New Researcher Announcement Archive

Emre Aksoy - Postdoctoral Fellow, Catteruccia Lab

Emre joined the department in February, 2021 to work on mosquito reproduction. He completed his BS and MSc at the University of Connecticut and has just recently finished his PhD from the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics Program at the University of California, Riverside this past December. In his spare time, Emre likes staying active by skiing, mountain hiking and playing ice hockey. He also enjoys rooting for all the Boston sports teams.

Federico Appetecchia - Visiting Graduate Student, Catteruccia Lab

Federico joined the department in February, 2021. He studied pharmaceutical chemistry at La Sapienza – University of Rome and defines himself as a Medical Chemist. He’s currently in the second year of his international Ph.D. program researching molecular design and characterization for the promotion of health and well-being, from drug to food. So far he has focused on the development of new antitubercular and anticancer drugs. Outside of work he enjoys outdoor activities like riding motorcycles and travelling

Wesley Wong - Research Scientist, Wirth Lab

Wes returned to HSPH and the Wirth Lab, in January 2021, after completing his postdoc at the Institute for Disease Modeling and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is interested in evolutionary epidemiology and combines population genomics with mechanistic mathematical models to unite clinical field data with population genetic and epidemiology theory. After a brief stint in the genomic epidemiology of poliovirus, he is excited to return and apply his newly learned modeling techniques to tackling malaria population genetics. Outside of the lab, he likes trying new foods, hanging out with friends, and playing video games. He has recently acquired a surprising interest in cooking due to being stuck inside during the pandemic. Click on Wes’s name to email him.
Philipp Schwabl

Philipp Schwabl - Postdoctoral Fellow, Neafsey Lab

Philipp joined IID in September, 2020, following his PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Glasgow, where he used population genomic approaches to explore the ecology and evolution of important human parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum in Latin America. Philipp also has extensive experience in field-based avian eco-physiological research. He completed his MSc on endocrine function in rain-forest birds of Ecuador and his BSc on fairy-wren physiology in fire-prone savannas of Australia following eight years of research on avian reproductive strategies in Venezuela. Philipp enjoys swimming, bicycling, camping, bird-watching, and most other outdoor activities. He also loves playing soccer and watching his home team, FC Bayern, taking all other teams apart. Click here to email Philipp.

Chelsea Morroni - Research Associate, BHP

Chelsea joined HSPH in February, 2020 as Research Associate at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) in Gaborone, Botswana. Chelsea is a medical doctor and epidemiologist who has lived and worked in southern Africa for over 20 years; in Botswana for the last seven. She is a Reader in International Sexual and Reproductive Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Deputy Director of the UK Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare’s Clinical Effectiveness Unit. In Botswana, she directs the Botswana Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Initiative, which focuses on the prevention of unintended pregnancy through improved contraception and safe abortion care and on improving the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Outside of work, Chelsea spends her time driving and camping across Southern Africa with her family. Click here to email Chelsea.

Aditya Bandekar - Postdoctoral Fellow, Grad Lab

Adi joined the department in May, 2020. He came to IID from the Department of Microbiology & Physiological Systems at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he did his doctoral work with Dr. Chris Sassetti, studying Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell cycle physiology. Prior to coming to the U.S. to pursue his Ph.D. dream, Adi received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees studying agricultural microbiology. Outside of work, Adi is an avid swimmer and aspiring triathlete who, thanks to his Indian heritage, enjoys cricket and the occasional cup of chai. Click here to email Adi.

Annie Laws - Visiting Scientist, Neafsey Lab

Annie joined the department in January, 2020. She comes to HSPH after a year of living at 12,000ft in the Peruvian Andes as a research project manager for Johns Hopkins University. She has been involved in public health program development, quality improvement work, and research coordination for the last 6 years and holds an MPH in epidemiology from Boston University. Originally from the vast flatlands of Illinois, you will find her hiking in the mountains as much as possible. She is a novice salsa dancer, medium skilled cellist, and expert at making pie crust. Click here to email Annie.

