Mendeley Advisor of the Month: May 2018

Mendeley advisor of the month: Dr Jordan Steel, Assistant Professor Cell Biology, Molecular Virology, Colorado State University.

Colorado State University-Pueblo faculty member Dr. Jordan Steel received the 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award for his highly innovative project- and team-based learning approach to his courses. A native of Albuquerque, NM, he has lived in Colorado since 2008 and enjoys spending time with his family hiking, biking, fishing, playing games, and going on adventures together to discover the amazing world we live in.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I have always been interested in microbiology and have been fascinated with the molecular basis of life. From 2005-2007, I lived in the Philippines and experienced first-hand the devastation caused by mosquito-borne viral infections. Upon returning to the US, I applied and started graduate school at Colorado State University’s Arthropod-borne Infectious Disease Lab (AIDL) to study viral pathogens such as Dengue virus and West Nile Virus. My Ph.D. dissertation worked primarily with alphaviruses and modifying the viral genome to develop reporter systems within cell lines and genetically modified mosquitoes to enhance our detection of viral infection. Near the end of my Ph.D., I worked on a project on how viral infection induces oxidative stress during infection. I fell in love with this project and later moved on to a Postdoc position to study viral manipulation of host cell metabolic pathways during Dengue virus infection. I am now an assistant professor and have my own research group and we are actively working to understand how viruses modify cellular physiology in order to create an optimal environment for viral replication.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Away from home! (I have 4 kids at home and I always joke around with my colleagues that I can’t get any work done at home).  Honestly, I work well in fast-paced environments with lots going on.  I enjoy the thrill and the pressure of working with lots of projects and trying to keep on top of all the demands. It can be hectic and busy, but the productivity that comes from groups with lots happening is very exciting.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I can’t remember the date exactly, but I can remember how it has changed my life. It was probably 2011 or 2012 and I was working to finish my Ph.D., I was unhappy with the other citation/reference managing software available and then a friend showed me Mendeley and it has changed my life! I use it almost every day since then!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I was using Endnote before I found Mendeley, but now I am a convert and advocate for everything Mendeley! Mendeley is the one-stop shop for all things research. It manages all of my references, allows easy annotations, helps me quickly find papers and notes from the past, and even finds and suggest articles that I should be reading! I love it!

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

I actually contacted Mendeley and asked to be an advisor. I teach lots of classes in our biology department and one of the first things I teach in my courses is about Mendeley. Every student and person working in biological sciences needs to know about Mendeley. I asked Mendeley if I could become an advisor and help share the good news about Mendeley and they were kind enough to accept me.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

So many great people to choose from, but I would love to meet Jonas Salk- the developer of the poliovirus vaccine. As a virologist myself, I have always been impressed and fascinated with his work and commitment to the research that he was doing! He even injected the vaccine on himself before it was fully approved. His work has saved millions of lives and it would be an honor to meet and talk virology with him.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (remember that I have 4 kids at home), other than that I have been reading my Mendelian Genetics textbook because I am teaching genetics this semester and, well, it has been a long time since I took a genetics class.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

From reading my genetics textbook- Laron Syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder that results in a short individual (due to a mutated growth hormone receptor) and also makes them resistant to certain types of cancer and diabetes.

What is the best part about working in research?

I love that each day is something different. We are always working on new problems and new questions. I also love the quality of people that I get to work with. I have decided that scientists are the best kind of people. I love my colleagues and the always changing research environment.

And the worst/most challenging part of working in research?

Funding. No explanation needed.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley is the best. It is literally the answer to all of your problems and will make your life easier and better immediately. Everyone needs to know about Mendeley and use it in their research endeavors!

Meet the Mendeley Community Team

We thought it was high time we put a face to the name by introducing you to the Mendeley Team one team at a time. First up: The Community Team.

The Mendeley Community team is here to support, connect, and engage with our users. Our goal is to make the Mendeley user experience as useful and valuable as possible through tools and resources and real human interactions.  We also strive to develop meaningful relationships with our 1900+ Advisors as they are the heartbeat of our user community.

