Chalk Talks

Although chalk talks are essential to any academic interview, most prospective professors will receive little to no guidance on how to conduct one.  This panel will feature newly-hired professors and those that have sat on many hiring committees discussing their insider tips for how to prepare and deliver a chalk talk.  Panelists will provide their opinion on essential dos and don'ts, followed by open time for questions from the audience.  

Madeleine Oudin   Professor at Tufts University

Madeleine Oudin

Professor at Tufts University

Madeleine grew up in Paris, France in a multicultural environment, and completed a BSc in Biochemistry at McGill University, a MSc in Pharmacology and a PhD in Neuroscicence from King’s College London, UK. She was a post-doctoral fellow working in Prof. Frank Gertler’s lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT for 6 years, trying to understand how metastasis, the dissemination of tumor cells throughout the body, occurs and working to find better treatments. She received a Breast Cancer Research Department of Defence Post-doctoral Fellowship and a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence from the National Cancer Institute. She has also received multiple awards, such as the Women in Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award and the MIT Infinite Kilometer Award, for her accomplishments in research as well as her involvement in the community. She started her own lab at Tufts University in the department of Biomedical Engineering in January 2018, focused on understanding the mechanisms by which the tumor microenvironment contributes to cancer metastasis and resistance to drugs.

Athma Pai   Professor at University of Massachussetts

Athma Pai

Professor at University of Massachussetts

Athma A. Pai is an RNA systems geneticist who uses functional genomics and computational approaches to address open questions in mammalian gene regulation. Athma received her Ph.D. from the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, working with Yoav Gilad and collaborating closely with Jonathan Pritchard’s group on human and comparative genomics analyses. She then moved on to postdoctoral research as a Jane Coffin Childs fellow at MIT working with Christopher Burge, focusing on understanding the changes in mRNA splicing after immune response and developing methods to measure the dynamics of such processes. Athma assumed her current position as an Assistant Professor in the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in January 2018. Her lab works on developing and applying methods to study the kinetics of RNA processing and understanding how various steps in RNA maturation are coordinated through lifecycle of an RNA molecule

Polina Kehayova   Scientific Director of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University

Polina Kehayova

Scientific Director of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University

Polina Kehayova is the Scientific Director of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, where she is involved in all academic affairs, from undergraduate advising to faculty recruitment. Dr. Kehayova received her PhD in Chemistry from the lab of Prof. David Liu at Harvard University’s Chemistry Department, where she explored the potential of RNA to be evolved and engineered into aptamers with novel specific, desired properties. For her postdoctoral research, she joined the lab of Prof. Tom Maniatis at Harvard University’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, where she studied the complex forms of transcriptional regulation in the mammalian brain. After completing her postdoctoral training, she worked in the exciting and high-paced world of drug discovery at the start-up companies Permeon Biologics and Warp Drive Bio. During her years as an academic and biotech scientist in Cambridge Dr. Kehayova developed a strong interest in creating a more integrated, more collaborative, and more open-minded scientific community, which brought her back to Harvard University in her current position as Scientific Director. Dr. Kehayova is passionate about mentoring the new generation of scientists and serves on the Board of Tutors for the Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemical and Physical Biology undergraduate concentrations at Harvard, and as a Mentor for the Harvard Graduate Women in Science and Engineering Program.