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2018 Symposium information

The Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at the University of Kentucky is hosting a symposium to feature the work of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students in Kentucky and surrounding areas. The symposium will allow for the exchange of ideas across a broad range of fields, and abstract submissions are welcome from any discipline. Postdocs from Kentucky and Ohio are especially encouraged to submit abstracts. Graduate students are also welcome to participate. The objective of this symposium is to share research across many different fields. 

Event details:

When: Friday, June 1st, 2018

Where: Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Keynote speaker: Dr. Desirée Salazar, program director of Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at the NIH.


Desirée Salazar, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. She administers Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) and Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) grants and Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) awards. Dr. Salazar also manages Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and Research Supplements to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers program and oversees predoctoral T32 cellular, biochemical and molecular sciences grants. She also manages research grants in the area of stem cell biology and regeneration in the Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

Salazar was most recently a scientific program manager at the American Society for Cell Biology. Formerly, she was a program education coordinator for the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) program at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a B.S. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Salazar conducted postdoctoral research and was an IRACDA fellow at the University of California, San Diego.

Other planned speakers and panels: TBD

Abstract submission:


  • Friday, May 11th for Oral Presentations 

  • Friday, May 18th for Poster Presentations


Abstracts should provide a concise summary of the research to be presented. The title may not exceed 150 characters in length, while the body of the abstract may not exceed 1000 characters in length. 

Posters and talks should be general and accessible to an audience outside of the speaker's area of specialization. Talks are allotted 15 minutes, including time for questions. Posters should be no more than 36"x48" in size and speakers should be prepared to present a brief and concise summary of the poster. Contact us if you would like to present a digital poster or short film about your research. 

Submit your abstract now


Compete with other postdocs to earn cash prizes for the top oral and poster presentations! A total of $650 is available for the top oral and poster presentations. 


  • Oral presentation, first place
  • Oral presentation, second place
  • Poster presentation, first place
  • Poster presentation, second place
  • Poster presentation, third place

Thanks to sponsorship by the International Center we will award one prize from each category from among the submissions by international students. A second prize from each category will be awarded to the overall winners. 

Schedule of Events


8:30 AM         Registration Opens

9:00 AM         Welcome, Emily Hankosky, Ph.D.

9:05 AM         Opening Remarks, Patricia Bond, Ph.D., Senior Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Admissions & Recruitment

9:10 AM         Keynote Address, Desirée Salazar, Ph.D.

Leveraging postdoctoral training to achieve career success: My journey to science administration

10:00 AM       Oral presentations, Moderated by Marina Fosso Yatchang, Ph.D.

Speakers TBD

10:45 AM       Break

11:00 AM       Panel Discussion, Moderated by Stephanie Davis, Ph.D.

Speaking My Language: Effectively Communicating Your Research

Carmen Agouridis, Ph.D., Mike Pennell, Ph.D., Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, Ph.D., Cagney Coomer

12:00 PM        Poster Session and Networking Lunch (poster judging 12:30-1:30)

Moderated by Ellen Crocker, Ph.D.

2:00 PM          Oral presentations, Moderated by Emily Hankosky, Ph.D.  

Speakers TBD

3:00 PM          Break

3:15 PM          Oral presentations, Moderated by Lindsey Hammerslag, Ph.D.

Speakers TBD

4:30 PM          Closing Remarks and Awards Ceremony

Please join us for a social after the event at Pazzo’s Pizza Pub!

We would love to have you on the SOPS planning team! Sign up for the SOPS listserv, find us on Facebook, and let us know how you’d like to be involved.

Funding for the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars 4th Annual Research Symposium was kindly provided by the following sponsors:

University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President of Research

University of Kentucky Student Government Association

University of Kentucky Graduate School

University of Kentucky International Center

Post-Symposium Dinner

When: Friday, June 1, 2018 5:00 pm Where: Pazzo's Pizza Pub (385 S Limestone, Lexington, Kentucky 40508) Description: After the Fourth Annual Research Symposium, network and socialize with the presenters and attendees over dinner at Pazzo's! We'll meet at the Jacob's Science Building at 4:45 pm to walk over, or meet us there. Look for the SOPS sign!

An overview of the 2017 SOPS Research Symposium can be found here.