John joined IID in January, 2024. A Boston native, he comes to HSPH post the completion of his BS in Ecology & Evolution with a minor in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. From UCSB, John has developed a strong background in primate endocrinology and animal behavior. Out of the lab, John loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors whether that be biking, hiking, or birdwatching!
Jordan Reyes, Research Assistant - Grad Lab
Jordan joined the department in July, 2023. Originally from Texas, they moved to the east coast to study Biology at Swarthmore College. Their background in LGBTQ patient care experience ignited an interest in infectious diseases. They are very excited to join the Grad Lab, where they can help advance our understanding of pathogenic spread and evolution. Jordan enjoys cooking, running, and talking about skincare in his free time. He’s new to the Boston/Cambridge area and looks forward to exploring the city!
Eben Philbin, Research Assistant - Fortune Lab
Eben joined the department in July, 2023. He completed his undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, having received a BS in Biomedical Engineering. He spent the next few years exploring the biotech industry, strengthening his lab skills and technique in the Quality Control department of a tissue manufacturing company, followed by a research role in Somerville’s Greentown Labs, working for a molecular diagnostics startup. Eben’s background has thus developed to include a wide range of industry knowledge, and a keen understanding of the power of the profit motive as it relates to scientific discovery. This has fueled a passion for the study of Bioethics, and Eben is excited to continue learning and contributing in the IID Department. Eben is an avid outdoorsman, loves to backpack, bike, and beach. He is also a huge Red Sox fan and fuels his nostalgia with his Pokemon card collection. He is very proud of his front yard vegetable garden and has recently been working on his film photography.
Lauren joined the department in June, 2023. She comes to this position as a recent graduate from Duke University with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Neuroscience and English. Her background includes research investigating autoimmune diseases and the gut microbiome, and she is excited to expand her knowledge and experience in Immunology with the Gopinath Lab. Lauren is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is very proud of her Midwestern roots. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time outdoors, hammocking, reading fiction, and playing her cello.
Byron joined the department in May, 2023. He is a recent transplant from Boone, NC. He is a US Marine Corps Combat Veteran who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. After completing his service, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in which he was afforded an opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in Costa Rica. His research utilized cellular and molecular techniques to support global shark-conservation efforts. Byron is highly motivated to provide advanced technical assistance for animal studies involving human pathogens across several laboratories within the department. In his free time, Byron enjoys playing indoor soccer, fine dining, and spending quality time with his family.
Claire joined the department in October, 2022. She comes to this position after recently earning a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Claire also holds two Bachelor of Science degrees in Pre-Veterinary Sciences and Public Health Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her public health background includes providing HIV/AIDS healthcare services in the greater Boston area, studying traditional medicine and healthcare practices in the Northern Himalayan mountain region in India, and investigating the association between air pollutants and adverse birth outcomes in women residing in mainland China. Outside of work, Claire enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends to hike, bike, and ski in the winter.
Aakash joined the department in October, 2022. He came from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where he oversaw the Conservation Center’s grant portfolio. With a background in higher education and nonprofit organizations, Aakash has managed pre- and post-award grant operations for federal and privately sponsored research programs. His interests include science and art, and he has contributed to the development of multiyear, collaborative projects that supported enterprising research, financial aid for graduate students, and the expansion of teaching methods during the Covid-19 pandemic. Outside of his professional pursuits, Aakash enjoys running, basketball, music, meditation, and chess.
Anna joined the department in October, 2022. She is a recent graduate from Wellesley College with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in English. At Wellesley, she worked with designed antimicrobial peptides while developing cytotoxicity assays. She is originally from New Jersey, and excited to be back in Boston working as a research assistant in the Wirth Lab. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels and graphic novels, exploring new cities, and practicing martial arts.
Anna joined the department in September 2022. She came to HSPH from Columbia University, where she worked in malaria drug discovery and investigated the genetic mediators of drug resistance. She worked closely with the non-profit Medicine for Malaria Venture (MMV) and has a strong interest in malaria epidemiology. In her free time she enjoys surfing, skiing and snowboarding and doing ceramics.
