2014 Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award Winners

The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, along with the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Dean for Basic Sciences, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development. These awards are designed to support postdocs' professional development needs by providing reimbursement for activities that directly enhance the individual's professional growth.

Stephanie Clare  Stephanie Clare, PhD, Women's Studies Program

Stephanie Clare is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Women’s Studies Program. Her research interests include twentieth-century French and Francophone philosophy, feminist and queer theory, and Canadian settler colonial studies. She is currently writing a book manuscript, Earthly Encounters, that examines relations between subjectivity and territory, land and the earth in twentieth-century world literature, focusing especially on Canada. She has publications in GLQ, differences, Hypatia, and forthcoming in Diacritics.

Dr. Clare will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present a paper based on the third chapter of her book at the “Queer Places, Practices & Lives” conference hosted by Ohio State University. She will also speak on a panel with two junior scholars in the field who have recently secured tenure-track positions in queer studies, a major hiring field.


Natasha O. Dmitrieva  Natalia Dmitrieva, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Natalia Dmitrieva holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University, and is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her primary research concerns the role of health behaviors in chronic illness management, particularly in diabetes. Natalia's work also emphasizes applied statistical methodology, particularly analytic approaches to daily diary and ecological momentary assessment studies.

Dr. Dmitrieva will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the workshop “Experimental design and analysis methods for developing adaptive interventions: Getting SMART,” at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This workshop focuses on the fundamentals of “SMART Trial” interventions, which can be tailored and adapted to individual differences of participants as the trial progresses.


Roxanne Larsen pic  Roxanne Larsen, PhD, Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Roxanne Larsen received her PhD in Biology from Texas Tech University in 2011 and is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology. She works in the Animal Locomotion Lab with Dr. Daniel Schmitt and teaches Gross Anatomy to medical students at Duke University’s School of Medicine. Her primary research is focused on understanding the biomechanics and evolution of human running. Dr. Larsen’s current project uses novel and integrative approaches to create more naturalistic running conditions, which allow for the investigation of multi-step stability when running on uneven terrain.

Dr. Larsen will use the Duke Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to attend the 2014 American College of Sports Medicine conference in Orlando, FL, where she will present her research in addition to networking with colleagues in her field.


  Nicola Paine, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

Nicola received her PhD in 2013 from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), which investigated inflammation and vascular (i.e., blood vessel) reactivity during mental stress. Nicola is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science under the mentorship of Professor Andrew Sherwood, investigating how health behaviors (e.g., depression, anxiety and stress) can lead to the development of Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr. Paine will use the award to visit the laboratory of Dr Simon Bacon (Concordia University, Montreal) to learn techniques to assess haemoconcentration, which is a process where red blood cells become more concentrated within the blood due to a temporary loss of some of the liquid (plasma) which makes up the blood.


Erin E Sparks  Erin Sparks, PhD, Department of Biology

Erin Sparks received her BS in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and a PhD in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University. For the past three years, Dr. Sparks has been a Postdoctoral Associate in Philip Benfey's laboratory at Duke University. Her postdoctoral work uses systems-level analyses to study the development of plant roots, with the long-term goal of improving crop resilience under varying environmental conditions.

Dr. Sparks will use the Postdoctoral Professional Development Award to present her work at the 2014 International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress, where she has been invited to be a keynote speaker.


The Office of Postdoctoral Services thanks the 2014 Awards Committee: Dr. Sherilynn Black, Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Dr. Sissel Juul, Ms. Molly Starback, and Dr. Anne West.