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Office of the Vice President for Research

USC Postdoctoral Association

Executive Board

At USC, postdoctoral scholars receive research training and professional opportunities to help them build upon the foundation they developed in their doctoral training. At the same time, these scholars provide great service to their academic communities, enhancing research and educational programs throughout the university.

The USC Postdoctoral Association was formed in early 2014 to connect postdoctoral fellows from every discipline, and provide opportunities for them to share their experiences and learn from faculty and other mentors. Their mission is to support and improve the postdoctoral training experience at USC by providing opportunities and resources for networking, professional development, social interaction, research and teaching.


2018-2019 Executive Board

Dr. Vancho Kocevski

President Vancho Kocevski, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kocevski earned his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden, before working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Northwestern University for 2 years. His research interests include thermodynamic modeling of materials, electron microscopy, and developing and utilizing methodologies for materials discovery and design. He has experience using computational materials approaches such as density functional theory, ab-initio and classical molecular dynamics, and the multislice method. Kocevski has served as a chair of the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) Social Committee and as a member of the NUPF Career and Professional Development committee.

Dr. Mohammad Rifat Haider

Vice President Mohammad Rifat Haider, PhD, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior

Dr. Mohammad Rifat Haider earned his Ph.D. in Health Services Policy and Management from the University of South Carolina. He also obtained his master’s degrees in Health Economics and Population Sciences and Bachelor degree in Medicine from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Haider’s current research interest includes health services research on infectious diseases, e.g., HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, big data analytics and its application in healthcare, economic evaluation of health programs, and health inequity in both developed and developing country settings.

Dr. LaDrea Ingram

Treasurer LaDrea Ingram, PhD, South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality

Dr. LaDrea Ingram is a social behavioral scientist and community health educator. She earned her doctoral degree in Health Education & Behavioral Studies from Columbia University, Teachers College. She received a Master of Arts in Government with a concentration in social policy from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Science in Health and Medical Policy from George Mason University. Her primary research interests include psychosocial determinates of health and health disparities. While at CHQ, LaDrea will focus her research on the cultural and social manifestations of HIV stigma in the Deep South.

Dr. Mrinmay Chakrabarti

Secretary Mrinmay Chakrabarti, PhD, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy


Dr. Hasan Kashef Alghetaa

Resource Development Committee Officer Hasan Kashef Alghetaa, VMD, MSc, PhD, Department of Pathology, Immunology and Microbiology

Dr. Alghetaa has gotten his Veterinary Medical Degree 2001, Master of Sciences of Theriogenology in 2004 and PhD of Reproductive Physiology in 2008 from College of Veterinary Medicine University of Baghdad – Iraq. He joined current position in School of Medicine as a visiting Assistant Professor since 2014 to present. The main area of his researches is focusing on the effects of some natural plants extracts in ameliorating of some autoimmune diseases as well as mischievous responses of the immune system against some conditions like endometriosis and acute inflammatory responses induced by staphylococcal enterotoxin. Dr. Alghetaa has presented his work findings in many of national and international conferences as American Association of Immunology (AAI 2017, AAI 2018 and AAI 2019), Society of Toxicology (SoT 2016, 2017, 2018 and SoT2019) and some other meetings in Australia and Taiwan, and his presented poster was awarded as second honor place by the Vice President for Research in University of South Carolina during 2018-Discover USC event. Dr. Alghetaa has recently published an article in Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and has other manuscripts are under processing.

Dr. Evelyn Chukwurah

Outreach Committee Chair Evelyn Chukwurah, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Evelyn Chukwurah obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of South Carolina under the supervision of Dr. Rekha Patel, where she investigated the roles dsRNA binding proteins play in modulating the cellular response to physiological stressors. She currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Sofia Lizarraga’s laboratory, where she uses human stem cell derived neurons and microglia as models to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Dr. Tine Verreet

International Officer Committee Chair Tine Verreet, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Tine Verreet obtained her Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology and radiobiology from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium, where she studied the early- and long-term effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure during mouse brain development. Passionate about neurobiology research, Tine came to the United States as a postdoc to have a new experience and work with the zebrafish as a new model for studying nervous system development. In the Poulain lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, Tine is investigating the intracellular mechanisms underlying axon guidance and degeneration.

Dr. Ratanesh K. Seth

Faculty Advisor Ratanesh K. Seth, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Seth has completed his education and training from premier/renowned Institutions, Universities and Pharmaceutical Industry from India and USA. He has contributed significantly to the field of the environment associated human disease especially environmental toxicology and immunology. He has worked on many national/international collaborative projects and published more than 28 peer reviewed research article in various high impact scientific journals and presented at more than 20 national/international conferences. He is passionate about identifying molecular cues and mechanism which connects environment and inflammatory liver disease in order to improve human health. Dr. Seth also teaches a course “ENHS 321-Environmental Pollution and Health”. He has contributed to the scientific administration as editorial board member, reviewer of several high impacted journals and grant proposals from the USA and abroad.


Past Executive Board Members

  • President: Ratanesh K. Seth, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Vice President: Marpe Bam, Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Treasurer: Alexandra Kingston, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences
  • Secretary: Rachel Saylor, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • International Officer Committee Chair: Tine Verreet, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences
  • International Officer Committee Member: Vancho Kocevski, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Outreach Committee Chair: Alexandra Basilakos, Ph.D., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Faculty Advisor: Sayward Harrison, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior 

  • President: Madison DeMello, Ph.D., College of Nursing
  • Vice President: Brielle Stark, Ph.D., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Sayward Harrison, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, and SC Smart State Center for Healthcare Quality
  • President: Amanda Sharko, Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience
  • Vice President: Jennifer Flynn, Exercise Science
  • Secretary/Treasurer: LeAnna Ledford, Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Faculty Advisor: Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Staff Advisor: Lauren Clark, Office of Research


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