Keare joined the department in September, 2022. She came to the department after having worked at the Naval Medical Research in Lima, Peru for 7 years, in the department of Parasitology. There she mainly focused on Plasmodium falciparum culture and diagnostic methods. She has a bachelors degree in Biology from Federico Villarreal University in Peru. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates and swimming. She also loves to travel. She has travelled to 15 of the 24 regions in Peru, her home country.
Niel joined the department in September, 2022. He comes to this position from a background in bacteriology and proteomics. He graduated recently with a BS in Microbiology and worked previously with M. tuberculosis at Colorado State University. After work, Niel enjoys playing board games, Dungeons & Dragons, baking and snowboarding!
Sydney joined the department in August, 2022. She comes to HSPH most recently from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. For the past 9 years she has served as lab manager in the Arthur Guyton department of Physiology and BioPhysics. Her primary research focus was centered around cardiometabolic disease processes and understanding the intrarenal and neurohumoral mechanisms that regulate kidney function, and how they are altered in pathophysiologic conditions such as hypertension. She received her Masters in Biomedical Sciences and her Bachelors in Biology from Mississippi College. Outside of the lab, Sydney enjoys playing USTA league tennis. While in college, she was an all-conference tennis player and enjoys coaching high school tournament players in her free time. She enjoys traveling internationally and is passionate about community service as an active member of the Junior League.
Katrina joined the department in August, 2022. She comes to this position as a recent graduate from the University of New England, where she studied Biological Sciences with a Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental concentration. While there, she conducted undergraduate research focusing on the population genetic structure of pine and oak trees native to Maine. In addition to learning about infectious diseases, Katrina enjoys reading, hiking, softball, and cycling.
Jamie joined the department in August, 2022. She comes to this position with a strong interest in ecology and entomology. She studied biology at Elon University where she had hands on projects regarding insect research. She has recently worked in immunology research, as well as had field biology experience at a New York State Park and abroad in Panama. Jamie loves running before work, and after she enjoys reading outside, embroidering, and cooking.
Nathalia joined the department in June, 2022. She has over 7 years of experience working in administrative roles, about 5 years working within different healthcare settings, over 2 years working with medical billing and reimbursement, and about a year and half of experience working within academic settings. She recently graduated from Simmons University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior.
On her downtime, she enjoys traveling and in 2019 had the pleasure of spending a month overseas visiting Dubai, Singapore and Australia. She was then able to check off “ sky-diving in Dubai” from her bucket list. She loves reading non-fiction books, watching historical and action films, and when her allergies are under control, spending time with nature.
On her downtime, she enjoys traveling and in 2019 had the pleasure of spending a month overseas visiting Dubai, Singapore and Australia. She was then able to check off “ sky-diving in Dubai” from her bucket list. She loves reading non-fiction books, watching historical and action films, and when her allergies are under control, spending time with nature.
Cecilia joined the department in July, 2022. She is from the small town of Plainfield, New Hampshire. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Boston University. As an undergraduate, Cecilia completed an honors thesis in the Gopinath Laboratory at HSPH, which inspired her interest in studying host-microbe interactions. Outside of the lab Cecilia enjoys bird-watching, attempting recipes from the Great British Bake Off, and rock climbing.
Anita joined the department in July, 2022. She comes to HSPH after working at the iPS Core Facility over at Harvard’s Cambridge campus. She holds a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. Her spare time is spent tending to her plants, dog-sitting around Boston, and going for walks along the harbor.
Dylan joined the department in July, 2022. He has one more year of his degree in biochemistry at the university of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is trying to work out if he would like to go into academia or the world of work. Outside of work Dylan enjoys skateboarding as a way of exploring new cities, tennis and historical novels.