We are always eager to meet our users to better understand your researcher journey and how Mendeley can better serve you, so if you are ever in the London area, the team would love to meet you! Email shruti.desai@mendeley.com for more details.

 

Jessica Reeves, Head of User Engagement

Jessica Reeves - Head of User EngagementJessica joined Mendeley in 2012. She holds a MSc in Organisational Analysis from King’s College in London, but her previous degrees are a bit more varied: Her B.A. from Communications and Business is from Tulane University, followed by a MPS Preservation of Historic Architecture.

You can follow her on Twitter @jessreeves1.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

To start, it’s my dream job! I have the opportunity to work with almost every team within Mendeley for the sole benefit of providing a valuable tool for our users so you can change the world of science. Whether we are focusing on enhancing the product workflow, discussing how best to communicate with our users or creating resources to use Mendeley, the users are always at the heart of the matter. In addition to working with brilliant colleagues, the Community team has the good fortune of working with our 1900+ global Advisors. The Advisors are the heartbeat of the user community, the Mendeley enthusiasts. As the leader of the Community team it is my mission to ensure our user community is engaged, educated and excited about what Mendeley is doing to change the way we do research.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

The people and the opportunity to make a true difference in the outcome of and collaborations within scientific research. The street food market outside our office is not too bad either 🙂

What do you do in your free time?

I realise that two of my hobbies, surfing and sailing, are inspired by my love of the sea. I have been lucky enough to see many  countries of the world from the seashore. Brazil still tops my list for best surf spots and the Croatian coast is by far my favourite sailing spot. Because I spend so much time on or in the sea I have a huge respect for our oceans and the creatures who allow us to be part of their world which led to my thrid passion, conservation.  Specifically shark conservation is a special interest because of the key role they play in this delicate ecosystem.

 

João Bernardino, Insights Marketing Manager

Joao Bernardino - Insights Marketing Manager

Joao joined Mendeley in 2013, after studying Management in Lisbon and Paris. He started his working life working for an insurance company, but after diving deep into financial products and insurance policies, he discovered it wasn’t for him. So he headed to London, where he discovered Mendeley during his Master’s thesis in Marketing, which he did in London and Germany. He previously worked at Adidas doing product marketing (and collecting shoes).

You can follow him on twitter @joaorbernardino

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

My role on the Community Team is a series of fun and challenging tasks that makes me understand our Mendeley community and how we can better support them. It is an exciting role that keeps me in contact with our enthusiastic Advisors and all of our Mendeley internal teams. It is a pleasure to work surrounded by such smart and interesting people.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

My favourite part about working at Mendeley is the fact that we can actually change the way research is done and improve researchers’ lives, contributing to bigger discoveries.

When I saw the opportunity to join the Mendeley team, I didn’t think twice. This was a company that I wanted to work for. It breathes innovation and success, and as I once noticed quoted on the website, “It’s the most fun you can have with your pants on.”

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I like cycling, playing volleyball and surfing when I’m back home or whenever I get the chance to meet the sea. I also enjoy to learn new skills such as tech (new software, new products, etc) or artistic (photography, drawing, music, etc).

Claire van den Broek, Education Program Manager

claire2Meet our newest team member! Claire joined our team February 2014, moving from the United States where she completed a dual degree PhD in comparative literature and German Studies. She was born and raised in the Netherlands, and worked as a researcher, university lecturer and academic translator before joining Mendeley.

You can follow her on Twitter @CYvdB

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

As Education Program Manager, I am responsible for Mendeley’s online resources, including video tutorials and guides. I also create and manage educational materials that help others spread the word about Mendeley.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

Mendeley’s London office is a great place to work; my colleagues are young, enthusiastic, exceptionally talented and you can tell how much they enjoy working here. I only recently joined Mendeley and I am really impressed with the positive office atmosphere created by the founders. The endless free fruit, breakfasts, pizza, cake, snacks and foosball table help of course 😉

What do you do in your free time?

In my spare time I love traveling to unusual places and geocaching. I also look forward to visiting my parents in The Netherlands on weekends again, after many years of living far away in America.

