Career and Professional Development Committee


The Career and Professional Development (CAP) committee provides opportunities for the post-doctoral community at both the Evanston and Chicago campuses with information and programs to enhance professional development for their future career.


  • Enhance the professional interactions among postdoctoral fellows by providing networking opportunities for the Northwestern Post-Doctoral community with individuals in both academic and non-academic fields.
  • Design and implement activities for the post-doctoral community to:
    • aide them in transitioning from a post-doctoral position to careers in both academic and non-academic fields
    • develop and enhance leadership skills
  • Evaluate, organize, and distribute information and resources available to Northwestern Post-Doctoral Fellows including Career development information and career advice.

 2018 Activities highlighting these goals:

  • Annual Symposium
  • Networking Lunches
  • Women in STEM and academia initiative

NUPF Career and Professional Development Committee Chair

Ana Vicente-Sanchez – I am a postdoctoral fellow in the labs of David Klumpp and Richard Miller studying the mechanisms by which some E.coli strains produce asymptomatic bacteriuria, and their potential therapeutic use as analgesic probiotics. I joined the NUPF CAP committee in September 2015 motivated to foster the NU postdoctoral community, and help other scientists to explore careers and set goals for career development. I believe career planning is essential not only for professional success but also for personal happiness. For this reason, I am also actively engaged in the organization of social scientific events to facilitate networking and collaborations among Chicago Life Science professionals as event planning committee chair of CHIentist.

CAP Committee Members:

Thomas Stoeger – Thomas enjoys the unknown. His attention has wandered from chemistry to fly breeding to computers to the science of science. He believes that NUPF is a great organization for promoting scientific exchange across disciplines and institutional borders.



Yijuan Du – I joined Dr. James Surmeier’s lab in Department of Physiology as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving my PhD in neuroscience from University of Pittsburgh. My research focuses on cellular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia. I joined NUPF CAP committee in October 2016, with the goal of promoting career exploration and development. I am particularly interested in careers in science writing and intellectual property.



Sandra Hackelberg – I am a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Daniela M Menichella in the Neurology Department. In my project, I seek to understand the molecular mechanisms of painful diabetic neuropathy. I received my PhD from the Phillips University of Marburg, Germany. I moved to the US for my first postdoc at the University of Michigan. At U of M I participated in meetings of the postdoctoral association, and knew I wanted to take a more active role in the postdoc community at Northwestern. I joined the CAP committee in fall 2016.

Ashley DuMont – I received my PhD in Microbiology from New York University in May of 2013, and shortly afterward joined Dr. Nick Cianciotto’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. As a bacteriologist, my graduate and postdoctoral work has focused on characterizing secreted virulence factors utilized by antibiotic-resistant bacteria to cause disease. I recently joined the NUPF Career and Professional Development (CAP) Committee in 2016 as a means to explore career options and disseminate career development opportunities to the Northwestern postdoctoral community. I am actively exploring science communication and writing/editing as a potential career path, and hope to pass on what I learn to the NUPF community!

Luca Lonini – Born biomedical engineer (MSc) and mutating into a data scientist, I received my PhD in Computer Science and I am currently a Postdoc at NU and RIC working on wearables and smartphones data to quantify patient outcomes. I recently joined CAP with the goal of contributing to the organization and dissemination of professional development events, in particular within the area of Data Science and Bioengineering.





Other members:

  • Lisanne Jenkins
  • Serena Tommasini Ghelfi
  • Claire Gerber
  • Sarah Ben Maarmar
  • Dean Procter