Aaron joined the department in July, 2022. He comes to HSPH after recently graduating from Williams College with a degree in Biology with a concentration in environmental science. He spent his senior year working and researching in a forest ecology lab studying topics ranging from tree composition to soil biotic and abiotic factors. Aaron likes to spend much of his free time outside, in the pool, doing puzzles, or playing the guitar. And if he’s not doing any of those things, he’s likely somewhere eating!
Haley joined the department in June, 2022. She comes to this position with a strong background in healthcare administration, working most recently at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She received a BA in psychology from Clark University and minored in both philosophy and sociology. Outside of work, Haley enjoys exploring new cities, hiking, reading, and hanging out with her golden retriever puppy.
Abdel joined the department in June, 2022. He has worked at the Harvard Graduate School at Lehman Hall. Some of the work he did there revolved around being the social media manager and manning the front desk. His experience lies within general administrative work. He enjoys spending time with friends, watching films, playing soccer, and spending time with his cat.
Kemisha joined the department in May, 2022. She came to HSPH from Dana-Farber Institute. She has a background in accounting and administration. She is from Jamaica and was employed at Jamaica Broilers for several years before migrating to the united states. Kemisha devotes her time to outdoor activities, the beach, gardening, family, and road trips.
Cheyenne joined the department in May, 2022. She graduated with a B.S. in Zoology and Biology from Oklahoma State University. This led her to complete a Masters in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at Kansas State University, where she studied tick-bourne diseases. In her free time, she enjoys taking care of her plants and two kitties. She also loves playing video games and reading novels.
Alyssa joined the department in April 2022. She comes to this new position from the Department of Epidemiology where she was a project manager working in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (CCDD). She graduated from Simmons College with a BA in public relations and marketing with a concentration in healthcare and public health. Her background includes project management, communications, and regulatory compliance along with connections to the global and public health community at Harvard. Outside of work, Alyssa lives in RI and enjoys taking her dogs to the beach along with boating and sailing on Narragansett Bay during the warmer months. Otherwise, you can find her cooking and baking new recipes from Half Baked Harvest or Crème De La
Benjamin joined the department in March, 2022. He came to HSPH most recently from Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH) where for three years he was the Grants Coordinator in SPH’s Office of Research. Prior to joining Rutgers SPH, Benjamin served as the Program Coordinator at Rutgers School of Nursing. In both roles, his main responsibilities were to provide grants support and guidance to the respective faculty and, in general, make sure that each PI’s application/proposal was complete, compliant, and got submitted on time. Benjamin holds a B.A. degree in Economics from NYU and earned his MPA degree from Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. He graduated with honors from both institutions.
Mountaga joined the department in October, 2021. Previously he was at American Tower Corporation. He has a strong background in customer service, he also worked while in college at HSPH as a contract Financial Administrative Assistant for the ECPE program. He’s now been rehired as full-time staff member. Mountaga holds a BS in Finance from Suffolk University. Outside of work, Mountaga loves to play basketball, work out, and love to read.
Sabrina Gobran - Research Assistant, Neafsey Lab
Sabrina joined the department in August, 2021. She is a recent graduate from the University of California, Irvine. She comes to HSPH with research experience in infectious diseases and community ecology. She has also worked in Parks and Recreation. Outside of work, Sabrina enjoys hiking, spending time at the beach, and travelling.
Liliana joined the department in August, 2021. Prior to this she worked in the Nutrition Department as a Research Assistant for last two years of the MIND Trial, conducting cognitive testing and participant involvement. She has a BS in Business from Simmons College and initially worked as an event planner. She likes to spend her spare time with family and friends, exercising, cooking and planning great getaways. She hopes to return to rowing on the Charles, as she did when she was on varsity crew. Click on Liliana’s name to email her.
