The Stanford University Postdoctoral Association (SURPAS) is a volunteer organization formed by Stanford University Postdocs.Our mission is to enrich the Postdoctoral experience at Stanford, to enable Postdoctoral Scholars to explore opportunities, and to empower Postdoctoral Scholars to become leaders in areas of their choice.

How do I join SURPAS?

If you are a doing a postdoc at Stanford, you are already a member! Come to SURPAS events and meet with fellow postdocs, or join a committee to make your voice heard. Our monthly (council) meeting is a great place to start!

How is SURPAS organized/run?

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by postdocs, for postdocs

All Stanford Postdocs are members of SURPAS and can choose to participate as actively as they wish. Our events, programs and advocacy activities are coordinated by a core Leadership Team, supported by a larger SURPAS Council. Additionally, postdocs with specific interests can be involved in one or more of our committees, which greatly extend the programming power of SURPAS.

SURPAS Bylaws can be viewed here. Past meeting minutes can be viewed here.

The surpas council

SURPAS council is made up of regular postdoc volunteers to organize events and committees. Council meetings are held once a month to raise issues, discuss, and brainstorm together, as well as to socialize and meet with fellow postdoctoral colleagues. Any SURPAS member can attend a council meeting to observe or participate in discussions on agenda items.

To join council, a SURPAS member must attend one council meeting and be nominated (you can nominate yourself), and current council members will vote on new members. New council members are initiated at the next council meeting. 

Council meetings are generally on the last Wednesday of the month, and include a free lunch! Check the events calendar to check on the location of the next meeting.

What are the SURPAS committees?

Committees are member-run groups that focus on one aspect of postdoc life. Any Stanford postdoc can join a committee.

Making Stanford and the Bay Area more livable for postdocs
Supporting the needs of existing postdocs with minoritized experiences and taking steps to increase the diversity of the Stanford postdoc population
Providing social/sports events for Stanford postdocs to meet and get out of the lab
Providing and publicizing opportunities for Stanford postdocs to teach and communicate science
Promoting the presence of postdocs among non-postdoc communities and providing institutional memory for postdoc leadership
Bringing together a group of postdocs that reflect the diversity of people and their disciplines doing research at the Stanford campus
Recognizing and supporting project proposals from within the Stanford postdoc community in an effort to encourage and enrich postdoc experiences
Improving the lives of postdocs with dependents and making it more possible for postdocs who wish to have children to do so

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


Gina Bouchard

Gina is currently a postdoc in Sylvia Plevritis’ lab in the department of Radiology. Her work focuses on the role of the tumor microenvironment in metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. Gina is originally from Québec, Canada and has a PhD in radiation sciences and biomedical imaging from the University of Sherbrooke. She left her cold hometown to learn more about big data analysis and enjoy California outdoors. Gina is convinced that the postdoctoral experience should be all about passionate science and enjoyable years, building your future scientific network. By being a member of the SURPAS leadership team, she wants to help making this experience amazing for every Stanford postdoc.


John Hegarty

John Hegarty is a postdoc in the Department of Psychiatry studying the neurobiology of autism. He is originally from the east coast and completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Missouri before coming to Stanford. John began his work with SURPAS organizing hikes for the Sports Committee and as Advocacy Coordinator before becoming co-chair. He hopes to be able to this position in SURPAS to help ensure that all Stanford postdocs receive fair and equal treatment during their tenure and push forward initiatives to improve quality of life for Stanford postdocs and their families.


Shahzad Khan
Advocacy Coordinator

Shahzad is a postdoc in the Department of Biochemistry studying the molecular basis of inherited Parkinson's disease. He is originally from Miami, FL and earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. As Advocacy Coordinator, Shahzad aspires to promote meaningful change for postdocs in the areas of outreach, diversity and inclusion. His hobbies involve running, reading, and listening to music, oftentimes alongside his son.

Elaina Jones
Events Coordinator



Ioana Marin
Communications Director

Ioana is a postdoc working with Dr. Carla Shatz. Originally from Romania, she is a graduate of Lafayette College (Easton, PA) and received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. In science, her dream is to be able to integrate research from different areas to understand how the brain works. In life, she believes one can achieve many things by just showing up and asking. As advocacy coordinator, she tries to make people realize that postdocs are the future of academia and investing in their potential is super duper important.


Ukash Nakarmi
Operations Manager

Ukash is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Radiology and the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in May 2018. His expertise includes machine learning, nonlinear representation, high dimensional signal representation and reconstruction with applications to medical imaging and analysis. His research focuses on making medical imaging faster, better, and cheaper. At SURPAS, he enjoys organizing meetings, taking care of day-to-day administrative work and attending coffee socials. Besides his research work, he enjoys traveling and photography.


Etienne Fluet-Chouinard

Etienne is a postdoc in Robert Jackson’s lab in the school of earth, energy & environmental sciences and studies global methane emissions from freshwater wetlands. He obtained his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Etienne found that SURPAS was really important in building a community when he arrived at Stanford, and he wants to contribute to others benefiting from this exceptional support for postdocs. In his free time, Etienne can be found camping somewhere in the Sierras. 


Callie Wigington
Social Media and web manager Director

Callie is a postdoc in Martha Cyert’s lab in the biology department and is focused on characterizing a newly-discovered role for the calcineurin phosphatase at the nuclear pore complex. Callie obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from Georgia Southern University (Go Eagles!) and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology (BCDB) at Emory University. Callie has found that the postdoc years are incredibly rewarding, but also come with many unique challenges, especially here in the Bay Area. By plugging into SURPAS and serving on various committees, she hopes to enrich the lives of both current and future Stanford postdocs. Callie is also very passionate about effective science communication (both inside and outside the classroom) and serves on the Public Information Committee (PIC) for ASCB. Outside the lab, she enjoys going to the farmer’s market, cooking, drinking wine with her friends, and doing anything outside with her family!