Championing

Championing Issues

The Department of Surgery and Cancer has a number of postdoc representatives, who form part of Imperial's Postdoc Reps Network and work in line with Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre to enable it to stay abreast of the needs and issues facing postdocsReps are the essential bridge between the Department and the postdoc community across campuses and play a vital role in championing postdoc issues via the People and Culture Committee.

Departmental postdoc reps

If you want to find out more about the support and opportunities that are available please get in touch with your relevant postdoc rep:


Hammersmith Campus postdoc reps

The Postdoc Rep Committee in the Hammersmith Campus covers all the 5 departments within the Faculty of Medicine, the Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Cancer, National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), The Institute of Clinical Sciences/MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS), and the School of Public Health.

The Division of Cancer and Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology (IRDB) are based in the Hammersmith Hospital campus, and are the ones represented by our team, which is currently made of Dr Biancastella Cereser, Dr Vessela Vassileva, Dr Nina Moderau, Dr Sladjana Zagorac and Dr Megha Prakash Bangalore.

We closely collaborate with the other Hammersmith Postdoc reps to create a more interdisciplinary environment for our postdocs and to organise group events. We bring the views of postdocs and fellows actively contribute to Divisional Executive meetings and the People and Culture Committee. The P&C Committee is set to encourage transparency and fairness in all aspects of Departmental life to all groups and to monitor the implementation and success of Athena Swan Initiatives across the Department. The Committee also supports the dissemination of College level policies and initiatives, identifying local adjustments and improvements.

What we do
Our postdocs reps help to organise workshops and tailored events for fellow postdocs, alone or in collaboration with the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centreensuring their views are heard and their issues tackled. The group provides a range of events, including:

  • Regular scheduled coffee mornings to improve networking, and to obtain suggestions and feedback from the postdocs community
  • The Annual Imperial College Biomedical Symposium, attended by postdocs, PIs and students, showcasing the postdoctoral research and facilitating multidisciplinary collaboration between the Departments.
  • Workshops and courses to promote academic professional development, usually organised in South Kensington campus, our postdocs would like to see more organised events in Hammersmith as well
  • Tailored events, such as CV clinics and Career Fairs, to offer advice on professional alternatives to academia.

Get in touch
You can get in touch with the reps via: hammersmithpdr@imperial.ac.uk

Learn more about our Hammersmith postdoc reps
Find out more about the Hammersmith reps, why they got involved and what they are doing to champion the postdoc community. 

Postdoc reps

Biancastella Cereser

BiancastellaAfter completing a MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Padua, Italy and working for one year at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in 2006 I’ve moved to London to start my PhD at Queen Mary University. I have been a postdoc at the same university since 2010, and joined Imperial College London in 2016 as a research associate in Prof Justin Stebbing group in the Department of Surgery and Cancer. I decided to become a postdoc rep not long after I joined Imperial College, as I wanted to network with fellow postdocs from other teams while also strengthening my CV with extra organisation skills.

My involvement: 

  • As part of the People and Culture committee, together with the other postdoc reps, I share the views of postdocs in several aspects of our job, and try to promote changes in our environment.
  • Recently, I have analysed the outcome of the staff survey, focusing on what the postdoc community of our Department thought about issues such as professional recognition, mental wellbeing and support from their line managers.
  • From this, I’m currently contributing with the other reps and our postdoc champion to the design and implementation of a staff survey on career progression, aimed at postdocs not only from our Department but from the whole Faculty of Medicine (Hammersmith Campus), which will help to tackle, amongst other issues, the drop-out in academic progression, in particular from female postdocs.

Nina Moderau

NinaAfter completing my Diploma in Biology and my Doctorate in Molecular Biomedicine in the University of Bonn in Germany, I relocating to UK for my first appointment as a postdoc in Barts Cancer Institute. In 2017 I joined the Department of Surgery and Cancer as a research associate in Prof Stebbing’s group to develop a 3D model of breast cancer evolution. I was a postdoc representative at Barts, which allowed me very quickly to adapt and build up my professional network within the postdoc community. Additionally, being involved in the organisation of networking, career development and charity events significantly increased the number of my inter-department collaborations and my personal visibility among fellow postdocs. After joining Imperial College for my second appointment I decided to continue with my engagement in postdoc representation and hope to be able to support and encourage initiatives that will help fellow postdocs to progress in their careers and development.

Additionally, I took the opportunity to join the People and Culture committee of the Department of Surgery and Cancer to be involved with the Athena SWAN application. Here, I can help to improve equal opportunities for women in research and academia. To achieve that and to increase female stuff progression in academia, we first need to understand the postdoctoral culture better to be able to act on it. To tackle this, monthly meetings with the postdoc reps from the Faculty of Medicine (Hammersmith Campus) are arranged, to discuss views and issues and to act on them to improve the environment.  Additionally, a survey was conducted to address career development and progression amongst other topics, which hopefully will give us a deeper insight into the postdoctoral culture and expectations. This will allow us to draft an accurate action plan for the Athena SWAN application and to consolidate equality and diversity in career development and progression. 

Vesella Vassileva

VassI work on various projects, involving the discovery and development of new methods for experimental and clinical imaging of cancer. I also work on therapeutic approaches that target the tumour microenvironment, the optimisation of radioimmunotherapy, and rational combination therapies for cancer. My aim is to develop a theranostics research program for the simultaneous detection and treatment of solid tumours at Imperial College London. I have also worked at the UCL Cancer Institute, Bart’s Cancer Center, the European Medicines Agency, and as an Associate Editor at Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

 What we do:

  • Planning and organization of the Imperial College Biomedical Symposium
  • Coffee mornings for postdocs to encourage networking and collaborations
  • Career Fair

I would like to champion a mentoring scheme for career development and progression, identifying faculty members that are willing to participate as mentors and planning and organising a workshop on career options for academia and beyond.