Elisabeth Nelson - Research Assistant, Catteruccia Lab
Elisabeth joined the department in December 2020. She comes to this position after recently completing her MSc. in the Control of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She previously interned in Vector Ecology and Management for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization in Geneva, volunteered at a remote island medical clinic in the Philippines, as well as other public health and sustainable development initiatives. She holds a B.S. in Biology of Global Health from Georgetown University. She enjoys skiing, playing tennis, doing yoga, and many other outdoor activities. She minored in Art History during her undergraduate, so she loves visiting museums and discussing art.
Bailey Willett - Research Assistant, Catterrucia Lab
Bailey joined the department in July, 2020. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Entomology and Biological Sciences where she researched Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito biology. In the Catteruccia Lab, she is excited to apply her mosquito background to ongoing research examining the Plasmodium parasite and Anopheles mosquito interaction. Outside the lab, Bailey enjoys running, biking, reading, and cooking with friends.
Ben Braunecker - Research Assistant, Rubin Lab
Ben joined the department in September, 2020, directly from the NFL where he played as a tight end for the Chicago Bears for four years. Previously, he was at Harvard as an undergraduate studying molecular and cellular biology and as a member of the football team. Ben has previously worked at the Chan School of Public Health as a Research Assistant in the Rubin Lab and other biology labs at HMS as an undergraduate. In his free time, Ben enjoys playing chess, reading, the outdoors, and physical fitness. He also has an English Bulldog named Earl.
Maryam Ahmad - Research Assistant, Gopinath Lab
Maryam joined the department in September, 2020. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia in Biology and Political Philosophy, Policy and Law. She then worked for a couple of years as a researcher and teacher in Lahore, Pakistan before starting her Master’s degree at the University of Bonn in Germany. She conducted her Master’s research project at the University of Oxford in the UK and has now moved back to the US. Outside of work, Maryam enjoys practicing classical South Asian dance, knitting, drawing, reading fiction, being politically active, and thinking about and discussing the universe.
Andrew Vickers - Research Assistant, Fortune Lab
Andrew joined the department in January, 2020. He comes to us from working in Industry CRO’s and with significant laboratory animal experience. Formerly, he worked for some time in education and primary healthcare in southern Tanzania. Outside work, he enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and kayaking.
Wiktor Karpinski - Research Assistant, Fortune Lab
Wiktor joined the department in February, 2020. He comes to HSPH from the Ragon Institute where he worked with antibodies and their N-linked glycans. More specifically, his work involved Fc glycosylation and how it impacts innate immune cell functionality. Previously, Wiktor attended UMass Amherst where he earned a degree in Biology and was a member of the varsity swim team. In his free time, Wiktor enjoys hiking, Skee-ball, board games, and freestyle rapping.
Setor Worg - Sr. Grants and Contract Manager
Setor joined the department in October, 2019. She comes to HSPH from Office for Sponsored Programs with a background in sponsored research finance, compliance and grants management. Outside of work, Setor is into event planning, loves to cook and spend time with her daughter. Click here to email Setor.
Meghan Marquette - Research Assistant, Catteruccia Lab
Meghan joined the department in November, 2019. She is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and received her Master’s from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In her previous position she worked on the liver stage of malaria. She is continuing to work with Plasmodium in the Catteruccia lab. Outside of the lab she enjoys hiking, reading, and snacks. Click here to email Meghan.
Meg Shieh - Research Assistant, Neafsey Lab
Meg joined the department in November, 2019. She recently graduated from Duke University, where she investigated the bipartite microbial interactions of bacterial species isolated from the Anopheles mosquito. She is researching malaria from a different perspective in the Neafsey Lab. Outside of the lab, Meg enjoys reading, ice skating, and traveling. Click here to email Meg.
Julia Nelson - Sr. Grants & Contract Manager
Julia joined the department in August, 2019. She comes to HSPH most recently from the USAID contracting world, working on international development programming. Her background lies in project management, finance, compliance, recruitment, and process improvement. She has work experience in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Middle East and North Africa. Julia devotes as much as her spare time as possible to the outdoors. She bike commutes to work, races triathlons, downhill mountain bikes, goes for hikes, camps, and skis in the winter. She lived in Washington, DC, for the better part the last decade, so she also loves to talk politics. Click here to email Julia.