Deus Ishengoma - Visiting Scientist, Wirth Lab

Deus joined the department in January, 2020. He joins HSPH with a strong background in genomic epidemiology of malaria. He spent over 20 years conducting malaria research in Tanzania, focusing on antimalarial drug resistance and surveillance of parasite population in areas transitioning from high to low malaria transmission. He has also been involved in different capacity, building programs with the aim of training and retaining a critical mass of African researchers and establishing laboratories for generating genomics data in-country. Deus holds a Bachelor and Master of Veterinary Medicine from Sokoine University in Tanzania, and a PhD from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Deus likes dancing particularly African music, travelling, business, innovation and spending time with family. Click here to email Deus.

Peter Culviner - Postdoctoral Fellow, Fortune Lab

Peter joined the department in November, 2019. He comes to HSPH from a background in bacteriology and RNA biology. He recently completed his doctoral work at the Laub lab at MIT where he focused on bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems. Outside of the lab, Peter enjoys cooking, running, sailing, coding side projects, and video games. Click here to email Peter.

Michael Chao - Research Scientist, Fortune Lab

Mike re-joined the department in November, 2019. He did both his graduate and post-doctoral research at Harvard, and then took a 4 year detour to help launch the journal, Nature Microbiology, as a manuscript editor. He now returns as a Project Manager in the Fortune Lab, where he will be coordinating IMPAcTB, an international, multi-institution project that aims to identify and characterize mechanisms of host protection against tuberculosis across animal models and human patient cohorts. When not juggling projects, he enjoys hiking, cooking and sleeping. Click here to email Mike.

Qingyun Liu - Postdoctoral Fellow, Fortune Lab

Qingyun joined the department in September, 2019. He completed his Ph.D. in Qian Gao’s laboratory at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He is a bioinformatician with research skills in genomics and population genetics. In his previous position he studied the within-host evolution of M. tuberculosis during antibiotic treatment and the origin and evolution of M. tuberculosis in China. In the Fortune Lab he is studying the interaction between host and bacterial genotypes. In his free time he enjoys running, climbing, and traveling. Click here to email Qingyun.

Anaclara Pincelli - Visiting Graduate Student, Duraisingh Lab

Anaclara joined the department in September, 2019. She is visiting from Brazil where she is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of São Paulo. During her masters studies she researched the impact of malaria on the health of mothers and babies from the Western Amazon. In the Duraisingh lab she is investigating the biological activity of anti – P. vivax mother IgG antibodies. Outside of the lab, Anaclara enjoys being close to nature, knitting, movies, and dancing. Click here to email Anaclara.

Daisy Ji - Postdoctoral Fellow, Rubin Lab

Daisy  joined the lab in September, 2019. She is a recent graduate from University of California, Berkeley, where she worked on host immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She has switched gears and is studying bacterial physiology in the Rubin lab. In her free time she enjoys traveling and eating pastries! Click here to email Daisy.

Jake Rosenberg - Postdoctoral Fellow - Fortune Lab

Jake  joined the department in July, 2019. He is originally from Avon, Connecticut, and is currently a fellow in infectious diseases at Brigham and Mass General. He began his postdoc working on a project using single cell sequencing of the tuberculosis granuloma to better understand the cell types involved in tuberculosis control, in the Fortune Lab.  For fun, he enjoys road biking, running, and skiing. Click here to email Jake.

Hannah Cornwell - Sr. Research & Facility Manager, Cattaruccia Lab

Hannah joined the department in August, 2019.  She comes to this new position with a strong background in agricultural entomology. She worked for the United States Department of Agriculture for 8 years, and holds an MSc in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a BS in Ecology from SUNY empire. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys outdoor activities, crafting, practicing the ukulele, pickling things, and bookstores. Click here to email Hannah.

Pankaj Pal, Postdoctoral Fellow - Rubin Lab

Pankaj joined the department in July 2019. She received her MD/PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. During her PhD, she worked in Michael Diamond’s lab where she studied antibody protection against Chikungunya virus. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine and is currently an Infectious Diseases fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess. In her spare time, she enjoys playing Frisbee, hiking, and spinning. Click here to email Pankaj.

