Blog Editorial Team: Outreach & Comms Committee

Our Blog is run by the Outreach & Communications Committee of the Columbia University Postdoc Society (CUPS). All members of the Committee run Outreach Events and also post on the blog with individual contributions.


Olaya, Co-president of CUPS, Founder of the Press Office & Individual Contributor

Olaya Fernandez Gayol obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Pediatrics. Her research focuses on describing the neuronal circuits implicated in anorexia nervosa, especially those related to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling.

As co-President of CUPS, she is devoted to increasing the society’s reach to the postdoc community and communicating its activities more effectively. The Press Office initiative was born out of her desire to provide a platform for postdocs to publicize their science while improving their science communication skills.

Besides science, she enjoys musicals, cooking/baking, obstacle races, hiking and talking (very loudly!).


Maaike, Co-Chair of the Outreach&Comms Committee & Individual Contributor

After finishing her PhD in the Netherlands, Maaike Schilperoort joined the Tabas laboratory at the Department of Medicine of CUMC as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist. Her research focuses on mitochondrial dynamics and metabolic regulation of macrophages in the context of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Aside from being in the lab, she enjoys sports (fitness training, hiking, and biking), eating breakfast, and listening to podcasts.

As co-chair of the Outreach and Communication Committee of CUPS, Maaike aspires to build bridges between scientists of various disciplines and facilitate their engagement with the general public.


Molly, Co-Chair of the Outreach&Comms Committee & Individual Contributor

Molly Scott received her PhD in developmental psychology at Temple University. She is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development Lab where she is working on the Baby’s First Years project studying the connection between income and young children’s development. Molly is passionate about translating scientific findings for parents, teachers, policy makers, and other stakeholders.



Vikas, Blog Individual Contributor

During his postdoc, Vikas Malik has been working on multiple projects where he studies the underlying mechanism of intrinsic immunity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) against viral infections. In addition, he tries to understand how sleep restriction affects regeneration potential of hESCs.

Vikas has a keen interest in bringing science to lay people. He has actively participated in yearly science communication programs like Science Slam Competition, Researchers Night etc. organized by EURAXESS, China. With CUPS, he plans to grow that interest further by participating in these events more frequently.


Casey, Blog Individual Contributor

Casey Lardner is a postdoctoral research scientist focused on understanding variation in stress & resilience in wild rats. She completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2020, where she co-directed a neuroscience outreach organization, MiNDS, and hosted a storytelling show called “Studying the Brain.” She is originally from Virginia.



Tania, Blog Individual Contributor

Tania Thimraj is a postdoctoral research scientist focusing on the identification of developmental origins and fate of cell types in in-vitro lung models using high-throughput single-cell transcriptomic profiling and pseudotime analysis. Her long-term research interests involve development of a physiologically relevant model to efficiently analyse the role of lung developmental defects in susceptibility to neonatal and adult lung disease. 

At CUPS, Tania aims to use her scientific writing skills to communicate scientific research to a wider audience.


Daniel Schury, Blog Individual Contributor

Daniel obtained his PhD in experimental atomic physics at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and GSI Helmholtzzentrum Darmstadt (both Germany). His research focuses on merged and crossed ion beam experiments which are used to study the dynamics of atomic reactions with different collision partners. At Columbia he works in the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory at Nevis where he applies these techniques to astrochemical questions.

Already during his PhD studies he participated in different outreach activities to promote science, make it touchable and understandable for everyone and convince the world of how fascinating and thrilling modern day science still is.

In his free time he misses his motorbike he had to leave at home and can be found in different online communities. Contrary to Olaya he prefers to stay silent which he compensates by 24/7 listening to music. But that loudly too.


Dhru, Section Manager and Contributor for Arts and Humanities

Dhru Deb is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the department of Biomedical Engineering. He is a cancer researcher by day, a visual artist by night and a New Yorker at heart! He is passionate about encouraging the Columbia University’s postdoc community to combine the knowledge and resources across seemingly disconnected disciplines and to make use of the unique opportunities provided by the New York City!