Each year, the Postdoctoral Scholars Awards for Research Excellence are given in recognition of the research promise demonstrated by individual postdoctoral scholars. The awards are open to postdoctoral scholars in all disciplines and are designed to assist postdoctoral scholars in their continued professional development by supporting the recipients in conference travel, purchasing books, lab materials, or engaging in other scholarly activities that directly enhance the individual’s professional growth. Each recipient receives a monetary award of a $1,000 along with a plaque.
Dr. Boulaftali received his PhD at the University of Paris in France. His PhD work focused on an inhibitor of serine proteases (serpin) named protease nexin-1 (PN-1) with respect to thrombosis, fibrinolysis and atherosclerosis. After his PhD, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Bergmeier at Thomas Jefferson University before coming to UNC. Dr. Boulaftali's position is joint with the Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry and McAllister Heart Institute. As a postdoctoral researcher at UNC, he works on several projects but in particular on how platelets maintain vascular integrity during acute inflammatory insult. He identified a specific platelet signaling pathway that is required to secure the vasculature during inflammation. In 2012, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association on the role of the platelet signaling molecule CalDAG-GEFI in the development of atherosclerosis. Dr. Boulaftali will take on a research associate position at INSERM in France later this fall.