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Welcome to the 2022 Rising Star Awardees!



2022 Seminar Schedule

  • Wednesday, June 8
    • 12:00 – 1:00 pm
      • Dr. Gabrielle Harris
        • Improving the Health and Care of Working Age Adults Throughout the Stroke Continuum
        • Zoom – contact Kathy Crosier in the Department of Social Medicine for the link
  • Thursday, June 9
    • 12:00 – 1:15 pm
      • Dr. Jennifer Jones
        • Evolutionary Mechanisms in Viral Re-assortment and Emergence
        • 1131 Bioinformatics Building
    • 12:15 – 1:15 pm
      • Dr. Alex Guseman
        • Targeting Spike Glycans to Inhibit SARS-CoV2 Viral Entry
        • 2204 Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB)
      • Dr. Oleta Johnson
        • Discovering Chemical Probes of DnaJB6: A Novel Target for Polyglutamine Diseases
        • Zoom – contact April Villanueva in the Department of Pharmacology for the link
      • Dr. Shahzad Khan
        • Pathogenic LRRK2 Control of Primary Cilia and Hedgehog Signaling in Striatal Neurons and Astrocytes
        • G202 Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB)
      • Dr. Vivien Maltez
        • Multiplex Microscopy Reveals Unique Spatiotemporal Effects of Cancer Immunotherapies
        • Zoom – contact Jessica Mayse in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Program Description

UNC SOM’s Rising Star Program
UNC SOM’s Rising Star Program

The UNC SOM’s Rising Star Program’s main goal is to increase diversity among faculty members in the basic sciences, with a specific focus on groups historically minoritized in the basic sciences. The groups prioritized for this initiative are African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx Americans, Native Americans, Natives of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, and Natives of Alaska. This program provides training to postdoctoral fellows from these underrepresented groups to help them excel during the faculty interview process by exposing admitted fellows to the same components that they will experience during the faculty job interview process. This includes job talks, chalk talks, and multiple one-on-one faculty interviews. Participants will also attend workshops on the faculty environment and negotiating hiring packages. This program is sponsored by the Dr. Blossom Damania (Vice Dean for Research at UNC SOM), Hernan Mendez (Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellow and Doctoral Candidate in Cell Biology & Physiology) and his research advisor Dr. Kathleen Caron (Chair, Department of Cell Biology & Physiology), and the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the UNC SOM.

Program Components

  • A two-day campus visit to UNC-Chapel Hill with all expenses paid and a $500 honorarium
  • Opportunities to complete mock job talks, chalk talks, and multiple one-on-one faculty interviews
  • Workshops on the faculty environment and negotiating hiring packages

Program Eligibility

Application Instructions

  • Only online applications will be accepted. When completing the online application, please have the following materials available:
    • UPLOAD your most recent Curriculum Vitae. There is no page limit for this document.
    • UPLOAD a brief Research Statement that includes a (a) Description of your previous experience and predoctoral work (1-2 paragraphs), (b) Overview of your current project (2-3 paragraphs), and (c) Explains your broad area of research for development (propose the idea for the research program you hope to develop as a faculty). This document should be no longer than 3 pages, excluding references.
    • IDENTIFY the basic science departments (up to 3) with which your research best aligns.
    • UPLOAD a Statement of Department Interest(s) – this document should include a succinct paragraph explaining why/how you and your research align with each of your departments of interest. Each paragraph should be addressed to the Department Chair.
  • Each uploaded document must be saved as a pdf and titled with the applicant’s name (i.e. JaneDoe_CV, JaneDoe_ResearchStatement, etc.).

2022 Program Schedule

  • The anticipated timeline is as follows:
    • Application Period: January 7, 2022 – March 16, 2022
    • Awardees Notified: Early April 2022
    • Program Orientation (Weekly Virtual Series): May 2022
    • UNC Campus Visit: June 8, 2022 – June 10, 2022

Program Leadership Team

Any questions about the program or application process can be addressed by Ms. Darian Blakey.

Past Events

  • Webinar on Insights to Apply to the Rising Star Program with the Program Leadership Team: October 26, 2021@ 12pm
  • Webinar on Preparing Job Applicaiton Materials with Drs. Joyce Besheer, Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera, Damaris Lorenzo, & Brad Dickerson: September 28, 2021 @ 12pm
  • Webinar on Delivering Successful Job and Chalk Talks with School of Medicine Department Chairs; Drs. Kathleen Caron, Henrik Dohlman, & Fernando Pardo Manuel de Villena: August 24, 2021 @ 12pm
  • Webinar on UNC SOM Resources for Postdocs with Drs. Susan Girdler & Erin Malloy: July 27, 2021 @ 12pm