PAC members       

The Postdoctoral Association of Colorado (PAC) was formed in 2004 to serve the needs of individuals holding postdoctoral positions at the University of Colorado Boulder or in the national labs collaborating on campus research projects. The PAC is an association run by postdocs for postdocs. Our goal is to create an environment that fosters professional advancement through programming, support services, and networking opportunities for all Postdocs (and to have a little fun along the way!).

PAC members2

Benjamin Nault   President 

Benjamin Nault - PAC officer

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences.

His research focuses on atmospheric chemistry and pollution in large cities.

Benjamin joined PAC to assist in creating and planning activities that would create a community for post docs in Boulder and to be a voice for post docs about their concerns during their stay in Boulder.

 Hélène Devillez Vicepresident

Hélène Devillez - Webmaster

Department: Psychology and Neurosciences.

Hélène is a French postdoctoral researcher who focuses on high-level and low-level information influences on attention during visual tasks, by collecting behavioral data as well as recorded eye-movement and EEG data. See her website for more information about her research.

She was the PAC webmaster and she is happy to share her experience and skills at the service of the postdoc community

Josh Slocum      Secretary     


Department: JILA

Bhalchandra “Bhala” Rao Treasurer

Bhalchandra Rao <Bhalchandra.Rao@Colorado.EDU>

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry (Dr. Roy Parker’s lab ). He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University. His current research focusses on investigating the mechanisms of assembly and in vivo functions of mRNP granules, including Processing bodies (P-bodies). The findings of these studies will have ramifications in understanding the biology of other mRNP granules, including modelling the interactions underlying pathological aggregates observed in degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. The long-term goal of the research is to develop novel therapeutics against pathological mRNP aggregates. 

Bhala is passionate about addressing career related concerns of postdocs. He is actively engaged in exploring, and educating postdocs about non-academic career options in science.

Raquel Salvador Webmaster


Department: MCDB

She studies the biology of the Endoplasmic Reticulum and contacts with other organelles in the cell. 

Raquel really likes microscopes but she likes even more enjoying the outdoors and meeting people from all over the world.

She is excited to build a great international postdoc community in Boulder.   Twitter: @RaquelSG


Brian Aguado Project Bridge Representative          


Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Anseth Research Group

Education: PhD, MS in Biomedical Engineering (Northwestern), BS in Biomechanical Engineering (Stanford)

Twitter: @BrianAguado

Brian is a biomedical engineer focused on developing novel implantable materials for a variety of applications, including tissue regeneration and cancer detection. As president of the PAC, he hopes to unify the postdoctoral community on campus through hosting networking, social, and advocacy events. 

Pascal Merz Social Butterfly

pascal merz

Department: Chemical and Biochemical engineering

Pascal research focuses on the Development of GROMACS to improve robustness, functionality, and usability.


   Gil Porat NIST Representative

Gil Porat - PAC officer

Gil Porat’s scientific work is ultimately aimed at finding new laws of physics by studying fundamental interactions between light and matter. As a graduate student, Gil developed methods of controlling light through manipulation of matter properties. In his postdoctoral work Gil first studied how electrons behave when light forces them to leave their parent atom. Currently he is developing a unique laser system that will enable novel searches for new physics.

Gil is interested in organizing professional networking and development events for the international postdoc community at CU Boulder and nearby research institutions.

Esther Braselmann Advisory Committee

Esther Braselmann - Secretary

Department: Amy Palmer's lab at the BioFrontiers Institute.  She received herPhD in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame studying protein folding of a virulence protein.  In the Palmer lab, she is interested in tool development to study bacterial infections using fluorescence microscopy.

She is a member of the PAC to advocate for postdocs and help to create a sense of community among the diverse postdoc population.

Heidi Culver Advisory Committee

heidi culver

Department: Chemical and Biochemical engineering, Bowman Lab

Stefano Maffei   Advisory Committee

Stefano Maffei

Department: DUANE Physics. His research focuses on understanding the dynamics taking place in the outer core of the Earth and on the use of geomagnetic observations as a tool to probe the deepest regions of our planet.

As a PAC member, Stefano aims at fostering communication between postdocs and researchers at CU and helping consolidate a sense of belonging and identity for postdocs on campus.

Evan Pratt   Advisory Committee


Department: Amy Palmer's lab at the BioFrontiers Institute

Past (and beloved) members:

Tess Eidem, Kristin Moore, Emilie Royer

PAC's mission is to provide an environment that fosters professional advancement through programming, support services, and networking opportunities for all Postdoctoral fellows. Through these activities, we as Postdocs will be better able to define our roles in the university and community, allowing us to become successful educators, researchers and professionals.

You can find the bylaws HERE.

The Research & Innovation Office and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado at Boulder placed supports for postdoctoral fellows under the Graduate Teacher Program in 2003. An initial Postdoc focus group requested that the university provide professional development to address Postdoc's unique needs and positions, specifying a focus on training for faculty and research positions, job search support, research team management techniques, and an introduction to nonacademic or alternative career paths for individuals who hold the doctorate. Because the Graduate Teacher Program offers extensive preparing future faculty activities and two certificates in teaching at the university level as well as a Professional Development Certificate for Business, Government, Industry, and the Arts, postdoctoral fellows were referred to the Graduate Teacher Program for training in teaching.

In 2004, CU Boulder joined a national survey effort on postdoctoral fellows led by Sigma XI. Survey data on the 50 institutions surveyed, as well as answers to the 17 questions posed locally to postdoctoral fellows in the Boulder area, underscored the need to provide professional development for both academic and nonacademic careers for postdoctoral fellows. In 2004, we created the Postdoctoral Association of Colorado (PAC) to give a public face to our support for postdocs in the Boulder area. Postdoctoral fellows at the University of Colorado at Boulder and in the National Labs are welcome to attend teacher training activities through the Graduate Teacher Program and to participate in all Postdoctoral Association of Colorado activities.

In 2011, the PAC, originally working with the graduate school, moved to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research (OVCR) under administrative supervision of Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Patricia Rankin.

In 2016, the PAC is facing a new page of its history with the creation of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) directed by Dr. Leah Colvin and the departure of Patricia Rankin from OVCR. The PAC and OPA are now working together to enhance the postdoctoral experience on campus.

If you are interested, feel free to contact us at