PISA 2020 ePoster Awardees

Gold ePoster Awards

John Santiago, PhD
Brown University

Karis Kosar
University of Pittsburgh

Silver ePoster Awards

Brendan Rooney
Georgetown University

Margarete Karg, PhD
Schepens Eye Research Institute

Bronze ePoster Awards

Kathryn Hendee, PhD
Medical College of Wisconsin

Michele Alves, PhD
The Ohio State University

PISA 2020 Trainee Scholar Awards

A.D. Sobel
ASIP Education Fund Scholar Award

Thibault Allain, PhD
University of Calgary

Marina Anastasiou, BS, MA
Tufts University

Francisco Carrillo-Salinas, PhD
Tufts University

Evan Delgado, PhD
University of Pittsburgh

Daisy Shu, PhD
Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear

Alexander Sougiannis, PhD, MA
Medical University of South Carolin

Monga-Hans Trainee Scholar Award for Excellence in Liver Pathobiology Research

Rachel Yue Gao, BS
University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

Anders Ohman, MA, BA
Brown University

Monga-Hans Trainee Scholar Award
for Excellence in Neoplasia Research

Amy Kennedy (Bosley), BA
Indiana University School of Medicine

Kun Zhou, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital

Marion and Lawrence (Larry) Muller Memorial Fund – ASIP Trainee Scholar Award for Excellence in Inflammation Research

Hailey Penticoff, BS
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Steven Sayson, MS
University of Cincinnati

Marion and Lawrence (Larry) Muller Memorial Fund – ASIP Trainee Scholar Award for Excellence in Neurodegenerative Disease Research

Adwitia Dey, PhD, MS
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Gall Trainee Scholar Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research

Nakisha Rutledge, BS
Northwestern University

Sathish Babu Vasamsetti,
University of Pittsburgh

Fatema Tuz Zahra, MA, Bpharm
Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center

ASIP International Scholar Award

Ramon Castellanos Martinez, BS

Elena Fekete, BS
University of Calgary

Nathaniel Lartey Lartey, MPhil

ASIP Trainee Scholar Award

Alexander Dowdell, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center

Hannah Hipkiss, BS
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Lindsey Kennedy, PhD
University of Oklahoma
Health Sciences Center

Xiaohui Liu, PhD
Houston Methodist Research Institute

Jianming Shao, PhD
Houston Methodist Research Institute

Lufei Sui, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital

Imad Tarhoni, MD, PhD, MS
Rush University Medical Center

Ruth Wang, BA, BS
University of Colorado

Meiling Zhang, PhD, MD
Yale University

Shang-Min Zhang, PhD
Yale University School of Medicine

Gotlieb Undergraduate Student in Pathobiology Scholar Award

Dan Colombo, BS
Bates College

Kiera Vaughn, BS
The University of Central Oklahoma

Summer Research Opportunity Program in Pathology Scholar Award

Katherine Byrnes, BS
Tulane University

Histochemical Society Scholar Award

Dakshnapriya Balasubbramanian, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital

Triet Bui, BS
Northwestern University

American Physician Scientists Association Scholar Award

Yao Gao, MD, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Laura Molina, BS
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

PISA 2020 Faculty Scholar Awards

The ASIP Junior Faculty Scholar Awards are offered to promote the participation of early career investigators in scientific meetings and conferences. The awards recognize the outstanding research being conducted by ASIP Regular and Next-Generation Scientist members who are employed as Junior Faculty at institutions around the world. Awardees are selected on the basis of early career productivity and the scientific merit of the submitted abstract.

George K. Michalopoulos
Junior Faculty Scholar Award

Asma Almazyad, PhD
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health and Sciences

Michael Thompson, PhD, MD
Washington University

Luchang Zhu, PhD
Houston Methodist Research Institute

Monga- Hans Junior Faculty Scholar Award

Roberto Mota Alvidrez, MD
University of Pittsburgh

Shengmin Yan, PhD
Tulane University

Dani and Erik Zander
Junior Faculty Scholar Award

Jessica Fortin, PhD, DVM
Michigan State University

Bethany Hannafon, PhD
University of Oklahoma

Troubleshooting Productivity As A PhD Student During The Pandemic

Klotho is a membrane enzyme that is associated with life expectancy. The protein takes its name from one of the three Fates, forever destined to weave people’s lives together and cut the threads when their time comes.

We are all weaved together, in this coronavirus recent past, present, and in its future. This is an indisputable fact. Our health, well-being, and livelihood depend on the outcome of our shared circumstance and, most likely, so does our life expectancy. 

While we are waiting for a vaccine to help spin the threads of our human lives a bit farther, we have to stay calm and productive and most of all, we have to stay true to our uniqueness.

The protocol

A myriad of articles like this and webinars like this popped up in my feed and I did my best, as a PhD student, to listen to expert advice and follow protocols of “how to be productive while working from home” but with little success. In this “experiment”, I define “success” by a singular readout: how well did I do compared to life before the lockdown. The experiment was a flop. 

“Set up a daily routine, have a designated workspace in your house, be positive, start small and find out what motivates you”, the article states. These are just some of the great pieces of advice mentioned in the article. I love all of them! I tried all of them. I can argue that they sum up key ingredients for success not just during a pandemic but, rather, during one’s entire career.


So, how do I troubleshoot my self-professed failure in this “working from home” experiment? And to make things broader: how can PhD students use this time to identify their individual behavioral self-management patterns and improve? 

I have found three things helpful in this primarily introspective quest:

  1. use time to your benefit
  2. trust the experts
  3. invest in your hobbies

Time can be your friend

I weave the concept of “time” in my newly adjusted productivity routine. I have been using the Pomodoro technique for the past month for great results. If only I had known about its well-documented benefits in March. But the technique only allows me 5 minutes to sulk in this regret. And that’s the point. Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time, block this time off, take short breaks, and get the job done. No excuses. A clock is the only aid you need, and it works like a charm. And when it doesn’t work for more than a few hours, you are still more productive than you’d have otherwise been. 

We are all worried about potentially contracting the virus or how well will our loved ones fare this pandemic, but this is not an immediate problem for the next 20 minutes.  And if it is, then productivity should not even be on the radar, to begin with, and one should focus on self-care rather than productivity, as advised here.

Look close to home for expert advice

As PhD students, we are all aware of how important it is to follow expert advice. So, why should this be any different? Start by focusing on your immediate environment. Luckily, as a student in Boston, I am never short of experts around me. I found myself gravitating towards their advice on how to deal with my day-to-day approach during the pandemic. How do they stay productive? How do they deal with at least quadruple my workload without giving up? How do they stay accountable? I asked them and now I am sorting through what works for me and what doesn’t. Trial and error are essential steps in troubleshooting one’s productivity, ALWAYS. Weave your thread with that of your dean, your advisor, your postdoc. Remember that we are all in this together and they are here to help you succeed. 

Hobbies for the win!

The most interesting activities helping me be more productive recently are the ones linked to my hobbies. Throwing myself to my hobbies happily and immediacy was easy at first. I have 3 single-spaced pages worth of hobbies and ideas I want to explore but never find time for. Go back to learning the accordion, practice portrait photography settings with my yet-to-be-used 50mm lens, revise that screenplay I hastily drafted on a bet a year ago, finish that Coursera course. The list goes on and on. During the lockdown, I felt I wasted a lot of time not being productive because I spent a lot of time in my hobbies. And other PhD students feel the same. But, expanding one’s hobbies is so beneficial in advancing productivity because hobbies help PhD students be more balanced and satisfied individuals, which has a ripple effect on every other aspect of their lives.

Productivity in the days to come

As articles of bleak financial futures for PhD students and job losses for all start dominating the news cycles, it is in our best interest to look at what is within our control to learn how to work better while being happy. 

We all deserve our life’s thread to be less tangled than it currently is but that is largely beyond our control. What we can do is fight to become stronger, embrace our uniqueness and our resilience. That, we can do. It is not too late to start in July. This thread is long and detangling it requires a set of skills some of us are only now beginning to develop. I am grateful for a chance to do that for as long as Klotho allows me!

We talk about how to deal with everything and how to work together at free virtual hangouts for trainees, sponsored by ASIP.


Join your fellow ASIP members and get news and updates at ASIP.ORG

Interested in contributing original content to the ASIP blog?

Contact me marina.anastasiou@tufts.edu to get involved!



PISA 2020 has been an outstanding meeting with 5 days of exceptional scientific content, trainee advising sessions, meet-the-expert sessions, networking events, and special sessions.

Thank you all for making #PISA2020 an incredible success!

From all of us here at ASIP a huge

Our first virtual meeting would not be possible without your continued support, engagement, program committee and amazing talks! We will continue to have virtual events.

On-demand content from Monday’s sessions at PISA 2020 are now available for viewing. You will note a camera icon beside the sessions in the schedule for the scientific program on the Confex meeting website. We hope that this on-demand content will be useful for those of you that might have missed a part or all of a session due to other obligations. More on-demand content will roll out every day of the meeting with a 24-48 hour delay from the live sessions to enable processing of the video. The on-demand content will eventually move over to the PISA 2020 website where it will remain accessible for a short period after the end of the meeting. Once the on-demand content moves to the PISA 2020 website, it will become password protected as only PISA 2020 meeting attendees will have access.

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