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. 


Daniel Oh (Returning Graduate Student Representative)

I am a Ph.D. student at the Rockefeller University in the laboratories of Dr. Robert Darnell and Dr. Nathaniel Heintz. I am currently working on developing a method to study neuronal and non-neuronal cell type-specific RNA regulation in the human brain.

Early on in my research, I attended an RNA Salon sponsored by the RNA Society that inspired my interest in RNA biology which continues to this day in my thesis work. As a member of the RNA Junior Society, I am excited for the opportunity to give back to the organization that sparked my interest in science and to help the RNA scientific community foster more collaboration and networking. 



Jimin Yoon (Returning Graduate Student Representative)

Hi, my name is Jimin Yoon, and I'm a graduate student in Professor Yoosik Kim's lab at KAIST in South Korea. My research projects are dedicated to studying the role of non-coding RNAs in regulating innate immune response systems. In particularly, I am interested in understanding the regulation of long double-stranded RNA in autoimmune disorders and the function of these RNAs in various types of immune cells. As an avid communicator who believes in the importance of interaction among scientists to inspire one another, I am looking forward to take part in building a stronger community among young RNA biologists around the world. One of my life mottos is to "meet people and get inspired." I hope to undertake my role as a member of the RNA Junior Society and bring in ideas to promote such motto among young professionals in the field of RNA Biology.


Laura Hertz  (Incoming Graduate Student Representative)

Hello! I am a 5th year Ph.D. student in Prof. Julius Lucks’ group for RNA Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. My projects study the sequence-structure-function interplay of RNA, using a model system of ligand-binding RNAs, so called “riboswitch” as they switch structures depending on ligand-binding.

Outside of breathing, thinking, and talking about RNA, I pursue activities to increase science accessibility both within the research community and larger society. As a Junior Scientist Representative, I hope to get inspired with others about effectively describing our research to each other and our role as scientists to our local, non-academic communities to bridge the apparently growing gap between science and society. Outside of work, I enjoy musical theater, traveling, playing volleyball, sending postcards, and Taylor Swift.  



Belén Moro-Rotherham (Incoming Postdoc Representative)

I am from Argentina, and as an undergrad my fascination for RNA led me to persue a PhD on microRNA processing. Now, I am a post-doc in sunny Barcelona working in Argonaute proteins subcellular localization and activities in plants. Over my career in several different countries I’ve learned to value people, excellence, impact, and chasing these goals while having fun. As part of the RNA Society I look forward to sharing these values among the Jr Scientists. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, building Legos and playing Nintendo video games.

Faculty Advisors: Carol Lutz (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, NJMS and SGS) and Patricia Baldrich (University of California – Davis)

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.