Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™ provides a wide range of sessions to support the career development of students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.
- Attend our workshops, roundtables, and panel discussions to explore specific career topics and issues
- Network with experienced scientists to gain insight into your own career development
AAI is sponsoring a Jobs Board on the Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™ website. The Jobs Board service is FREE to all meeting registrants and exhibitors. Job Seekers! Review the online Jobs Board to identify positions that target attendees. Reach recruiters directly; job postings will include e-mail addresses for recruiters’ designated contacts. Employers! Take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity to recruit from over 3,000 immunologists at all career stages! Postings will be accepted beginning February 16, 2020.
Career Development Sessions
Monday, May 10, 2021 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Room 1
Sponsored by the AAI Minority Affairs Committee
Generously supported by STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.
- Tonya J. Webb, Univ. of Maryland Sch. of Med.; AAI Minority Affairs Committee Chair
- Mireia Guerau-de-Arellano, The Ohio State Univ.
Networking skills have never been more crucial to ensure success for early/mid-career scientists, including those traditionally under-represented in biomedical research. At the session, take advantage of the opportunity to meet in small-group format with accomplished, senior immunologists and others to hear how they have handled the career challenges you now face and learn what they believe will work for you today. Then, practice networking in a relaxed environment offering a structured networking exercise and personalized feedback on communicating your scientific interests/objectives most effectively. Scientists and trainees of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend!
Discussion Topics and Table Leaders
Grad student: finding a mentor, setting sights on postdoc training
- Claudia V. Jakubzick, Dartmouth Geisel Sch. of Med.; Jose R. Conejo-Garcia, Moffitt Cancer Ctr.
- Luis A. Sanchez-Perez, Tune Therapeutics; Robert J. Binder, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Postdoc: finding a mentor, setting sights on a faculty position
- Mireia Guerau-de-Arellano, The Ohio State Univ.; De’Broski R. Herbert, Univ. of Pennsylvania Sch. of Vet. Med.
- C. Henrique Serezani, Vanderbilt Univ. Med. Ctr.; Prosper N. Boyaka, The Ohio State Univ.
Junior Faculty: preparing for promotion and tenure
- Harlan P. Jones, Univ. of North Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr.; Elina Zúñiga, Univ. of California, San Diego
- Luis J. Montaner, Wistar Inst.; Adriana T. Larregina, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Academia or Industry: how to decide (or switch sides)
- Amina Abdul Qayum, Siolta Therapeutics; Jonathan P. Deane, Kumquat Biosciences
- Cherié L. Butts, Biogen; Louis E. Gonzalez, Shattuck Labs
- Frann Antignano, STEMCELL Technologies; Robert Balderas, BD Biosciences
Government Agency Careers
- Jennifer Martinez, NIEHS, NIH; Marta Catalfamo, Georgetown Univ. (formerly, NIH)
Non-Bench Research Science Careers
- Entrepreneurship and Grants implementation/compliance—Tonya J. Webb, Univ. of Maryland; WebbCures, IMMUNE 3D and Screen Therapeutics; Julio Aliberti, NIAID, NIH
- Nonprofits/Foundations—Aliyah M. Weinstein, Addgene; Derek Haseltine, Hertz Fdn.
- Science policy and Scientific publishing—Lauren G. Gross, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, AAI; Nicole Beauchamp, Science Associate, AAI
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Room 1
NIH Grants Workshop: Demystifying the Grant Application Submission, Review, and Funding Processes
- Tina M. McIntyre, CSR, NIH
- Tina M. McIntyre, CSR, NIH
- Joseph Breen, NIAID, NIH
- Deborah L. Hodge, CSR, NIH
This workshop will provide participants with an overview of NIH grant submission, assignment, review, and funding opportunities. Emphasis will be given to identification of the most appropriate funding agencies and mechanisms available through NIH, how to make an application “reviewer friendly,” and other strategies that contribute to applications that succeed in obtaining research funding. The workshop will also provide information on how to understand the peer review system, which is essential to competing successfully for funding, with a focus on recent changes to the review process. NIH review and program staff will provide a broad array of expertise and encourage questions from seminar participants. This workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about preparing an NIH grant application and obtaining NIH funding. Trainees and independent investigators are welcome.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Room 1
Careers in Science Roundtables
Sponsored by the AAI Education Committee & AAI Committee on the Status of Women
Generously supported by the Allen Institute for Immunology
- Laura A. Solt, Scripps Res., AAI Committee on the Status of Women Chair
- Dorina Avram, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Ctr. and Res. Inst.