Efe Agho, Financial Associate
Efe joined the department in July 2019. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a BA in history, she began her career in education as a member of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Intervention Solutions team working on educational software dedicated to bridging the learning gaps in mathematics for K-12 students. Efe’s work there motivated a desire to challenge other roadblocks in pursuit of quality education, predominantly financial struggles. Outside of work Efe is passionate about pro tennis, spending time with family, and watching superhero films. Click here to email Efe.
Emily Selland, Research Assistant - Catteruccia Lab
Emily joined the department in July 2019. She just finished her undergrad at Cornell University and is excited to be the new Insectary Technician in Faminia Catteruccia’s lab. She is excited to get involved in the mosquito world and continue learning while in the role to one day attend graduate school for infectious disease, climate change, and agriculture! In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, or a combination of the two with her three overly active dogs (Lala is pictured).
Claudia Taccheri, Research Assistant - Wirth Lab
Claudia joined the department in June, 2019. She recently completed her Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University, during which she studied tRNA methylation in the parasite Giardia lamblia. Her work in the Wirth lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms of action and targets for potential new antimalarial drugs.
Eileen Dalessandro, Research Assistant - Garrett Lab
Eileen joined the department in June, 2019. Her work includes: colony management, genotyping, and data reporting. She graduated from Suffolk University with a Bachelors of Science in 2016 and received her LAT in 2019. Eileen is excited to learn more about mucosal immunology. Outside of the lab she enjoys running, reading, and studying languages.
Sara Shin, Research Assistant - Wirth Lab
Sara joined the department in June, 2019. She graduated as a Biological Sciences major from Wellesley College this past May. Her undergraduate thesis work examined how the Activin signaling pathway affects metamorphosis and development in the flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. In her free time, Sara enjoys solving puzzles, baking, and visiting museums.
Jim Jee, Research Assistant - Fortune Lab
Jim joined the department in June, 2019. He is finding out which kinds of immune cells are recruited in granuloma caused by Mtb infection and proportion of them by taking a combined approaches of single-cell and RNA analyses. The project is shared by three different institutes, Fortune Lab at HSPH, the Ragon Institute, and Shalek Lab at MIT. During his free time, he runs, walks, reads, studies Spanish or some computer language, cooks, or bakes. Click here to email Jim.
Kyra Fryling, Research Assistant - Grad Lab
Kyra joined the department in June, 2019. Her work focuses on understanding antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae through a variety of techniques, as well as an understanding of antibiotic resistance and the spread of pathogens in hospital settings. Kyra is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Microbiology. In her free time, she enjoys baking, running, and exploring new places.
Samantha Sack, Research Assistant - Duraisingh Lab
Samantha joined the department in May, 2019. She is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she studied molecular biology and biomechanics. She also researched in these fields, spending two years studying stroke patient gait patterns with assistive devices and two years studying the parasites which cause toxoplasmosis and schistosomiasis. In her free time, she likes to run, read, hike, and camp.
Emily Hobbs, Faculty Assistant
Emily joined the department in February 2019 as a Faculty Assistant for the Duraisingh, Burleigh, and Garrett labs. Emily graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication. During her studies, she became passionate about art history and, after graduation, traveled for a year so she could observe her favorite pieces of art in person and in context. In her free time, Emily loves traveling, visiting museums, exercising, and creating embroideries. Click here to email Emily.
Frank Malafronte, Executive Assistant to the Department Chair
Frank joined the department in September, 2018 as the Executive Assistant to Eric Rubin, the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease Chair. Frank has had diverse working experience. He managed an art gallery in New York, worked in Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, and, for five years, was a Faculty Support Specialist at Harvard Business School. Frank’s passion and background is with art. He is a painter and has shown his work in New England and New York. When he isn’t painting, he loves food, likes to read and travel, and is passionate about social issues.