Xin Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow - Fortune Lab

Xin joined the department in July 2019. He recently completed his PhD in Joel Ferundlich’s lab at Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School. During his doctoral work he leveraged Bayesian model for novel anti-TB drug discovery and exploited chemical biology to understand mechanisms of the action of screen hits. In the Fortune lab he will leverage multiple techniques to study pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis. In his spare time he likes to hike, run (not at a marathon level, but trying!), cooking, and learning different languages. Click here to email Xin.

Slater Clay, Postdoctoral Fellow - Garrett Lab

Slater joined the department in June, 2019. He recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Glasgow, where he studied the role of regulatory T cells in shaping the CD4 T cell response to Salmonella. He is researching interactions between the gastrointestinal immune system and the microbiota. Outside of the lab Slater enjoys traveling, cycling, sailing and playing music. Click here to email Slater.

Joshua Vollrath, Visiting Graduate Student - Burleigh Lab

Joshua joined the department in May, 2019. He is a master’s student in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, visiting the Burleigh lab for a 5-month long research internship. He graduated from the University of Mainz (Germany) with a B. Sc. in Molecular Biology. He is investigating the impact of ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors (EBIs) on Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes under various conditions, aiming to characterize selected mutant lines of the parasite. Outside the lab, Joshua enjoys hiking, running and cooking. Click here to email Joshua.

Mark Sullivan, Postdoctoral Fellow - Rubin Lab

Mark joined the department in May, 2019. He recently completed his PhD at MIT studying cancer metabolism in Matt Vander Heiden’s lab, and he is excited to explore a new area of research in studying mycobacteria. Outside of lab, Mark enjoys hiking, playing music, reading, playing and watching sports, and will join literally any intramural sports team if asked. Click here to email Mark.

Daniel Nakatsu, Postdoctoral Fellow - Garrett Lab

Daniel joined the department in May, 2019. He just completed his PhD at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, in the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics.  He grew up living in and traveling across the beautiful multicultural inner cities of Hong Kong, Osaka, and Toronto. His research interests focus on understanding the role of intestinal microbiota in colorectal cancer tumorigenesis through metagenomics and molecular biology. He looks forward to great research experiences here in the historical city of Boston. In his leisure time he enjoys playing Chopin’s piano works and keeping up with a core fitness routine. Click here to email Daniel.

Lucas Pagura, Postdoctoral Fellow - Burleigh Lab

Lucas joined the department in March, 2019. He is from Argentina where he completed his Ph.D., in Biological Sciences, at the University of Rosario. While at the Burleigh Lab he will be studying intra-cellular Trypanosoma cruzi amastiagote – host cell interactions at the metabolic interface. He will use reverse genetics and biochemical approaches to study de novo fatty acid synthesis in the mammalian intra-cellular stage of T. cruzi.
In his free time he likes to be outdoors enjoying the sun with friends. He likes sports like running, swimming, and kayaking. He also enjoys music and photography. Click here to email Lucas.

Manuela Carrasquilla, Postdoctoral Fellow - Neafsey Lab

Manuela joined the department in February 2019 as a postdoctoral Fellow in the Neafsey Lab. She studied biology in Bogotá, Colombia, where she became interested in host-pathogen interactions. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, focused in developing genetic tools to understand fitness costs associated with drug resistance mutations in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. In the Neafsey Lab, she will study parasite adaptations in South America. She used to go on long bike rides, host Latin American movie nights, and play bridge. Now she’s exploring new hobbies in Boston. Click here to email Manuela.

Adele Goldman-Pinkovich, Postdoctoral Fellow - Burleigh Lab

Adele joined the department in February 2019. She received her Ph.D. from Technion Institute of Technology, in Israel where she researched the arginine transport and sensing system in Leishmania donovani parasites. During her Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies she investigated how parasites cope with host-inflicted arginine deprivation to maintain virulence. She is excited to join the Burleigh lab to study mechanisms of lipid acquisition by intracelluar T. cruzi parasites and their role in parasite-host interplay. Outside of the lab she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two kids, getting to know Boston, cooking, swimming, watching a good movie, and a bit of painting and other crafts. Click here to email Adele.