 

Shruti M. Desai, Community Relations Executive

Shruti M. Desai - Community Relations Executive

Shruti joined Mendeley in late 2013. She worked for nearly a decade as a journalist, at various U.S. newspapers and magazines as a reporter in: local government, food and fashion, and education, to name a few.

She transitioned into science outreach at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, in Dresden, Germany, where she was the Science and Society Program Coordinator.

 

You can follow her on Twitter @inothernews

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

My role is to help develop community outreach programs. Part of that role is to share stories of user experiences with the Mendeley team, while raising awareness of Mendeley incentives amongst our users and Advisors.

I work closely with the Advisor community, looking to build relationships and collaborations with researchers, and plan events, training sessions, and other outreach initiatives to raise awareness of Mendeley in research communities.

Spud

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I really love working with the Advisor Community. It sounds cheesy and overly-earnest, but they honestly blow me away with their enthusiasm, skills, and support. I hope I can support them equally. Also the Mendeley London offices are really fun, filled with talented people who also know how to have a good time. (It doesn’t hurt that occasional office dog Spud is currently snoozing on my lap.)

What do you do in your free time?

I love Roller Derby and used to play for the Dresden Pioneers, but am now am “just” a  fan. I enjoy sharing food with friends, reading YA Literature, and exploring new cultures through travel. I am also happy to be married to science researcher, though sometimes I wish the lab gave him more free time.

 

Ricardo Vidal, Outreach Liaison

Ricardo Vidal - Outreach Liaison

Ricardo attended the University of Algarve (UALG) in Southern Portugal where he received his academic training in the field of biological engineering. Ricardo holds a Masters of Engineering diploma which he obtained at UALG, and as a visiting graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His Masters thesis was focused on the subject of Synthetic Biology and assisted simulation of biobrick construction via bioinformatic tools.

With a strong interest in studying biological systems from a standardized and analytical perspective, Ricardo jumped into his PhD work at Queen’s University (Canada) in the field of bioinformatics and health data analytics in cancer research.

You can follow him on Twitter @rvidal.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

I’ve has been using Mendeley since the summer of 2008 (early beta-tester) and have been a part of the team ever since. My role as part of the Mendeley team has been quite diverse. Always within the scope of our community team efforts, I’ve played a role of outreach and education about Mendeley. My network and communication skills have allowed me to establish strong and long-lasting connections with a large number of users. My technical skills have enabled me to help produce and project materials and programs that further enabled our educational efforts.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I’d say my favorite part is working and interacting with so many great people. Both internally at Mendeley and externally via the community at large. I’ve made some long-lasting connections that have turned into great friendships. As a research scientists and engineer that continuously uses Mendeley Desktop, I get to speak to, and participate with, the users and developers on a pretty close level.

What do you do in your free time?

Uhm, free time? What’s that? Haha! All spare time from work and research is spent playing with my kids.

 

William Gunn, Head of Academic Outreach

William Gunn - Head of Academic Outreach

Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D in Biomedical Science from the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing mesenchymal stem cells, the body’s own reparative forces. Frustrated with the inefficiencies of the modern research process, he left academia and established the biology program at Genalyte, a novel diagnostics startup. At Mendeley, he works to make research more impactful and reproducible and is an expert on altmetrics, reproducibility, and open access.

You can follow him on Twitter @mrgunn.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

As Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, I blend deep technical knowledge and industry insight with clear and effective communication skills. I spend a good deal of time writing blog posts, essays, technical papers, presentations,and in general contributing to interesting conversations happening across academia and the tech community, but I also do things that don’t fall under the traditional communication categories.

I also co-direct the Reproducibility Initiative with Elizabeth Iorns and co-organizes Science Online Bay Area with colleagues from other tech companies in the area to bring together people who are doing interesting things that influence how science is carried out and communicated online.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I’ve been with Mendeley since 2009, and since the very beginning the thing that has really made it a great place to work has been the freedom to contribute broadly across the organization. If you are interested in taking something on and show the capacity to handle it, you can own your own destiny here. The support and individual care the founders have for each person really helps me feel like my unique skills are appreciated.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy cooking and making things with my hands, especially with the assistance of my daughter Charlotte.