Reflecting on 2020

Inspired by my reflections on 2019, I decided to take a moment to do the same for 2020. It was a tough year on us all but all the while, I thought I’d make the most of my reflection and focus on the positives, the accomplishments. Amidst the seemingly endless Zoom meetings, I managed to accomplish the following:

  1. Career
    1. Year 2 of my postdoctoral research fellowship in the Saint-Geniez Lab, further building upon my understanding of extensive field of metabolism, mitochondria, EMT and retinal physiology
    1. Awarded the Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Fellowship
    2. Published a first-author review paper on mechanisms underlying age-related macular degeneration
    3. Compiled a cookbook entitled “Postdoc Recipes” as part of my committee role in the Harvard Medical Postdoc Assoc here and read the finalized book here.
  2. Built my online presence
    1. I now have 11k followers on Instagram and 2.9k followers on Twitter
    2. Wrote 5 blog posts
    3. Interviewed by Prasha Dutra on the podcast Her Stem StoryEpisode 92 An Optometrist and A Science Communicator.
    4. Interviewed by ABMGood about being a science communicator here.
    5. Interviewed about my science career by Lauren Callender from Science Scribbles here.
    6. Live webinar, Gibco Cell Culture Heroes: Work From Home Edition Panelist here.
    7. Featured as part of ASIP Women in Pathology here and on YouTube. Summary here.
    8. Featured in the first 1000 women in STEM in the 1 Million Women in STEM campaign here, also shared by ASIP Pathways here.
    9. Featured by Integra BioSciences on better qPCR pipetting technique using the VIAFLO electronic pipettes here.
  3. Academic activities
    1. May 2020: Harvard Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (HGWISE) mentoring invitation to discuss how to use social media to promote yourself and your science. Invited by Dr. Magali Saint-Geniez
    2. Reviewed papers for the following journals: Endocrinology, Asian Journal of Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research, IOVS
    3. Appointed the Vice-chair of Communications for the Harvard Medical Postdoc Association
    4. Continued serving on the ARVO Committee for Advocacy and Outreach
    5. Served on the Young Investigator Committee for ISER – building a Facebook group, hosted a Zoom session, “ISER YI E-Vent” to connect eye researchers in the early stages of their careers globally (now elected as Young Investigator Representative of ISER for 2021-2023)
    6. Served on the ASIP Committee for Career Development and Diversity and in this role, helped to organize 2 webinars on social media for scientists alongside Dr. Andrew Duncan of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Chad Walesky from Harvard Medical School, Gina LaBorde from ASIP as well as Marina Anastasiou and Dr. Francisco Carillo from Tufts University. In addition to organizing the webinars, I also
  4. Conferences and webinars
    1. Accepted for an ARVO Talk but the meeting was cancelled: Shu DY, Butcher E, Cai S, Senthilkumar I, Frank S, Kurmi K, Saint-Geniez M. Metabolic alterations during TGFβ2-induced EMT in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. [Abstract]. ARVO Annual Meeting, May 2020 (Baltimore, MD) (Link).
    2. EB 2020 in San Diego was cancelled but my abstract was accepted for a poster: Shu DY, Butcher E, Cai S, Senthilkumar I, Frank S, Saint-Geniez M. Paradoxical Effect of TNFα on Mitochondrial Function and Metabolic Activity in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) [Abstract]. Experimental Biology, American Society for Pathology (San Diego, CA) (Link).
    3. Shu DY, Butcher E, Cai S, Senthilkumar I, Frank S, Saint-Geniez M.Mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic reprogramming in retinal epithelial-mesenchymal transition [Abstract]. New York Academy of Sciences Mitochondria in Complex Diseases (New York, New York) (Link). Presented poster online, conference moved to virtual platform due to COVID-19 pandemic.
    4. Shu DY, Butcher E, Cai S, Senthilkumar I, Frank S, Saint-Geniez M. [Abstract]. Metabolic Rewiring and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Transforming Growth Factor-Beta 2-Induced Retinal Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) PISA 2020 Conference (Link). Presented poster online, conference moved to virtual platform due to COVID-19 pandemic.
    5. ASIP “Promote Yourself and Your Science” Webinar. Talk entitled “How to get started on social media and build a following”, September 17 2020 4pm EST (Link).
    6. University of Delaware Lens Club Monthly Meeting Guest Speaker on “How to get started on social media and build a following”, October 22 2020 2pm EST (Link).
    7. ASIP PISA 2020 Conference “Navigating the Science Socialsphere: a how-to guide for promoting your scientific career online” organizer and invited speaker, November 11 2020 6pm EST (Link).
  5. Publications
    1. Shu DY, Butcher E, Saint-Geniez M. EMT and EndMT: Emerging Roles in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(12), 4271. (Link)
    2. Zheng Q, Jones FK, Leavitt SV, Ung L, Labrique A, Peters D, Lee E, Azman A, HIT-COVID Collaboration. HIT-COVID, a global database tracking public health interventions to COVID-19. Scientific Data. 2020; 7, 286. (Link)
  6. Awards and Grants
    1. July 2020 – July 2021: Shu DY. Fight for Sight Leonard & Robert Weintraub Postdoctoral Fellowship, USD$22, 500. Fight for Sight United States (Link)
    2. 2020: American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) Trainee Travel Award for Experimental Biology, San Diego, Cancelled due to COVID-19 but award has rolled over to the next PISA meeting.
    3. 2020: American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) A. D. Sobel ASIP Education Fund Trainee Scholar for the virtual meeting PISA 2020, USD$100
  7. Travelling and social events
    1. Unfortunately put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    2. Short-lived but super fun pink hair in the fall of 2020

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