UP - UT Health San Antonio Postdoc Association

UT Health San Antonio Postdoctoral Association (UP)

UT Health San Antonio Postdoctoral Association (UP) is a volunteer organization dedicated to addressing the needs and concerns of all UT Health San Antonio postdocs. Our vision is to foster success among postdoctoral scholars today that will enhance their professional endeavors tomorrow. Our mission is to enhance, support and promote postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and help to prepare postdoctoral scholars for successful careers. UP serves postdoctoral scholars in all disciplines, schools, and colleges across the University. Our hope is to foster a sense of community, provide resources for career and personal development, and provide a framework for representation on campus and in the local community for postdoctoral scholars from all departments of the University.

We are here …

  • To build effective career management skills and develop the professional skills postdoctoral scholars need both in and outside of lab
  • To organize events and seminars that enriches the scientific experience of postdocs and encourages social interaction with the community.
  • To collaborate with other university organizations and services to address concerns that are unique to the postdoctoral scholar population
  • To advocate for postdoctoral scholars at UT Health San Antonio and educate them regarding university policy and postdoctoral rights



2022-2023 UP Officers

Contact UP via email: UP@uthscsa.edu


UP President 

Dr. Francisca Acosta was born in El Salvador, but raised primarily in Houston, Texas. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology former NCI T32 Scholar and current NCAT TL1 Scholar. Currently, she is studying the role of Osteocytic Connexin43 hemichannels in metabolic function. Her research interests are Metabolism, Musculoskeletal, Diabetes, Aging, Cancer Biology, and Biomedical Engineering/Regenerative Medicine. Beyond research, Dr. Acosta is incredibly passionate about scientific outreach, mentorship, and science communication.

As UP’s President, her goal is work in conjunction with fellow UP Officers/OPA to engage, promote, empower, and grow the postdoctoral community here at UT Health San Antonio.


Dr. Acosta can be contacted at acostafm@uthscsa.edu.


Dr. Acosta is fluent in Spanish.


UP Networking Officer

Dr. Manpreet K. Semwal was born and raised in Mumbai (Bombay), India. As an associate SABER*IRACDA scholar at UT Health SA, she is working on understanding the mechanisms to improve age-associated metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes in human subjects. 

As UP’s Networking Officer, her goals are to interact with various entities, to organize workshops, scholarly activities, and career discovery opportunities, both inside and outside of UT Health SA to facilitate and promote development of professional networks. Dr. Semwal can be contacted at semwal@uthscsa.edu.

Dr. Semwal is fluent in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, & Urdu.


UP Professional Development Officer

Dr. Luis Cruz was born and raised in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He completed his MD in Mexico and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Medicine/Diabetes. He is working on understanding the mechanisms of hepatic mitochondrial flux by using stable isotope tracers in T2DM patients with NAFLD/NASH.

As UP’s Professional Development Officer, his goals are to provide leadership and vision to lead the professional growth initiatives for the postdoctoral community in order to establish a learning environment that promotes success.

Dr. Cruz can be contacted at cruzmoreno@uthscsa.edu.

Dr. Cruz is fluent in Spanish.


UP Communication Officer

Dr. Bojana Stefanovska was born and raised in Bitola, North Macedonia. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology. Currently, she is working on discovering synthetic lethal vulnerabilities in APOBEC-high breast and ovarian cancers.

As UP’s Communication Officer, her goal is to distribute information to promote the association among current and upcoming postdocs, and to enhance the dissemination of information about scientific achievements of postdocs within the community of UT Health SA. Dr. Stefanovska can be contacted at stefanovska@uthscsa.edu.

Dr. Stefanovska is fluent in Italian, French, and Macedonian.


UP International Affairs Officer

Dr. Jyoti Baranwal was born and brought up in Varanasi, India. She completed her PhD from Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) in Pune, India where she discovered the unique mechanism of action of a small Ras-like GTPase, MglA and its effector protein, MglB in Myxococcus xanthus. Currently, she is working on RNA methylases involved in cancer at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (GCCRI). She is actively engaged in scientific outreach activities such as the Indian Science Theatre, and she is a volunteer for the scientific community “Biopatrika”. As UP’s International Affairs Officer, her goal is to improve the integration of international scholars by creating an open communication channel. Dr. Baranwal can be contacted by baranwal@uthscsa.edu.
Dr. Baranwal is fluent Hindi (Native), English (Proficient).

Other languages she understands are Urdu, Marathi, and Bengali.










Photo Gallery

UP mascot:
Erle N. Meyer!