RNA Junior Scientists

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.


Junior Scientist Committee Representatives


Kristopher Brannan Postdoc Representative

I am fourth year postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Gene Yeo’s group at UCSD. My research is focused on characterization of RNA-binding activity for newly discovered RNA-binding protein candidates and rational design of new RNA-protein interactions. I’ve enjoyed participating on the RNA Junior Scientist Committee for the last two years and networking with all the fantastic invited speakers and wonderful RNA-Society colleagues involved with our workshops and events.


Eleonora de Klerk – Postdoc Representative

I completed my PhD at Leiden University Medical Center, in The Netherlands, under the supervision of Prof. P.A.C. ‘t Hoen and Prof.  J.T. den Dunnen. During my PhD I was investigating alternative regulatory mechanism of gene expression in the context of skeletal muscle biology, focusing on the process of alternative polyadenylation in Oculopharyngeal muscular Dystrophy. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in Hebrok’s group  at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco – USA), where I focus on pancreatic beta cell biology, with the long-term objective of generating hESC-derived and hIPSC-derived ß-cells that can be used to treat diabetic patients in the near future.
By joining the RNA Junior Scientists Committee this year, I hope I’ll help connecting PhDs and Postdocs working in the RNA field. The way we are doing this is by organizing fun and constructive activities during the annual RNA Society meeting (such as our pre-meeting bike tour, the afternoon drinks, and a career development workshop!).
I strongly believe this is the best way to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and to create bridges between labs!
I am looking forward to seeing you all at Berkeley/San Francisco this May!


  Julie Loiselle – Postdoc Representative

I am currently a first year postdoctoral fellow at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. My current research project aims to determine the molecular mechanisms regulating the development of various liver diseases, including steatosis and cancer. As part of the RNA Society’s Junior Scientist Committee, I am most excited to be involved in engaging junior scientists, and providing important career development and networking opportunities, particularly during the annual meeting. Looking forward to meeting everyone at UC Berkeley this spring!

Fadi Bahjat MarayatiScreenshot 2017-01-08 17.39.45 – Graduate Student Representative

I am originally from Aleppo, Syria. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. In 2012, I moved to North Carolina to study for my Master of Science in Biology at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. I am currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Biology at Wake Forest University where I work at the intersection of RNA Biology and Epigenetics; I focus primarily on the fission yeast MTREC and EJC orthologs and their role in the maturation of meiotic mRNA transcripts during meiosis. As a Junior Scientist Committee member, I plan to continue the society’s solid career development efforts and stress the importance of engaging young scientists through social media and online workshops, outside of the time frame of the yearly meeting. I hope that young scientists can gain a strong sense of inclusion in the society, and can benefit from the career development workshops to see their future in the field from the perspective of academia and industry professionals.


Faculty Advisors: Katrin Karbstein (Scripps Research Institute Florida) and Samuel Butcher (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


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) and your questions. The Facebook page is public, so we would like to highlight and celebrate RNA science on this page. The LinkedIn group is private, so feel free to post more specific questions, topics, or job postings.

Email: junior_scientists@nullrnasociety.org

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