Welcome to the UTHealth Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The UTHealth Office of Postdoctoral Affairs was established to address the needs and provide services to all of the institution's postdoctoral research scientists. The office serves as an information warehouse and provides an avenue of communication among Postdoctoral Fellows, Faculty, and Administrators on issues related to postdoctoral training.

The Office offers Postdoctoral Fellows a starting point for resources and general information. We provide assistance to help ensure the entire postdoctoral experience on and off campus is as pleasant and productive as possible. It is the goal of the institution to attract first-rate researchers and provide them with an outstanding Postdoctoral experience.

Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program

A Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program is offered to all UTHealth Postdoctoral Fellows. Offered at no cost, participants receive benefits including a free Recreation Center membership and discounts on several campus and city services. More >

Leslie Beckman

Program Manager

Leslie Beckman is the Program Manager of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)   The OPA was created in October 2005.  Since then, Leslie has implemented and is responsible for all administrative postdoctoral activities including managing a Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program, facilitating postdoctoral appointments, mentoring the Postdoc Association leadership and serving as an ombudsman and administrative liaison for the UTHealth postdoctoral community.  Leslie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and worked in Human Resources for several years.  Thereafter, she spent her career implementing start up programs in several entrepreneurial endeavors in the areas of healthcare, finance and staffing.  

Email: Leslie.Beckman@uth.tmc.edu

S. Michelle Foskett

Coordinator, Special Programs

Michelle Foskett is the Coordinator of Special Program for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA).  She is a graduate of Texas A&M University, and has worked in the Medical Center since moving to Houston in late 2002.  Prior to joining UTHealth in 2007, Michelle worked in vestibular nerve research, balance disorder testing and rehabilitation, and cranial nerve monitoring during head/neck/brain surgeries.  At UTH, Michelle is primarily a data coordinator for the OPA.  She oversees information intake and input into various databases that she has created and maintains for local, state, and federal reporting purposes.  She also serves as a Postdoctoral Certificate Training Program Specialist, helping to administer the program and guide participating postdocs throughout the two-year training period.

Email: Sheila.Foskett@uth.tmc.edu

John H. "Jack" Byrne, PhD


Associate Dean for Research at McGovern Medical School
June and Virgil Waggoner Chair and Chairman
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy

Dr. Byrne received a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering working under the supervision of future Nobel laureate Dr. Eric Kandel. After completing his thesis, he spent an additional two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kandel at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1982, he was appointed as assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology of McGovern Medical School and in 1987, he was appointed as professor and chair of the school’s Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.

Dr. Byrne’s research focus is on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying simple forms of learning. His research has been recognized by the receipt of many awards including the UTHealth President’s Scholar Award for Research. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Byrne has also contributed substantially to graduate, postdoctoral and medical education. Over the past 39 years, he has trained 34 postdoctoral fellows and 24 graduate students. His textbook From Molecules to Networks: An Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, the third edition of which was published in 2014, is a comprehensive contribution to the field for both students and practicing scientists. He has also developed the innovative open-access, electronic online textbook Neuroscience Online, which received more than 2.7 million visits in 2016. Dr. Byrne’s contributions to education and mentoring have been recognized by several awards including the UTHealth President’s Award for Mentoring Women, the Award for Education in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience, The University of Texas System Innovation in Health Science Education Award, and the UTHealth President’s Scholar Award for Teaching.