The aims of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) fit into three broad categories. First is a focus on Leadership development (identifying and bringing stakeholders to the table as a Postdoc Advisory Group for MSU), second is a focus on Infrastructure of Postdoctoral Training (clarifying institutional definitions and policies, support mechanisms, and data management), and third is a focus on Training support (orientations, workshops, and help navigating social and professional development on the path to independence). In addition to the support we receive from the Graduate School, our office partners with experts around campus at the WorkLife Office, Office for International Students and Scholars, The Faculty Grievance & Dispute Resolution Office, and others.
Dr. Aaron Reifler brings an eclectic range of experiences to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. He spent time studying Political Science in France as an undergraduate, taught English in Japan through the JET Programme, and almost joined the State Department before deciding to follow a career in research and higher education. Before starting his Ph.D. in Neuroscience, he earned a Master's and certification in secondary education, and taught High School Biology, Chemistry and Japanese. His research projects as a student spanned a variety of fields, including synthetic biology, cellular development, retinal regeneration, muscle disease and homeostasis, pathways and mediators of autophagy and regulators of phosphatidylinositol phosphates. As a postdoc, Aaron used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to study intraretinal signaling of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, and worked for a short time on the Argus II bionic retinal implant. He has been singularly focused for the past two years on addressing the unique needs of postdoctoral trainees and the structure of their support mechanisms, and he hopes to partner with the many excellent programs and individuals at MSU and throughout the world.