- Joan M. Goverman, Univ. of Washington, Overcoming self-doubt and becoming a confident scientist
At this popular session, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with experienced scientists to explore specific career issues important to today's scientists. Gain insights into issues you are confronting in your own career. Topics include international opportunities in science, succeeding in graduate school, tips on grant writing, considerations for scientists in M.D.-Ph.D. careers, and exciting careers beyond the bench. New to the 2021 session are topics on building productive mentor/mentee relationships, overcoming self-doubt, and tackling gender biases in recruitment, research, and leadership. Other topics will include navigating work-life issues, such as balancing careers with family and transitioning from specific career stages, which may be relevant to any work environment (academic research, biotech industry, governmental agencies, non-profit). Don’t miss this great opportunity!
New PI (mentoring effectively, recruiting students and postdocs, preparing for promotion, tips for balancing teaching and research)
- Shari Pilon-Thomas, Moffitt Cancer Ctr.; Irene Salinas, Univ. of New Mexico
- Keke Fairfax, Univ. of Utah; Melissa Brown, Northwestern Univ. Feinberg Sch. of Med.
Succeeding in Graduate School
- Laura Solt, Scripps Reseacrh Institute; Katherine Buckley, Auburn University
Graduate Student to Postdoc
- Natalie Steinel, Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell; Ann Griffith, Univ. of Texas Hlth., San Antonio
- Evelien Bunnik, Univ. of Texas Hlth., San Antonio; Lisa Denzin, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Med. Sch.
Postdoc to PI
- Paulo Rodriguez, Moffitt Cancer Ctr.; Juliet Morrison, Univ. of California, Riverside
- Guangming Zhong, Univ. of Texas Hlth., San Antonio; Justin Milner, Univ. of Northa Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Kate MacNamara, Albany Med. Col.; Daniela Gomez-Atria, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Building Networking Skills
- Meera Nair, Univ. of California, Riverside; Yina Huang, Geisel Sch. of Med. at Dartmouth
Biotech and Industry
- Theodore Drashanky, Merck; Sadiye Rieder, Horizon Therapeutics
- Divya Sagar, Loxo Onc at Lilly; Annie Lau-Kilby, Horizon Therapeutics
- Frann Antignano, StemCell Technologies; Kerry Casey, Regeneron
- Lisa Caproni, Touchlight Genetics; Tamara Reyes Robles, Merck Research Laboratories
- Isis Kanevsky, Pfizer; Ingrid Scully, Pfizer
- Louis Gonzalez, Shattuck Labs; Laura Walker, Adimab; Lynn Becker, The Allen Inst.
Overcoming Self-Doubt and Becoming a Confident Scientist
- Sarah Gaffen, Univ. of Pittsburg; Joan Goverman, Univ. of Washington
Tackling Gender Biases in Recruitment, Research, and Leadership
- Dorina Avram, Moffitt Cancer Ctr.; Ilhem Messaoudi, Univ. of California, Irvine
Careers in Government Agencies
- Deborah Hodge, NIH/CSR; Swinburne (Jason) Augustine, EPA
- Liang Zhou, Univ. of Florida; Catarina Sacristan, Trends in Immunology
Opportunities for Scientists in Non-profits/Foundations & Careers in Science Policy
- Aliyah Weinstein, Addgene; Troy Torgerson, The Allen Inst.
Grant Writing for PIs
- Jose Conejo-Garcia, Moffitt Cancer Ctr.; Melissa Lodoen, Univ. of California, Irvine
Research from M.D., Ph.D. Perspective/The Physician Scientist
- Tyler Curiel, Univ. of Texas Hlth., San Antonio; Megan Cooper, Washington Univ., St. Louis
- JoAnne Flynn, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Lubka Roumenina, Cordeliers Res. Ctr.
- Judith Mandl, McGill Univ.; Carlos Acevedo-Suarez, Univ. of Puerto Rico
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Room 2
Panel Discussion: Minority Scientists’ Experience: Challenging and Overcoming Barriers to Enhancing Diversity and Career Advancement
Sponsored by the AAI Minority Affairs Committee
- Tonya J. Webb, Univ. of Maryland Sch. of Med., AAI Minority Affairs Committee Chair
- Harlan P. Jones, Univ. of North Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr.
