The SURPAS Leadership Team

The SURPAS Leadership Team

The leadership team is a core group of council members who ensure the smooth-running of SURPAS affairs and progress of the postdoc situation at Stanford and nationwide. We work closely with the rest of the SURPAS Council and Committees, as well as Stanford administration (primarily the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), VPGE etc.) to make sure the voices and needs of postdocs are well heard and represented.

Leadership positions are yearlong. With the exception of the mid-year co-chair, elections are typically in June for a leadership transition in July. The mid-year co-chair is elected in January with a one year term, to ensure continuity in leadership. To run for leadership positions, you must be a council member, which means you must have attended at least one meeting prior to leadership elections.

Current SURPAS Leadership

Chinyere IwekaChinyere Iweka

Chinyere is a 3rd year Postdoc in the Neurology Department, studying the effect of circadian rhythm disruption on immunometabolism and stroke. Her goal is to understand how disruption of circadian rhythms predispose one to stroke injury by studying its effects on metabolic pathways in immune cells, as well as the effect of this disruption on post-stroke severity and outcome. In addition to her studies, she is an AP Biology instructor for the Stanford Online High School, where she will be able to indulge my love for teaching and hopefully inspire young potential scientists.

When not engaged in research or teaching, She is immersed in my full-time job as a mom of 3, conveying them from school to one activity or the other. Chinyere believes that her greatest achievement is attaining and maintaining a feasible and healthy work-life balance, as it relates to science, time management and nerves of steel. At other times, she is working to promote diversity in STEM by working with ACT-SO and reaching out to students of color at the high school level. STEM is very intimidating and it is important for students to know that it is achievable.

Chinyere’s aspirations as SURPAS Co-Chair is to advocate for affordable housing, healthcare, retirement benefits, diversity and inclusion, and child-care benefits for postdocs. Together, she believes we will work to ensure postdocs continue to have a VOICE at Stanford University.

Julia AbitbolJulia Abitbol

Julia is a 2nd year postdoc in the Otolaryngology Department, studying the biology and mechanisms of cochlear supporting cell regeneration. Her ultimate goal is to study and develop strategies for treating hearing loss. Before starting her postdoc, she moved from Canada where her PhD research focused on gap junction mutations in hearing loss. She is passionate about advancing technologies and contributing to science that may help others. Currently, she is part of the Teaching & Outreach and JEDI committees. Julia enjoys meeting new people, enjoying the outdoors, and reading. As Co-Chair of SURPAS it’s her goal to continue to build this community, continue to recruit and engage with SURPAS team, and together advocate for Stanford postdocs.

Advocacy Coordinator


Divya Pathak
Events Coordinator

Divya is a 3rd postdoc in the Biochemistry department, studying different disease-causing mutations in cardiac myosin leading to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her goal is to understand the molecular basis of the disease by using various biochemical and biophysical assays with purified myosin. Originally from India, her doctoral thesis focused on understanding the phagosome’s intracellular transport.

Outside of the lab, she is passionate about creating community among postdocs and is always looking forward to interacting with new people. Currently, she co-chairs the Teaching and Outreach committee to provide postdocs opportunities to popularise science among different ages.

 Geetha Saarunya Clarke
Communications Director

Geetha is currently on her first year of a 2-year Postdoctoral fellowship from NIGMS in the department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain medicine. As a SURPAS communication director, she hopes to contribute/facilitate conversations within SURPAS and with the extended Stanford community advocating for the needs of the Postdoctoral Scholars.  Geetha wishes good luck to all postdocs on their research journey, and she is just an email/slack message away if postdocs have any questions.

Dingying Shan
Operations Manager

Dingying is a 2nd year postdoc in the Neurology Department. Her research focuses on applying Biomaterials and Chemistry strategies for stroke recovery and nerve regeneration. Currently, she is part of the Family committee. As Operations Manager of SURPAS, Dingying’s goal is to contribute her efforts to engage the SURPAS team, run the internal operations of SURPAS smoothly, connect the postdoc community, and together advocate for postdocs.

Xiangping Lin
Finance Officer

Xiangping is a 2nd-year postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics. His research focuses on analytical chemistry, especially Mass Spectrometry and NMR-based omics studies, including, but not limited to, metabolomics, lipidomics, exposomics, and the application in biomedical and environmental research, such as cancer, liver disease, chemicals exposure biomarkers, aging, and metabolism. In his free time, he enjoys going to the gym, playing badminton (he organizes the SURPAS Badminton Club), cuisine, swimming, fitness, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. As a member of the SURPAS leadership team, he is hoping to contribute to this community and bring diversity to postdoc life.

Antara Chakravarty
Social Media and Web Manager

Antara is a first-year postdoc in the department of Microbiology & Immunology. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms responsible for viral replication and the development of new strategies to fight flaviviruses. She is interested in virus-induced changes in membrane lipid composition of infected cells and in developing experimental systems to interrogate the impact of lipid composition on membrane-associated RNA virus replication, using hepatitis C virus and brome mosaic virus as model systems.

When not in the lab, Antara is passionate about the scholarship of teaching and learning in STEM fields as well as mentoring the next generations for a career in sciences. As the SURPAS social media and web manager, she maintains the website and various social media channels of SURPAS. Her goal is to provide postdocs with accurate, up-to-date, and easy-to-find information relevant to their professional and personal growth.

Community Engagement Liaison (1st Term)


Community Engagement Liaison (2nd Term)


Past Leadership