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Cotswold Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship: Applications are Open!

Cotswold Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Cotswold Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship is intended to foster the career development of Drexel University postdoctoral researchers in formal, physical, life and applied sciences who are pursuing a career in academic research and are seeking long-term employment at an US educational and/or research institution.

The fellowship is intended to subsidize and support postdoctoral training by providing $50,000 for one year which can be utilized for salary, fringe and professional development or any combination of the three.

To access information session recording from September 23, 2021, please email Dr. Natalie Chernets at

2022 Recipients

Dr. Stephanie Matt, Pharmacology and Physiology

Dr. Stephanie Matt, Pharmacology and Physiology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies for the project: “Epigenetic regulation of dopamine induced by substance abuse and HIV-associated neuroinflammation.”

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Dr. Matt received her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Integrative Immunology and Behavior Lab of Dr. Rodney Johnson. Her graduate work focused on exploring epigenetic regulation of microglial activity in mice, as well as evaluating potential pharmacological and dietary interventions that act as epigenetic modifiers that could ameliorate chronic age-related neuroinflammation. She is now a fourth-year Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology in Dr. Peter Gaskill’s Lab. Her research now focuses on dopamine-mediated changes in inflammation and HIV infection in human macrophages and microglia. The use of illegal drugs — all of which act by increasing dopamine in the brain — is disproportionately prevalent within the HIV-infected population and can exacerbate HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Specifically for the Cotswold Fellowship, she is evaluating how dopamine and HIV interact to aberrantly alter epigenetic factors regulating inflammation in human microglia. Defining the specific epigenetic modifications promoting neuroinflammation in myeloid cells in response to dopamine and HIV infection will provide foundational data for future studies using epigenetic inhibitors as adjuvant ART therapies in HIV-infected individuals with substance use disorders. Ultimately, her goals are to continue to mentor and support future generations of neuroimmunologists by establishing an independent research program using a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the role of neurotransmitters in mediating regulation of inflammation.

Dr. Josiah Kephart, Urban Health Collaborative

Dr. Josiah Kephart, Urban Health Collaborative, Dornsife School of Public Health for the project: “The impacts of climate-related extreme flood events on health and health disparities in Latin American cities.”

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Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH is an environmental epidemiologist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Urban Health Collaborative at the Dornsife School of Public Health. He received a PhD in Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University, where he researched household air pollution and respiratory health in Peru. Josiah previously received an MPH from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs from George Mason University. Josiah’s research focuses on understanding how climate change, air pollution, and the urban environment contribute to health disparities in Latin America and the US.

Dr. Emanuela Piermarini, Neurobiology and Anatomy

Dr. Emanuela Piermarini, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, for the project: “Gene therapy approach for SPG4-based Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.”

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Emanuela was born and raised in a small town close to Rome, Italy. She earned her PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Rome "Tor Vergata"/Children’s Hospital and Research Institute IRCCS “Bambino Gesù” in 2016. During her PhD training she studied the role of oxidative stress in the context of Friedreich's ataxia, a rare neurodegenerative disease affecting children. She joined then Dr. Peter Baas laboratory as a postdoc and recently as a Research Associate, where she leads the Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) project by using a novel mouse model. She characterized behavioral deficiencies and anatomical changes to better characterize the disease progression and understand the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in order to apply therapies. Emanuela is hard-working, scholarly productive, and passionate researcher, committed toward resolving therapy for the HSP patients are severly underserved by the biomedical community.

Dr. Hua Zhang, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Hua Zhang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, for the project: “High Efficiency Medium Voltage Power Conversion Technology Leveraging the Next Generation Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Grid Integration.”

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Dr. Hua Zhang is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University. She is also the recipient of the Cotswold Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2022. Dr. Zhang received her BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, in 2011, 2014, and 2017, respectively. Previously, she was a lecturer at the San Diego State University from 2016 to 2017 and a joint Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 2014 to 2015. Her research focuses on the high-efficiency power electronics technology leveraging the next generation wide bandgap semiconductor devices, especially for electric vehicles, wireless charging, and solid-state circuit breaker applications. Her research has received three Best Journal Paper Awards from the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics and two additional conference awards. Her recent research also includes high-frequency resonant converters, connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), renewable energy, and smart grid.

Past Recipients


Dr. Pricila Mullachery, Urban Health Collaborative, Dornsife School of Public Health for the project: “The relationship between state-level Medicaid policies and access to treatment for substance use disorders.”

Dr. Karolina Bryl, Creative Arts Therapies, College of Nursing and Health Professions, for the project: “COVID-19, social isolation, and schizophrenia: A mixed-methods feasibility study on the effects of telehealth dance/movement therapy to promote activation in chronic schizophrenia.”


Dr. Paakhi Srivastava, Department of Psychology – College of Arts and Sciences for the project “The BODY+ Study: Using Just-in-time, Adaptive Interventions (JITAI) to Address Body Dissatisfaction in Bulimia Nervosa.”

Dr. Victor Rovira Zambrana, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy- College of Medicine for the project “Involvement of Dorsal Rot Ganglia nociceptors phenotypic switch in the development of neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury.”

Dr. Ipsita Mohanty, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology - College of Medicine for the project “Role of AT1R-integrin signaling in hypertension and chronic kidney disease development in elastin insufficiency.”

Dr. Xuehang Wang, Department of Material Sciences – College of Engineering for the project “Electrochemical energy storage in 2D materials.”

2019 – Inaugural Fellow

Dr. Diana Norden, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences for the project: “Spinal cord injury-induced deficits in antiviral immunity: the role of sTNF.”

Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
Drexel University College of Medicine
New College Building
245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Natalie Chernets, PhD
Director of Postdoctoral Affairs & Professional Development

For more information, please contact the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Professional Studies

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