Student & Postdoc Association (SPA)
EBRC's Student and Postdoc Association (SPA) represents many of the best and the brightest in our field, and are an important part of the EBRC community. SPA membership is open to all interested students and postdocs in EBRC.
Contact the Executive Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved.
Alex Westbrook (Northwestern/Cornell, President) is a fifth year Ph.D. student at Cornell in the Lucks Lab at Northwestern. She uses RNA regulators to construct control feedback circuits in cell-free systems. Previously, Alex served as a SynBERC industry liaison helping to organizing the Mentorship Program.
Cassandra Barrett (ASU, Secretary) is a third year graduate student in Dr. Karmella Haynes' lab at Arizona State University. She is developing engineering strategies to open chromatin in mammalian genomes. Cassandra is responsible for organizing e-mail lists, taking meeting notes, and acting as the board historian.
Christian Boehm (University of Cambridge, EU Liaison) Christian worked with Pam Silver (Harvard University) as an undergraduate and is now a PhD candidate with Jim Haseloff. Christian is Founder and Chair of the European Association of Students and Postdocs in Synthetic Biology (EUSynBioS), and responsible for developing transatlantic connections between young researchers in synthetic biology.
The SPA fosters interaction among postdocs, students, and PIs across EBRC labs and institutions. We also promote students’ professional development. Our executive committee oversees and plans our activities, often working closely with EBRC staff to coordinate events at conferences and retreats.
Everyone working in a EBRC-affiliated lab is considered a member of our community. We often invite outside guests and potential new collaborators. EBRC has a “big tent” policy that allows for a diverse and inclusive research community that shares the goal of advancing the field for maximum benefit to researchers, our industry partners, and the general public. Each student and postdoc is encouraged to participate in SPA activities and is eligible to serve in a leadership or organizational role.