Kayla Barnes, Visiting Scientist - Sabeti Lab

Kayla joined the department in January, 2019. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Sabeti Lab where she focuses on evolutionary genetics of both humans and pathogens. Kayla works primarily in Malawi where she focuses on identifying genetic determinants of rotavirus vaccine failure in children. Kayla has also been working on two genome-wide association studies of susceptibility to Ebola Virus Disease and Lassa fever as well as projects utilizing viral genomics to understand pathogen evolution of hemorrhagic fevers and arboviruses. Kayla’s postdoctoral work is supported by a Fogarty-NIH K01 fellowship, an ASTMH Shope fellowship and a Broad-Next 10 grant. She carried out her Ph.D. in Tropical Medicine at the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Center in Blantyre Malawi and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine with Janet Hemingway and Charles Wondji. She identified a selective sweep in a main malaria mosquito due to insecticide pressure. She has also worked for Dyann Wirth, where she studied multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infection and helped analyze geographical variation and antimalarial drug resistance in P. falciparum isolates. Click here to email Kayla.

Bobby Brook Herrera, Visiting Scientist - Phyllis Kanki

Bobby joined the department in January, 2019. He is a co-founder and chief scientific officer at E25Bio (The Engine by MIT). E25Bio’s lab focuses on infectious disease immunology and diagnostic/software development. He will work with the Kanki lab to study the impact of Zika virus infection on pregnant women in Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in Public Health and a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard. Prior to co-founding the company, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School. Outside of all things science, he enjoys traveling and reading. Click here to email Bobby.

Jun-Rong Wei, Research Scientist - Fortune Lab

Jun joined the department in September 2018. She is working on projects aiming to identify the protective immune mechanism against tuberculosis infection. Her primary role is to build immunological expertise and set up high throughput immune correlate assays using various techniques including macrophage functional assessments, functional antibody profiling, and single-cell RNA seq analysis. Jun is originally from Taiwan. She came to U.S. for her postdoctoral training in the Rubin lab and then went to Novartis Infectious Diseases group for almost 6 years. Now she is back in the TB field and the HSPH community. Outside of works she likes playing ping-pong, hiking, reading, and being with families and friends. Click here to email Jun.

Christopher Uschnig, Research Associate - Wirth Lab

Christopher joined the department in October 2018. He works on a project that explores the use of biomarkers for the diagnosis of common infections in rural Africa. The project looks into how an assay that discriminates between malaria, bacterial, and viral infections can improve clinical decision making to prevent adverse treatment. Christopher will work collaboratively at the Broad Institute as part of the Infectious Disease Program with Bronwyn MacInnis. Christopher grew up, and also finished a part of his studies, in Austria. However, his passion for infectious diseases, immunology, and global health brought him back to Harvard for a third time. Previously he worked and studied, as a research scholar in immunology, at Harvard Medical School and at Harvard GSAS from 2012 to 2013. He returned to get an M.P.H. in Global Health from 2015 to 2016, here at The Harvard Chan School. Outside of work, Christopher likes hiking, visiting museums, botanical gardens, exploring and learning about different cultures, and photography. He always enjoys a pleasant discussion about world affairs with friends, which also helps him to better understand perceptions of people from different backgrounds. Click here to email Christopher.

Thais de Oliveira, Visiting Graduate Student -Neafsey Lab

Thais joined the department in September, 2018. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and is visiting the Neafsey Lab at the Harvard Chan School and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
While visiting Harvard, she will be working with whole-genome sequencing of Plasmodium species, such as P. vivax, P. falciparum, and less common P. malarie and P. simium. The projects are all about population genomics and epidemiology, together with evidence of selective pressure in drug resistance genes. She will also work with tracing the origin of this species. Click here to email Thais.

