GRADUCon 2018 - First Year as Faculty in STEM Panel


We think and talk a lot about the scholarship that goes into obtaining a tenure track professor position. But what does the day-to-day of a first year faculty member actually look like? From administrative roles to committee meetings, and from teaching loads to progress toward tenure — there’s a lot that goes into a “rookie year.” Hear from recent PhD alumni about what they learned and did in their first year as a faculty member. This session will be dedicated specifically to faculty in STEM disciplines.


Tetsuya Nakamura, Assistant Professor of Genetics, Rutgers University (Postdoc 2017)

I am an assistant professor in Department of Genetics, Rutgers University. My long-term research goal is to reveal and understand the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms underlying the fish diversity and its contribution to vertebrate major transitions. Bridging functional genomics, experimental embryology, and comparative anatomy, I will answer long-standing and classical questions of vertebrate evolution. I obtained Ph.D. in Osaka University (Japan), worked as a posdoc for one year, and conducted research as an assistant professor for four years. After moving to US, I focused on fish research for five years at the University of Chicago and recently started my lab at Rutgers University.

Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Assisstant Professor, Midwestern Univertsity (Postdoc 2017)

My name is Kristina Martinez-Guryn and I am currently an Assistant Professor at Midwestern University where I run my own lab and teach Biostatistics in the Winter quarter. I completed my postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in the Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, and have been in my current position for approximately 6 months. I study the role of gut microbes in regulating metabolic disease. I’m particularly interested in understanding how microbes residing in the upper small intestine regulate lipid absorption that may lead to increased body weight and body fat. I enjoy student mentoring and training and currently have two graduate students in my lab who are working toward their Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences here at Midwestern University.

Colin Bischoff, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Cincinnatti (PhD Physics 2010)

I am an observational cosmologist, studing the Cosmic Microwave Background using telescopes at the South Pole. I received my PhD in physics at University of Chicago in 2010, then spent six years as a postdoc and research scientist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I moved to the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor in 2016.


Alex High, Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago (PhD Physics UCSD 2012)

The High group focuses on developing new methods to control light-matter interaction at the smallest possible length-scales, with the dual goals of realizing applications in optical information processing as well as studying emergent physics.