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 postdoctoral fellows, graduate trainees, medical residents, and other translational science research professionals with education, networking, intramural activities, and career development and advancement opportunities. Some of the courses and seminars include (but are not limited to):

  • Coffee Chat
  • Career & Professional Development Series
  • Postdoctoral Affairs Series
  • International Affairs Series
  • Cultural Exchange Series
  • Outreach Events in the Greater Houston community
  • Summer Science Symposium

Please view our calendar for upcoming events.


The Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs is a trainee-run board, supporting all research trainees with programs of educational, cultural, and interpersonal value. 

You can meet the current MAPTA Board below.


We at the Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs are  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



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 Academic Institute. His research focuses on synthetic probe-oriented molecular imaging and materials science-driven solution for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. As the 2019-2020 MAPTA President, he currently advocates for the needs of all research trainees.


MD/PhD – Texas A&M Health Science Center (in progress)
MPH with emphasis on Epidemiology – Columbia University
BS – Molecular and Cellular Biology, The University of California at Berkeley


Ava Brozovich is an MD/PhD student at Texas A&M and is interested in developing novel treatments for osteosarcoma in pediatric patients. She has vast experience in infectious diseases, epidemiology, and immunology, from her undergraduate and graduate studies to two years experience working at Duke University as the lead coordinator for the International Pediatric Fungal Network, a network of over 50 sites throughout the world. Ava currently works under Francesca Taraballi, PhD and Bradley Weiner, MD in in the Department of Regenerative Medicine. Her current research focuses on whether a biomimetic magnesium-doped hydroxyapatite/type I collagen composite scaffold can regenerate in bone in the presence of chemotherapy, while also being oncologically-safe following osteosarcoma excision. After completing her MD/PhD, Ava will be applying for residency to become a pediatric surgeon. Ava’s hobbies include reading, running with her dog Bear, teaching Pure Barre classes, and watching college football. As 2019-2020 MAPTA Vice-President, she serves to ensure all of MAPTA's initiatives are implemented for our trainees.


PhD – Applied Economics with an focus on Health Economics – Hasselt University/University of Texas – Health Science Center at Houston
MSc – Hasselt University – Business & Engineering
BSc – Hasselt University – Business & Engineering 

Rita Bosetti is a Postodoctoral Fellow at the Center for Outcomes Research at the Academic Institute in the lab of Bita Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE. She graduated from Hasselt University in Belgium with both a BSc and an MSc in Business & Engineering with an emphasis on new technologies. She then received her PhD in Applied Economics with an emphasis in health economics also at Hasselt University in collaboration with the University of Texas – Health Science Center at Houston. Following graduation, she started the first two years of her postdoc at Hasselt University, doing primarily research on the cost-effectiveness of nanotechnology-based therapeutics. During this period, she collaborated with Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist's Department of Regenerative Medicine. Her current research focuses on the cost-effectiveness of treatments for diabetes and chronic kidney disease in underserved populations, and also large data analyses and financial toxicity. Rita's hobbies include fitness, hiking, traveling, mountain climbing, and spending time with her cats. As the 2019-2020 MAPTA Chair of Postdoctoral Affairs, she is dedicated to supporting the individual career development of postdoctoral fellows, and promote collaborations within the Academic Institute, as well as outward to the Texas Medical Center, where she also serves as the Institute's postdoctoral representative for the Annual Postdoctoral Career Symposium planning committee.


PhD – Nanomedicine, Swansea University (in progress)
MS – Nanobiotechnology, University of Trieste (Italy)
BS – Biotechnology, University of Udine (Italy)


Simone Pisano is a Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Nanomedicine with our joint program with Swansea University (UK). His current research in the lab of Bruna Corradetti, PhD, MSc, aims at employing nanotechnologies and immunotherapies for ovarian cancer treatment, with a particular focus on exosomes as potentially impactful platforms that could provide advantages compared to other types of therapies. Regarding his experience here at Methodist, he said: “Houston Methodist is a great hub where you have the chance to do high impact research, work with the best people in the field, be translational thanks to the close collaboration with the clinics, network with a wide variety of institutions, all at the same time. Plus, you get to stay tanned all year long!” As the 2019-2020 MAPTA Chair of Career & Professional Development, he looks to implement  innovative and practical seminars, journal clubs, and related programs to serve our trainees.


MD/PhD – Tecnológico de Monterrey (in progress)
BS – Biosciences, Tecnológico de Monterrey


Jesús Páez Mayorga is an MD/PhD student from Tecnologicó de Monterrey (Monterrey Tech). He works in the Department of Nanomedicine under the mentorship of Alessandro Grattoni, PhD. His research focuses on developing cell encapsulation platforms for cell transplantation to treat endocrine diseases. As the 2019-2020 MAPTA Chair of International Affairs, Jesús is interested in providing valuable resources for international trainees for an easy acclimation to living in the United States as well as celebrating cultural diversity at the Houston Methodist Academic Institute.


MD/PhD – Texas A&M Health Science Center (in progress)
BS – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University


Dixita Viswanath is an MD/PhD student from Texas A&M University-Health Science Center. She works the Department of Nanomedicine in the laboratory of Alessandro Grattoni, PhD, where she is working to create an implantable drug-delivery device for HIV-1 prophylaxis.  Originally hailing from Stamford, Connecticut, she moved to Houston in 2012 to attend undergrad at Rice University. While at Rice, she developed a passion for enhancing campus and team community through well-planned social and educational events. There, she worked extensively within Rice Program Council, eventually serving as President, to attain this goal. She considers this experience immensely critical to her current frame of mind and immediately transferrable to her current role as the 2019-2020 MAPTA Chair of Outreach. In this year, she hopes to aid the Houston Methodist Academic Institute to engage the local community by serving low-income K-12 in the Houston metro area in STEM-related activities.