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CBS Postdoc Committee

The CBS Postdoc Committee aims to support postdocs by providing career development opportunities, providing networking events, and by serving as a line of communication between postdocs and CBS leadership. The committee is composed of postdocs and research associates from each department:

Maureen QuinMaureen Quin, CBS Postdoc Representative, mbquin@umn.edu

CBS Postdoc Committee Organizer

Maureen is a Research Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics department. Her research focuses on designing and creating new supramolecular complexes as scaffolding systems for nanobiotechnology and biocatalytic processes. She uses a combination of synthetic biology, bioinformatics, protein engineering, microscopy and structural biology to explore how different protein architectures can be assembled in vivo and in vitro. Maureen also develops approaches to target enzymes to the protein scaffolds, to understand the effect of spatial organization on multi-enzyme biocatalytic cascade efficiency.


Tara EndersTara Enders, PMB Postdoc Representative, tenders@umn.edu

CBS Postdoc Events Coordinator

Tara is a Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Nathan Springer in the Plant and Microbial Biology department. Tara's current projects utilize multiple -omics approaches to study abiotic stress responses during maize seedling growth and development. The integration of phenomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics data sets will greatly increase our understanding of abiotic stress responses, and help to increase plant performance in the face of a changing climate. Tara received her PhD in the lab of Lucia Strader at Washington University in St Louis, studying auxin signaling pathways in Arabidopsis.


Rahul RoyRahul Roy, PMB Postdoc Representative, rroy@umn.edu

CBS Postdoc Events Coordinator

Rahul is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Clay Carter's group in the Plant and Microbial Biology department. His current focus is dissecting the hormonal and biochemical networks that modulate nectar production and quality in flowers. He uses a combination of molecular biology, genetic, biochemical and live cell imaging techniques to explore the dynamics of nectar biology in plants such as Arabidopsis, summer squash, Brassica sp etc. During his PhD, at Iowa State University, he researched aspects of root biology such as lateral root emergence and root responses to gravity as part of a NASA funded grant. He is also an active educator with interests in improving learning and pedagogy. When not in the lab he loves gaming, biking and cooking with his family.


Francois GaaschtFrancois Gaascht, BMBB Postdoc Representative, fgaascht@umn.edu

Publicity and Outreach

Francois is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics department. After several professional experiences in different parts of Europe in the field of drug discovery from natural products, Francois joined the Schmidt-Dannert aboratory to implement and develop a new research project focused on the discovery of new drugs from Midwestern Mushrooms.


Robyn RebbeckRobyn Rebbeck, BMBB Postdoc Representative, rrebbeck@umn.edu

Liaison with Faculty and Postdocs

Robyn is an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow (July 2014-June 2018), working with the Thomas and Cornea labs in the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics department. Using spectroscopic techniques, her research focuses on understanding the relationship between structure and function in regulation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release channel, ryanodine receptor. This work is also partnered by a translational goal to develop high-throughput screening methods for discovery of RyR targeted compounds that relieve deleterious SR Ca2+ leak that contributes to the pathology of several severe diseases.


Linh Chau, BTL Postdoc Representative, lchau@umn.edu

Liaison with Faculty and Postdocs

Linh is a Postdoctoral Associate working with Anita Schuchardt in the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning. She is interested in improving how mathematics is taught to undergraduate biology students. Currently, she is focused on assessing students’ abilities to make connections between math equations and the biological phenomena they represent and how are students taught those math equations. Linh received her PhD in the lab of Michael Goodisman at Georgia Institute of Technology, studying social insect genomics.  


Kellie AgrimsonKellie Agrimson, GCD Postdoc Representative, kagrimso@umn.edu

Finances and Funding

Kellie is a TREM Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Genetics, Cell and Development. She grew up in Great Falls, MT and earned her BA in Biology and minor in mathematics at Carroll College in Helena, MT.  She then moved to Washington State University in Pullman, WA and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in the summer of 2016.  While at WSU, she investigated the role of vitamin A on the onset of mouse neonatal spermatogenesis and the establishment of the spermatogonial stem cell pool.  As a reproductive biologist, she wanted to continue studying testis and ovarian biology and accepted a postdoctoral research position in the lab of Drs. David Zarkower and Vivian Bardwell at UMN.  She entered the TREM (Training Research Educators of Minnesota) program in the Fall of 2017 and is looking forward to accumulating more teaching experience and becoming a better mentor.  When she isn’t working in the lab or classroom, she enjoys relaxing with her husband, Daniel, and golden retriever puppy, Moose.


Chiara AccollaChiara Accolla, EEB Postdoc Representative, caccolla@umn.edu

Finances and Funding

Chiara Accolla is a Postdoctoral associate in the lab of Valery Forbes in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior department. She is interested in modelling impacts of stressors on ecological systems. Most of her work focuses on developing models at the individual level (IBM) in order to extrapolate effects of stressors, inter- and intra-species interactions at population and higher levels of biological organization. This approach will give new important insights to better manage ecosystems when pollution occurs.


Jeremy ChaconJeremy Chacon, EEB Postdoc Representative, chaco001@umn.edu

Publicity and Outreach

Jeremy studies the ecological relationships between bacteria in a community.  In what environments do specific bacteria compete or cooperate? Where and when can they stably coexist? How does growth in a structured environment alter their relationships? He attempts to answer questions like these with a variety of approaches, mostly focused around theoretical modeling these days. His favorite tool at the moment is genome-scale metabolic modeling, which makes a grand conjecture: that the ecological relationships between species can be correctly predicted simply by classifying their genes into the different biochemical reactions they can perform.  He hopes that conjecture is right, because increasing our basic understand of bacterial communities and our ability to predict community structure and function will have many applications to microbiomes in many hosts. When he is not staring at a computer, puzzled by baffling modeling results, Jeremy is probably playing with his family, on the guitar, in the kitchen, in the yard, or on a make believe adventure in a treacherous land.