6pm: Closing remarks

For more info email



Mike Eisen

Michael Bruce Eisen is Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at University of California, Berkeley. Eisen completed his PhD at Harvard University under the supervision of Don Craig Wiley while studying Influenza A virus Proteins. His academic research focuses on the evolution of gene regulation. Throughout his career he has been an advocate for “open science”, which is the free release of the material and intellectual product of scientific research. He is a leading advocate of open access scientific publishing, and is co-Founder of Public Library of Science (PLOS) and serves on the PLOS board, the Academic Steering & Advocacy Committee of Open Library of Humanities, and is an adviser to Science Commons.

The future of diversity in academia panel:

 Janet D. Stemwedel

Janet D. Stemwedel is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at San José State University, engaged in teaching and research at the intersection of epistemology and ethics. Her interests include responsible conduct of scientific research, communication between non-scientists and scientists about the issues that matter to both camps, and diversity and inclusion in science particularly and in academic and professional communities more generally. She has PhDs in chemistry and in philosophy (both from Stanford University), and has written about issues in ethics, science, and higher education since 2005 at venues including Forbes, Scientific American, Academe Blog, and

Michael L. Penn, Jr

Michael L. Penn, Jr, serves as Vice President for Diversity, Outreach, and Mentoring at the Gladstone Institutes, an independent biomedical research enterprise in San Francisco. Previously, he worked for more than 8 years at Genentech Inc. in marketing and business development roles of increasing responsibility. Michael co-founded the non-profit Building Diversity in Science and co-authored a book, Finding Your North, dedicated to empowering students to pursue careers in science. He also previously served as one of seven Commissioners responsible for overseeing and setting policy for San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Morehouse College and a combined MD-PhD from the University of California, San Francisco.

Leticia Marquez Magana

Leticia Marquez ­Magana, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, Lead PI of the NIH funded SF BUILD project to increase diversity in STEM

 Miquella (Kelly) Chavez

Miquella (Kelly) Chavez, Ph.D. is a Post Doctoral Fellow at UCSF Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences and founder of UCSF SACNAS chapter (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science).

 Rhonda Rios Kravitz

Rhonda Rios Kravitz, Ph.D is Dean Emeritus at Sacramento City College. She advocates and researches diversity and equity in higher education, and for undocumented students. She is also ALLIANZA board member.

The future of open and reproducible science panel:

 Fanglian He

Fanglian He is a co-founder and executive editor at Bio-protocol, an open access, peer-reviewed e-journal that specializes in curating high quality life science protocols. The goal of Bio-protocol is to make reproducing experiments an easier task. Prior to working at Bio-protocol, she was a postdoc research fellow at Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford. She holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Fraser Tan

Fraser helps researchers in their search and management of scientific service requests. She also leads ontology development and research content on the Science Exchange platform. As a project manager for the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, she coordinates with authors and labs to generate high quality replication datasets to help understand the reproducibility challenge facing the sciences. She completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies in developmental biology at Stanford University

Lenny Teytelman

Lenny is a geneticist and computational biologist and is a cofounder of (a crowdsourced, open access, central protocol repository for the life sciences). He is passionate about sharing science and improving research efficiency through technology.

Carl Boettiger

Carl Boettiger is an Assistant Professor in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on ecological regime shifts, ecoinformatics & data science. He holds a bachelors in physics from Princeton and a PhD in population biology from UC Davis. Carl is a co-founder of the rOpenSci project, which seeks to promote more open and reproducible research through building software and community, and he keeps an open lab notebook at

Vivian Siegel

Vivian Siegel is the director of education and training at the Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI), adjunct research professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, and an education and communications consultant and coach. While she is formally trained as a scientist, she is also an accomplished educator and communicator of science with deep expertise in scientific publishing and open-access journals. Siegel has served as editor of leading scientific journals, including Cell and PLOS Biology, founded and directed the Center for Science Communication (CSC) at Vanderbilt University, and led communications and education and outreach initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The future of academic training panel:

Elizabeth Silva

I trained as a geneticist and developmental biologist in Canada, the UK and the US. I first left the bench in 2011 for a position as an editor at PLOS ONE, and in 2014 I returned to UCSF to manage the Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program. UCSF’s MIND program is one of 17 experimental programs across the country that aims to bring biomedical research training in line with the realities of the career outcomes for graduate students and postdocs. We’re developing new tools and resources for graduate students and postdocs, and working with faculty to understand their concerns and improve the support they receive as mentors.

