Posdoctoral Association Committee Members 2017

Nadia SadaatNadia Saadat, PDA Chair
Department of Nutrition and Food Science
Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Nadia Saadat is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. She earned her PhD from Wayne State University. She is interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms of chronic diseases and biomarker discovery for early diagnosis through comprehensive omic techniques. In her current research projects, she is using an integrated analysis of Metabolomics and Transcriptomics/Functional Genomics to investigate the metabolic & gene pathways to identify key players of pathogenesis and their effects on metabolism at Dr. Smiti Gupta's Lab.


Chitra ThakurChitra Thakur, PDA Vice Chair
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Chitra Thakur is a Research Associate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the Wayne State University, Detroit MI. She was awarded the prestigious Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) fellowship from the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments to conduct her doctoral training in Germany. She earned her PhD in Molecular Oncology from the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and conducted her doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried Munich, Germany. Her primary research was focused on the mechanism and the signaling pathways that are deregulated in the development of lung cancer. In her post doctoral research, under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Fei Chen, she is investigating the role of mineral dust induced gene, mdig in the context of environmental mediated carcinogenesis of human breast cancers.


John AnnekenJohn Anneken, PDA Secretary and Treasurer
Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
School of Medicine

Originally from Cincinnati, Dr. John Anneken is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the WSU College of Medicine. He conducted his graduate work in Neuropharmacology in the lab of Dr. Gary Gudelsky at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied the long term effects of MDMA ("Ecstasy") in rodents. After defending his dissertation, John moved to Detroit to work as a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Donald Kuhn, where he continues to study drugs of abuse, as well as rodent models of traumatic brain injury and mood disorders. His long term research interests are to contribute to better understand and treatment of mental health issues.


Veronica ChiuVeronica Chiu, PDA Chair of Events and Fundraising
Department of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine

Dr. Veronica Chiu is a Research Associate in Dr. Alana Conti lab in the Department of Neurosurgery School of Medicine at Wayne State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Washington State University. Her research focuses on the effects of traumatic stress and alcohol dependence on the cannabinoid system in the brain.


Stefanie BaierStefanie Baier, PDA Chair of Professional Development
Academic Affairs, Student Success
Office of the Provost

Dr. Stefanie Baier is a postdoctoral fellow with Academic Affairs, Division Student Success in the Office of the Provost. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Theoretical and Behavioral Foundation at Wayne State University. Her research interests include student development and learning, specifically psycho-social factors influencing student academic success and retention. She is currently studying how self-efficacy, mentorship and sense of belonging impact the success of diverse and first-generation freshman college students. She is also involved with the evaluation of student success initiatives under the supervision of Dr. Monica Brockmeyer and the mentorship of Prof. Shlomo Sawilowsky.


Amy PennarAmy Pennar, PDA Chair of Publications
Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
School of Medicine

Dr. Amy Pennar is a Researchers of Biobehavioral Health in Urban Settings Today (RoBUST) Postdoctoral Fellow in Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Her primary research interests focus on the mechanisms through which health and culture affect individual development and family dynamics as they evolve over time and in diverse contexts. Her postdoctoral research, under the direction of Dr. Sylvie Naar-King and Dr. Mark Luborsky, centers on the effect of HIV-infection on adolescent biopsychological functioning, medication adherence, and long-term health outcomes.