Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs



The Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs is a self-governed association for translational science research professionals. They support our postdoctoral fellows, graduate trainees, and other translational science research professionals with education, networking, intramural activities, and career development and advancement opportunities. Our officers are always working tirelessly to serve you. You can meet our team below.


We at the Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs are well aware that much planning goes into being an effective scientist. Therefore, we wish to provide resources that will aid in your development as scientists. Below are a series of links that will aid in that development.


At Houston Methodist, BioScience Writers offers by-appointment editorial and writing services for employees, faculty and physicians at the Houston Methodist Research Institute campus.

Their services include (but are not limited to):
  • Manuscripts (clinical and basic science)
  • Grant Proposals
  • Abstracts
  • Book Chapters
  • Dissertations
  • Medical Editing
  • Product and Package Labels
  • Slide Presentations

For additional information:

Amanda Weiskoff, PhD
Project Manager 
BioScience Writers Office, Houston Methodist Research Institute


Cassany Anselme – Co-President of Graduate Student Affairs
PhD – Medical Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University Health Science Center (in progress)
BS – Biology, Saint Leo University, Florida 

Cassy is currently a third-year graduate student with the Texas A&M University Health Science Center. She is from Haiti, and completed her undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry in the honors program at Saint Leo University. Under the mentorship of Jenny Chang, MD in the Houston Methodist Cancer Center, her work focuses on using radiotherapy in combination with immunotherapy as a treatment modality for triple negative breast cancer patients. Cassy currently serves as the Co-President for Graduate Student Affairs, and hopes to engage the Institute for Academic Medicine body as part of the leadership team. She plans on organizing a curriculum that will meet the career and professional needs for graduate students.


Stefano Casarin, PhD – Co-President of Postdoctoral Affairs
PhD – Fluid Mechanics, Université de La Rochelle, France
MS – Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Stefano is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Computational Surgery. He works in the lab of Marc Garbey, PhD, where his research focuses on the development of multiscale mathematical models to design effective therapies for vascular and tumor diseases, as well as the improvement of surgical planning.  As co-president, he plans raising the profile of postdoctoral fellows at Houston Methodist and the Texas Medical Center.

Manuela Sushnitha –VP of Outreach
PhD – Bioengineering, Rice University (in progress)
BS – Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Manuela Sushnitha is currently a third-year Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at Rice University. Her current work under the supervision of the lab of Ennio Tasciotti, PhD, is aimed at studying use of a leukocyte-based nanoparticle for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. Her research interests are in the development of biomimetic technologies with a special focus on the use of nanotechnology as a therapeutic strategy for cancer.  As the Vice President of Outreach, Manuela seeks to bridge partnerships between Houston Methodist and the greater Houston community.

Troy Hendrickson –VP of Career and Professional Development
MD/PhD – Texas A&M Health Science Center (in progress)
BS – Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Troy Hendrickson is a Texas A&M Health Sciences Center MD/PhD student performing cardiac regeneration research in the lab of Ennio Tasciotti, PhD, in the Institute for Academic Medicine.  His primary focus is on iPSC Cardiomyocytes and addressing current conduction deficits.  His career aims are to be a Pediatric Cardiologist while continuing his cardiac regeneration research.  As the Vice President of Career and Professional Development, Troy aims to bring initiatives to graduate and postdoctoral trainees to enrich their experience, while providing clinical perspectives to approaching and understanding translational research.

Zhen Yang, PhD – Internal VP of International Affairs

PhD – Chemistry, University of Houston
MS – Chemical Engineering,  Huazhong University of Science and Technology
BS – Chemistry,  Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Zhen "Jason" Yang's research focus is in materials science-oriented nanomedicine. He currently works in the lab of Zheng Li, PhD, in the Center for Bioenergetics at the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine. His research focuses on synthetic probe-oriented molecular imaging and materials science-driven solution for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. As the Internal Vice President for International Affairs, he wishes to serve as an advocate for international trainees, fostering a collaborative, collegial environment in the institute.

Anna Pasto, PhD – External VP of International Affairs
PhD – Oncology and Surgical Oncology, University of Padua, Italy
MS – Medical Biotechnology, University of Trieste, Italy
BA – Biotechnology, University of Padua, Italy

Anna Pasto is postdoctoral fellow in Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration. She works in the laboratory of Ennio Tasciotti, PhD. Her research interests focus on cancer stem cells, particularly their properties as it relates to survivability and metastasis.  Her background is in biotechnology and cancer.  While serving as the External Vice President of International Affairs, Anna seeks to promote inter-institutional collaborations for international trainees working at the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine.