Executive Council

The USC Postdoctoral Association (or PDA) is governed by an executive council composed of postdoctoral scholars. The executives are elected each year, in late June, for a one-year term, based on nominations from active members of the PDA. The executive council for the 2018-2019 term is:



Dr. Terri Stephen, President


Dr. Richard Van Krieken, Vice President, is a postdoctoral research scholar at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Keck School of Medicine. His studies the mechanisms underlying the development of metastatic lung cancer. His primary research focus is aimed at understanding how the cell surface expression of GRP78 contribute to cancer progression.



Drs. Milind Pore and Oscar Hernandez, Directors of Communication


Dr. Vishnu Tripathi, Director of Information


Dr. Eustace Hsu, Director of Finance


Dr. Stephanie ShishidoDirector of Social Media and Webmaster, is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience focusing on the identification and characterization of circulating tumor cells from the liquid biopsy received from clinical trial cancer patients. Her interests focus on the interactions between the neoplastic cell and the microenvironment, specifically in relation to adhesion and intracellular communication, with an emphasis on cellular imaging, animal modeling, and molecular analyses.



Dr. Francesca Battaglin, USC HSC Representative 


Dr. Anna Kamitakahara, CHLA Representative, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


 Non-Executive Advisors

In addition to the executive team, the PDA solicits input from a few non-executive advisors, who represent various units within the university or provide continuity to new executive teams. Current non-executive advisors are:


Mr. Dan Carino, Associate Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. He enables the PDA to coordinate its activities with those of the university administration, and provides essential logistical support. In addition, he serves as a non-executive advisor to the PDA on all issues and activities, and provides continuity for incoming executive teams.





The PDA is seeking representatives from all USC postdoc constituencies. Representatives form a valuable link between the PDA and individual communities (such as departments, schools, or campuses). In addition, they allow under-represented postdocs to leverage the PDA’s resources and visibility to issues that are relevant to their communities.


Join the Council

The PDA’s Executive Council seeks out nominations for all positions at the beginning of every summer, and elections follow after a month. For vacant positions, nominations are encouraged and accepted year-round. Interested postdocs are strongly encouraged to inquire with the Executive Council about ways to get involved prior to the nomination period. There are numerous ways to contribute.