Novalia Pishesha, Postdoctoral Fellow - Duraisingh Lab

Nova joined the department in September, 2018. Originally from Indonesia, she is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Jointly co-advised by Manoj Duraisingh at the Harvard School of Public Health and Aviv Regev at the Broad Institute, she is working to develop novel tools to study and tackle vivax malaria. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her thesis involved utilizing genetic and protein engineering techniques to generate high value, hyper-functional red blood cells (RBCs). She has employed these engineered RBCs for treating autoimmune diseases, providing long-lasting protection against lethal toxins, and treating hyperlipidemia. Beyond the bench, Nova can often be found attempting to re-create the delicious Indonesian food that she misses so much from home (with variable results =P). She also generally loves eating, traveling, and hunting Pokémon. Click here to email Nova.

Monika Pioro, Visiting Graduate Student - Rubin Lab

Monika was with the department for the month of August, 2018. A native of Poland, she is a Ph.D student at the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences. She also participates in a scientific project at University of Wroclaw. Her project is focused on segrational protein ParA in M. smegmatis. In Dr. Rubin’s lab she will research Tn-Seq in M. smegmatis on two strains: wild type and parA deletion. In her free time she enjoys traveling and reading books.

Manish Kumar, Postdoctoral Fellow - Duraisingh Lab

Manish joined the department in August, 2018. He is working to understand the epigenetic regulation of malaria parasites. He completed his Ph.D. in Life Sciences at the Institute of Bioinformatics in Bangalore, India in 2017. During his doctoral studies he investigated blood meal induced differential gene expression in that fat body of Anopheles stephensi female mosquitoes by using mass spectrometry-based proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses. In addition, he identified novel substrates of calcium dependent protein kinases in Plasmodium falciparum. In his spare time, he plays volleyball, watches movies, and spends time with family and friends. Click here to email Manish.

Jacob Tennessen, Research Associate - Duraisingh and Neafsey Labs

Jacob joined the department in August, 2018. His background is in computational evolutionary genetics across numerous species including snails, strawberries, frogs, and humans. He is joining the malaria research community, examining genomics of hosts and parasites. In his spare time he likes to bike, play the piano, and share his love of science on the internet. Click here to email Jacob.

Marc-Jan Gubbel, Visiting Scientist - Duraisingh Lab

MJ was with the department from August to December 2018. He directs a research laboratory at Boston College focused on the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. His interests revolve broadly around how the cytoskeleton drives both host cell invasion and cell division in this group of parasites. Specific questions focus on how calcium sensor protein function in organelle exocytosis, how the cytoskeleton is assembled, how the contractile ring functions and why this ring is conserved upon completion of cell division. A combination of genetic and cell biological tools as well as in vitro evolution are used to answer these questions. In his spare time he likes to do home improvements projects, take the dog for a walk and go for long bicycle rides. Click here to email MJ.

Camila Tenorio Franca, Postdoctoral Fellow - Duraisingh Lab

Camila joined the department in July 2018. Sheinvestigates the activity and function of antibodies to Plasmodium vivax antigens and how this information can be used to identify new targets for the development of vaccines and therapeutic interventions. Originally from Brazil, Camilla has spent the last five years Down Under (a.k.a. Australia), studying naturally-acquired immunity to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmondium falciparum clinical disease in Papua New Guinean children. When not working, Camila enjoys spending time with her daughter at the pool, reading, and watching really bad Sci-Fi movies! Click here to email Camila.

Charles Dulberger, Postdoctoral Fellow - Rubin Lab

Charlie joined the department in April 2018. He is using high resolution microscopy, structural methods and genetics to study the inner workings of mycobacteria and the molecular mechanisms they employ to evade immune recognition and destruction. Charlie completed his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Chicago in the laboratory of Prof Erin Adams where he studied the molecular landscapes of MHC class I molecules and the mechanisms by which they present antigen to T cells and NK cells. In his free time he plays soccer and spends as much time outdoors as possible. He is also an avid horticulturalist and ecologist. Click here to email Charlie.

