About Us



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Download Quick overview of the OPA (PDF)
Download the 2021 Infographic


Meet the OPA Staff:


Marcela Hernandez, PhD

Administrative Director


A molecular biologist and biochemist by training, Dr. Hernandez designs and implements programs to enhance retention, and support of postdoctoral scholars including a special focus on those with underrepresented backgrounds. She became a scientist thanks to an excellent PhD mentor who inspired her, trained her, and mentored her. For this reason she is very passionate about mentoring and is working to help the next generation of STEM professionals navigate successfully to rewarding careers. To learn more about Dr. Hernandez’ professional trajectory, go here.


Zakee Sabree, PhD

Faculty Director


Zakee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. His research interests are centered on how microbes are critical partners in the development, growth, and evolution of animals, including humans. In this regard, Zakee has published and coauthored several peer-reviewed publications in the areas of evolutionary biology and microbiology. The National Science Foundation and state government organizations support Zakee’s research. To learn more about Zakee’s research, please visit his website.


Student Assistants

Madison Good







Anne Grimm