Nick Mordwinkin

Nick is a registered pharmacist, pharmacologist, and entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the biotechnology and life sciences fields. He received his B.S. in Biology and Pharm.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in 2012. Nick was also a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University for two years studying stem cell biology in the School of Medicine, and is now a Technical Sales Consultant at Miltenyi Biotec. Nick co-founded Curium in 2014 with a close group of friends following their frustration of how poorly institutions prepared Ph.D. students and postdocs for the real world. Curium’s vision is a new generation of Ph.D.- and postdoctoral-level scientists trained to become top life science executives and entrepreneurial leaders.

Matthew Cook

Matthew Cook recently finished his second postdoc at UCSF where he also co-founded P(ostdoc)*Value, a grassroots think tank of concerned UCSF postdocs that has hosted community forums and tackled local actionable items. Together with his colleagues, Matt is interested in seeking creative and actionable solutions to the unique challenges that today’s postdocs face, particularly with regards to PI mentorship and institutional responsibility. Matt has spent over 13 years in academic science and takes the issues facing the biomedical research enterprise very personally; he recently decided to leave academia due to barriers between the postdoc and tenure-track faculty positions as well as major flaws in the institutional training process. Matt has an extensive background in science education and developed the online introductory genetics course Tales from the Genome in collaboration with the personal genetics company 23andMe.

 Josh Babiarz

Josh Babiarz is a Senior Molecular Biologist at Lifecode, where he develops next generation sequencing based cancer diagnostics. He received his PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and went on to postdoctoral studies in Stem Cell Research at UCSF. For the past 6 years, he has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields, focusing on clinical applications of NGS.

The future of science policy and funding panle:

 Bruce M. Alberts

Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is a United States National Medal of Science awardee (2014). He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Science (2008-2013) and as one of President Obama’s first three United States Science Envoys (2009-2011). Alberts holds the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Dr. Alberts is noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a pre-eminent textbook in the field soon to be in in its sixth edition. Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees. He currently serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 nonprofit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP).

 Jessica Lao

Jessica Lao is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. She completed her PhD in Genetics at UC Davis. Jessica and her teammates at P(ostdoc)-value, a grassroots think tank of UCSF postdocs, are interested in developing sustainable solutions to improving the postdoc and graduate student training experience at UCSF and in reforming biomedical training in the US.

 Don Gibson

Don Gibson is a PhD student and public science advocate at UC Davis studying in the Plant Biology Department and Genome Center. Previously he worked in politics in Sacramento before transitioning to science. Don has lobbied in the California Capital on issues to improve the lives of researchers such as child care and representation. Currently he is a trainee with the UC Global Food Initiative helping organize with the UC Davis Science Policy & Communication Group to support science policy and education in food and agriculture. Here he helps build professional networks between early career scientists and policy makers in Sacramento.

 India Hook-Bernard

India Hook-Barnard, PhD is Director of Research Strategy at UCSF, School of Medicine, where she supports basic, clinical, and social and behavioral research development and the pursuit of precision medicine, the over-arching conceptual and organizational platform for research at UCSF. Previously, India worked as a senior program officer with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM), where she directed studies for six National Academies reports on topics of emerging science, technology, and medicine, including issues of policy, regulation, ethical and societal concerns, and workforce. India was a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. She earned her PhD in Microbiology-Medicine from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri.

 Sahar Houshdaran

Sahar Houshdaran is a postdoctoral fellow at the OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences department at UCSF with her focus on female reproductive tract biology and disease. She has been a Trustee and a member of the executive board of UAW 5810 Postdoctoral Union since 2013.


Registration is now open! This meeting is free of charge for all participants. Please visit our Eventbrite page for more information.






cyagen logo(1) (3)mendeley_banner








UCSF_Sublogo_Postdoc Office_black_RGB

UCSF_Sublogo_Career Professional Development_SAA_navy_RGB copy


BioLabs logo


Gladstone logo


bioprotocol logo




Genesee logo


SPG logo