Niranjan Kanesa-thasan, Visiting Scientist - Wirth Lab

Niranjan joined the department in April 2018. He is a global medical executive with a successful record in vaccine research and development. He has worked in industry, government and academia, with a focus on medical countermeasures for epidemic/pandemic and emerging infectious diseases. Niranjan will be working with HSPH and HGHI on a new Vaccines Initiative. He likes the outdoors, reading, music and travel. Click here to email Niranjan.

Duo Peng, Postdoctoral Fellow - Catteruccia Lab

Duo joined the department in February 2018. He is investigating the interplay of reproductive biology and the transmission of malaria in Anopheles mosquitoes. He has a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology and an M.S. in Bioinformatics from the University of Georgia where he studied Trypanosoma cruzi. Outside of the lab, Duo likes to hike, play racquetball, tennis, and badminton. Click here to email Duo.

Anosha Meyers, Visiting Scientist - Duraisingh Lab

Anosha joined the department in February 2018. She is an undergraduate student obtaining her BSc from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. During her studies she has authored a journalistic article on the Schmallenberg virus for Resonance magazine, a publication of the Indian Academy of Sciences. At HSPH she is working on her bachelor’s thesis in malaria. Her research focuses on invasion determinants of malaria infection. Beyond her studies, she enjoys horseback riding and exercising. She is often inspired by books, art, and yoga. Click here to email Anosha.

Sena Bae, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Garrett Lab

Sena joined the Garrett Lab in January 2018. She is from Seoul, South Korea where she has been working on development of a genetic analysis tool for genetically intractable microbes and tested it with a gut microbe strain.Her work here will be focused on identification of host-microbe-metabolite interaction. Click here to email Sena.

Stephen Kissler, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist - Grad Lab

Stephen joined the Grad lab in January 2018. He is currently based at the University of Cambridge, where he recently completed his PhD. His work will focus on monitoring the spread of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in urban settings using partner identification data and whole-genome pathogen sequencing. When not thinking about infectious diseases, he’s likely to be running, reading short fiction, or playing music on something with strings. Click here to email Stephen.

Junhao Zhu, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Rubin Lab

Junhao joined the department in November, 2017. He is from Peking, China where he completed his PhD in Babak Javid’s lab at Tsinghua University. During his PhD studies he worked on how protein mistranslation and the specific expression of RNA polymerases contribute to rifampicin tolerance in mycobacteria. As a postdoc he will be working on molecular mechanisms which determine the homeostasis of targeted proteolysis in mycobacteria. Outside of the lab, Junhao enjoys basketball, cycling, and spending tons of time in the kitchen. Click here to email Junhao.

Giulia Venditti, M.S., Visiting Graduate Student - Rubin Lab

Giulia was with the department from November, 2017 to April, 2018. She is a PhD student from the Sapienza, University of Rome in Italy. She has worked on design and synthesis of different antimycobacterial compounds. During her six-month stay in the Rubin Lab she worked on identifying the target of one of these series of molecules and their potential use in combination with known antibiotics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys travelling,visiting museums and parks during her trips. And she loves cats.

Rebecca Lee, Ph.D., M.Res, Postdoctoral Fellow - Duraisingh Lab

Rebecca joined the department in November, 2017. She is from Glasgow, Scotland where she completed her MRC funded 3.5yr Ph.D with Prof Andy Waters and Prof Jim Brewer. Her research focused on the interactions of Plasmodium berghei with the murine host’s erythropoietic tissue. In her spare time she enjoys Ruby, country walks, good whisky and afternoon tea with friends. Click here to email Rebecca.

Tim Straub, M.Sc., Visiting Scientist - Neafsey Lab

Tim joined the department in October, 2017. He is an associate computational biologist visiting from the Broad Institute’s Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases, where he assists the Parasite and Vector Genomics group and the Bacterial Genomics group with various research projects, with a focus on large genomics and transcriptomics datasets. He has worked on everything from single-cell Plasmodium RNA-seq to comparative genomics of Enterococcus. In his free time, he likes to hike with his golden retriever, Fenway, and Tim can occasionally be found touring local breweries with Fen in tow. Click here to email Tim.