- Cherié L. Butts, Biogen, The importance of fostering a health equity mindset across the biomedical research ecosystem
- Mireia Guerau-de-Arellano, The Ohio State Univ., How to be an ally in front of microaggressions
- Harlan P. Jones, Univ. of North Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr., Creating self-efficacy and persistence by engaging in a community of practice
- Luis J. Montaner, Wistar Inst., Does the minority status help or hurt in career advancement? My experience from student to chaired professor
- Luis A. Sanchez-Perez, Tune Therapeutics, Be mentored, be present, be a leader… How becoming a leader promotes diversity and career advancement in academia or industry
Today’s urgent national attention on race and racism challenges institutions and individuals, including scientists, to contribute their voices and actions to ending the toll racism takes on society and science careers. In this important and timely discussion, panelists will draw from their experiences and share their perspectives on strategies for dealing with barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion that persist in society and science. This session, open to all meeting attendees, is intended to provoke dialogue on the part of all participants about the individual and institutional actions—and inaction—that perpetuate barriers to career advancement.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Room 4
How to Have a Successful Postdoctoral Experience
- Mary T. Litzinger, AAI
- Lori Conlan, Office of Postdoctoral Services, NIH
A postdoctoral fellowship is the time to develop research skills you will need to succeed as an independent scientist. It is, however, just as important to realize that you need to prepare for a career path at the same time. This session will highlight ways of getting the most out of your postdoctoral fellowship, relating successfully with your mentor, and understanding how to use the resources available to you to ensure that your training prepares you adequately for a seamless transition into the next phase of your career.
Thursday, May 13, 2021 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM Room 2
Careers in Biotech Panel Discussion
Sponsored by the AAI Education Committee
Generously supported by BD Biosciences
- H. Kiyomi Komori, Arena Pharmaceuticals
- Mary T. Litzinger, Director of Educational and Career Development, AAI
- Lokesh A. Kalekar, Senior Scientist, eGenesis, Inc.
- Sadiye A. Rieder, Senior Scientist, Horizon Therapeutics
- Rachel S. Soloff, Senior Director of Research, Kyowa Kirin, Inc.
- Tania Wiens, Senior Director of Business Development, Precision for Med.
Many opportunities exist in biotechnology for scientists with advanced degrees. There are positions in laboratory research, program management, business development, regulatory affairs, clinical trials oversight, medical liaison, and more. This panel features scientists employed in a variety of positions discussing their career paths and the skills required for success in each.
Friday, May 14, 2021 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Room 4
Immunology Teaching Interest Group: Enhancing Your Immunology Teaching
Sponsored by the AAI Education Committee
- Edith Porter, California State Univ., Los Angeles
- Michelle A. Swanson-Mungerson, Midwestern Univ.
- Edith Porter, California State Univ., Los Angeles, Undergraduate curriculum guidelines
- Michelle A. Swanson-Mungerson, Midwestern Univ., Student application of immunology concepts and mechanisms through test-based learning on Canvas
- Gerald L. Buldak, Loyola Univ. Chicago, Toward an animated visual model for teaching immunology
- Pierette M. Appasamy, Chatham Univ., Avoiding the “can’t see the forest for the trees” problem in teaching immunology
Breakout Session Leaders:
- William H. Carr, Medgar Evers Col., CUNY, A hands-on workshop on using H5P as an active learning tool to build content-based critical thinking skills
- Sharon A. Stranford, Pomona Col., Active learning strategies
- Natalie C. Steinel, Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Abby L. Geis, Arkansas Col. of Osteopathic Med., Innovation in the medical immunology classroom
- Julie M. Jameson, California State Univ., San Marcos, and Paula Kavathas, Yale Univ. Sch. of Med., Virtual teaching strategies
Are you looking for new ideas or strategies to enliven and improve your teaching? If so, please join us for this special interest group which will focus on strategies that instructors can use to successfully convey immunology concepts to students at the undergraduate and graduate level. The session will explore the use of test-based learning, animated visual models, active learning strategies, and more through talks and structured breakout discussion groups. Current educators, new faculty, and trainees with an interest in teaching are welcome.
Friday, May 14, 2021 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Room 4
How to Convert Your CV into a Résumé
For anyone seeking a job outside of academe, how you present yourself on paper is critical. A well-prepared résumé can make all the difference in securing that interview. The focus of this session will be on the important elements of a résumé, the differences between a résumé and the standard academic curriculum vitae, and the information needed to make a good impression. In this special career development session, attendees will be instructed in how to transform their CVs into professional résumés.
Saturday, May 15, 2021 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Room 3
Interviewing for a Job
This session will be focused on tips and techniques to help you successfully navigate the interview process. Emphasis will be on how you can present yourself in the best possible light. You will also learn how to respond to unexpected questions. This session is open to anyone but is especially intended for student and postdoctoral attendees.