Junior Scientist


Each year approximately 500 junior scientists (postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) meet at the annual meeting of the RNA Society to present posters and oral presentations among the world’s best and brightest in the field of RNA biology.  The mission of the RNA junior scientists is to promote networking and career building opportunities among graduate students, postdocs and early career scientists belonging to the RNA society. We aim to provide awareness of resources and opportunities for collaboration within this network of scientists. We will highlight breakthroughs in the RNA field, relevant workshops, awards, funding opportunities, events and meetings to foster meaningful interactions among RNA society junior scientists above and beyond those that occur at the annual meetings. 


Simon Hoser  Returning Graduate Student Representative

I am a PhD student at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria in the laboratory of Dr. Alexander Hüttenhofer. Hüttenhofer’s Lab is mostly affiliated with the searching after and characterization of ncRNAs in disease and disease development. Our computational analysis revealed a pre-mRNA-intrinsic, novel type of ncRNA in the introns of several nuclear genes. We found that these ncRNAs affect splicing and I am therefore in the process of defining the mechanism of action of ncRNA-mediated splicing modulation. Since I am working in a department, which is not specifically sophisticated in splicing, I am grateful to be part of an interconnected and diversified organization such as the RNA society. Partaking in the RNA Congress in Krakow in 2019, I was warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic group of young scientists, eager to help and encourage. Now being a member of the RNA Junior Society, I aspire to become a part of this as well, by building up new networks and collaborations for myself and others.


Liana Boraas  Returning Postdoc Representative

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University in Stefania Nicoli’s laboratory in the Cardiovascular Research Center. As a postdoc, my work merges my previous experience with mechanobiology (PhD in biomedical engineering) with my new fascination with RNA biology. Specifically, I’m investigating the functional role of RNA localization and local translation in cell-matrix interactions.
Attending my first RNA Society Meeting in Krakow allowed me to experience the forefront of RNA research and present my own work to the world’s best RNA biologists. I appreciate the support the society has to offer and through the Junior Scientist Committee I have the opportunity to give back. Together, I want to help build a strong scientific community that assists one another at all levels.

Gjendine (Gjenni) Voss (Incoming Postdoc Representative)

I’m a postdoc in Joshua Rosenthal’s lab at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where I study A-to-I RNA editing in squid in response to environmental stimuli. I think RNA is the coolest and most versatile class of molecules out there, and I am particularly interested in the additional layer of plasticity conferred by posttranscriptional modifications like A-to-I editing.

I like the friendly and familiar atmosphere in the RNA society. I hope that I can contribute to providing a path for junior researchers into that network so that we can all share in the same feeling of friendship and collaboration.


Doreen Lugano (Incoming Postdoc Representative)

Hi! My name is Doreen Lugano, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Andrew Routh’s lab at The University of Texas Medical Branch. My current projects focus on the alternative splicing and recombination events during HIV and Ebola virus infection. I am passionate about RNA research, and joining the RNA society felt like having a community in my field of interest. I particularly enjoy the networking and mentorship opportunities this society offers, and I am looking forward to serving the junior scientist in the next few years. Outside science, I enjoy watching football/soccer, spending time with my family, and watching movies.

Faculty Advisors: Aaron Hoskins (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Kelly Nguyen (Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology).

Help us build the junior scientist community throughout the year!

Stay connected to your colleagues throughout the year via social media (we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). We encourage discussions and posts- feel free to post your successes (such as recently published papers), unsuccesses and your questions. The Facebook page is public, whereas the LinkedIn group is private, so feel free to post more specific questions, topics, or job postings.

Email: [email protected]

Sign up for the Junior Scientist listserv

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RNASocietyJuniorScientists/

LinkedIn: RNA Society Junior Scientists (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8152215)

Twitter: @jrRNAscientists



We’ve collected some web and print career-building resources for junior scientists.  Each month we hope to expand this collection.  Please feel free to contact us with suggestions or additional links.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has already curated a comprehensive list of useful career development resources for junior scientists with this LibGuide.
The AAAS Career section has excellent links as well, including an extensive How-To series for young career scientists, an Outreach section for finding career-development live events.

Future of Research (FoR) is an advocacy group dedicated to organizing and bringing together junior scientists for the purposes of improving  conditions and opportunities in the research work environment.

UCSF’s MIND program is a new initiative to generate  and aggregate career development resources and training for graduate students and postdocs initially at UCSF, but eventually nationwide.  Watch for this program to eventually create the largest database (Mind bank) of career development resources available to the community.

We eventually hope to use our own resource page to collect and post career development resources and opportunities for RNA Society Junior Scientists that will be RNA specific, such as the University of Colorado RNA Bioscience Initiative.  So keep checking here for more to come.