Tobias Apinjoh, Ph.D., M.Sc., Visiting Scientist - Wirth Lab

Tobias joined the department in October, 2017. He is a visiting Fullbright Fellow from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He is investigating the genomic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in natural populations along the slope of Mount Cameroon, with the aim to contribute to malaria control and inform future drug/vaccine trials. With his background and training in Biochemistry and research experience in field epidemiology, he is quite eager to establish a molecular epidemiology group, focusing on malaria and other infectious diseases. In his spare time he loves watching football and action movies and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Click here to email Tobias.

Tatos Akopian, Ph.D., Sc.D., Research Scientist - Fortune and Rubin Labs

Tatos joined the department in October, 2017. He is an experienced scientist with a strong background in Protein Biochemistry. He was responsible for the purification and characterization of various enzymes and assay development for HTS purposes in several Drug Research companies (Wyath, Genetics, AstraZeneca). He has also worked for a long time in Academia and is the author of many articles on proteases from various sources.
For the last 7 years he and his colleagues from HMS and HSPH succeeded in purifying and reconstructing an active Clp degradative system (constituted from protease ClpP1P2, and corresponding ATPases ClpX and ClpC1), which is essential for viability and infectivity of Mtb. Together with colleagues, Tatos determined substrate specificity of ClpP1P2 proteolytic core which allowed to design new peptide boronate inhibitors of Mtb growth (patent pending). He is now involved in screening of a variety of libraries to get new compounds active against Mtb. Click here to email Tatos.

Olga Kandror, Ph.D., M.S., Research Scientist - Fortune and Rubin Labs

Olga joined the department in October, 2017. She was an instructor of Cell Biology at HMS for many years, focusing on the mechanisms of protein folding and degradation in bacteria. She supervised and trained numerous students and postdoctoral fellows in their research. Lately, the major focus of her research has been mycobacterial Clp proteolytic system. All members of Clp system are essential for viability and infectivity in mycobacteria and thus represent a highly attractive drug target. Together with colleagues from HMS and HSPH she isolated and characterized all components of this system: ClpP1P2 protease core and corresponding ATPases ClpX and ClpC1. At HSPH she is planning to continue working towards understanding of structure and functioning of Clp proteolytic system and on identifying small molecule inhibitors that can be used in drug development against Mtb. Click here to email Olga.

Caitlin Spaulding, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Fortune Lab

Caitlin joined the department in September, 2017. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Scott Hultgren’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis. During her graduate work, she studied a family of adhesive pili that promote intestinal colonization by uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) and worked to develop small-molecule ligand antagonists that target these pili and block UPEC-host interactions. As a postdoc in Sarah Fortune’s lab, she is studying tuberculosis and the mechanism(s) underlying Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis. In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys biking, hiking, climbing, and loving on her dog, Moose. Click here to email Caitlin.

Daniel Abernathy, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Catteruccia Lab

Danny joined the department in September, 2017. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Andrew Yoo’s Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. For his thesis work, he explored the neurogenic potential of the two brain-enriched miRNA’s, miR-9/9*- and miR-124. This work was then leveraged to directly reprogram human skin cells into motor neurons. At HSPH, he is examining the neural and molecular mechanisms underlying the postmating switch in Anopheles in Flaminia Caterruccia’s lab. Outside of lab, Danny enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, camping, climbing and cycling. He also loves Moose, even more than Caitlin, as evidenced through the inclusion of Moose in his picture. Click here to email Danny.

Takahiro Ishizaki, B.Sc., Visiting Graduate Student - Duraisingh Lab

Takahiro was with the department from September to October, 2017. He is from Nagasaki, Japan, where he is a Ph.D. student at Nagasaki University. His background is in veterinary medicine and he works with bovine babesiosis. Currently he is focusing on the hematopoetic stem cell differentiation to elucidate the parasite RBC’s invasion mechanism. In the Duraisingh lab he studied human hematopoetic stem cell culture. Outside of the lab he likes playing darts, sports, climbing, parkour running, and watching football.

Marko Järvenpää, M.Sc., Visiting Graduate Student - Grad Lab

Marko was with the department from September to November, 2017. He is from Espoo, Finland where he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University. His work consists mainly of developing novel Bayesian statistical methods to fit computationally costly simulation models to data, and applying these techniques to various applications in population genetics. While visiting the Grad lab, he used his background in probabilistic modelling and Bayesian statistics to understand the variation of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genomes in patients. In his spare time he likes to cycle and hike. He also enjoys reading and spending time at his summer house.

Tatum Mortimer, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Grad Lab

Tatum joined the department in September, 2017. She is using genomic techniques to understand transmission and antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Tatum completed her PhD in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time, she reads, bakes, and plays with her dog. She also enjoys yoga and ballet. Click here to email Tatum.

Aabha Sharma, Ph.D., M.P.H., Postdoctoral Fellow - Wirth Lab

Aabha joined the department in July, 2017. She is working on molecular characterization of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. She completed her PhD and MPH from Northwestern University Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine. She is passionate about mentorship (especially for women), teaching, and scientific communication especially in the realm of global public health. In her free time, she likes cooking new recipes, practicing yoga, and following local and international politics. Click here to email Aabha.

Christopher Itoh, M.H.S., Visiting Scientist - Fortune Lab

Chris joined the department in May, 2017. He is a second year medical student from University of California, Davis, now at the Harvard School of Public Health as a Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellow. Before medical school, he completed his masters in Reproductive and Cancer Biology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is working in Sarah Fortune’s lab to develop a method to perform in-situ hybridization in Mycobacterium tuberculosis residing inside macrophages. Outside of lab, he likes to cook (focusing on French and Japanese cuisine) and pretend to be a food critic when checking out restaurants. Click here to email Chris.

Victoria Ingham, MS.c., Ph.D., Visiting Scientist - Catteruccia Lab

Vicky was with the department from May, 2017 to March, 2018. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, where she is part of the vector biology group, focusing on insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae, a major malaria vector. She primarily works with transcriptomic data, identifying and characterizing insecticide resistance mechanisms and the associated regulation. She worked collaboratively with the Catteruccia lab. Her work here involved a novel approach to vector control, through disruption of a hormonal pathway by application of agonist compounds. Outside of work she likes to go hiking, read, and watch ‘soccer’.

Heverton Dutra, Ph.D., M.Sc., Postdoctoral Fellow - Catteruccia Lab

Heverton was with the departmentfrom March, 2017 to May, 2018. He is from Brazil and completed his Masters in 2014, characterizing the phenotypic effects of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as part of the Eliminate Dengue Program in his county. In 2017 he completed his Ph.D. demonstrating the ability of the wMel strain of Wolbachia to block currently circulating Zika virus isolates in Brazilian Ae. aegypti. In the Catteruccia Lab Heverton continued to work on the wonders of Wolbachia, evaluating the interplay between this genus of bacteria, Anopheles mosquitoes, and malaria transmission. Outside of the lab he likes to exercise, do geek-related activities, play the clarinet, travel to new places, and try all sorts of different food.

Simona Ferracchiato, Visiting Graduate Student - Catteruccia Lab

Simona was with the department from March, 2017 to December, 2018. She started her visit as a Ph.D. student from the University of Perugia, in Italy. After her defense she was a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research is focused on understanding the molecular events underpinning reproduction in female mosquitos of Anopheles gambiae, the most important vector for the malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. In her spare time she likes reading books and attending cultural events like the theater. She also enjoys taking long walks outdoors and travelling.

Estela Shabani, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow - Duraisingh Lab

Estela joined the department in November, 2016. She got her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota where she studied host-pathogen interactions in pediatric severe malaria, under the mentorship of Chandy John. In the Duraisingh Lab she is studying host determinants that influence key life-cycle events in Plasmodium falciparum. In an ideal world (no monetary or time restrictions) Estela would enjoy traveling and learning languages. In the real world, she spends her free time running, kickboxing, watching sports, dancing, and listening to way too many podcasts! Click here to email Estela.