Becky Kuzma, Research Assistant - Neafsey Lab
Becky joined the department in August 2018 and is a recent graduate from Smith College. Her research interests are focused around mosquito-borne diseases and mosquito vector genomics. Her previous research has focused on developing diagnostic assays for neglected tropical diseases. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, visiting local breweries, and cooking for friends and family.
Eryney Marrogi, Research Assistant - Catteruccia Lab
Eryney joined the department in July 2018. He just finished his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Virginia Tech in May of 2018. Prior to starting his new position in the Catteruccia Lab, he spent the past two summers there working on the gene drive project in conjunction with the Church Lab. In his free time, Eryney enjoys reading and playing video games.
Joshua Oldro, Research Technician - Fortune Lab
Joshua joined the department in May for the summer of 2018. He is a current undergraduate student at Wentworth Institute of Technology studying Biomedical Engineering. During his studies, Joshua examined the effects of nutrient supplementation on dopamine transporter expression in Drosophila melanogaster. He was excited to expand upon his lab experience in the Fortune Lab for the summer that he was here. For fun, Joshua enjoys attending football games, driving ATV’s, and cooking.
Jennifer Neira, Finance Manager - Administration
Jennifer joined the department in July 2018 as a Finance Manager. Prior to joining IID, she worked at Harvard’s Office for Sponsored Programs as the Research Finance Team Lead supporting the School of Public Health portfolio from January 2016 to July 2018. Jennifer completed her Master of Public Policy and Administration at UMASS Amherst and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and international studies from Bryant University. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, Latin dancing, yoga, cooking, and international travel.
Cheikh Camara, Sr. Grant Manager
Cheikh joined the department in April 2018. Before coming to Harvard, he worked as a Finance and Operations Manager for JSI (John Snow Inc.) International Division in Boston following several years in Europe and West Africa where he managed grant funded projects with the International Labour Organization and Mercy Corps. Throughout his career, Cheikh has felt fortunate to be able to apply his expertise in finance and grant management toward protecting vulnerable populations from food insecurity, insufficient health systems, and preventable diseases. Growing up in Senegal, Cheikh has personal experience with Malaria and Tuberculosis and he looks forward to joining Sarah Fortune and Eric Rubin in their mission to combat these devastating diseases. In his spare time, Cheikh enjoys running, reading, cooking, and everything soccer – playing, coaching, and yelling at the TV!
Kathryn Rosinski, Research Assistant - Garrett Lab
Kathryn joined the department in October, 2017. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Natural Science with a BS in Microbiology. Throughout her studies, she immersed herself in a diverse course load where she became fascinated with the human microbiota. In the Garrett lab, she supports various lab projects that explore host-microbial interactions. Outside of the lab, Kate enjoys watching horror films, reading, and supporting local sports teams – Go Celtics!
Katie Lyle, Staff Assistant
Katie joined the department in October, 2017. She is a Staff Assistant working for Drs. Duraisingh, Burleigh, and Garrett. She holds a Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies from Boston College and is currently pursuing a part-time Master of Social Work at BC. As part of the program, Katie is completing an internship at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center working with youth ages 14-19, providing them with education and tools to engage their respective communities in the prevention of sexual violence. She has also volunteered on BARCC’s hotline for 1.5 years. Katie is originally from Texas. In her “free” time, she enjoys traveling, exploring tacos and BBQ, running, and going to concerts and comedy shows.
Jessica Gard, Executive Assistant to the Chair
Jessica joined the department in October, 2017. Formerly a faculty assistant with the OEB department in Cambridge and located at the Arnold Arboretum, Jessica is excited to join the Wirth Lab as Dyann’s Executive Coordinator. A self-described humanist, she holds degrees in History and English and finds working with folks in the sciences to be particularly intriguing. Jessica enjoys yoga, live music, traveling, and books. She is fascinated by creative endeavors in all fields and exploring intellectual ideas.
Jessica Brown, Research Assistant - Fortune Lab
Jessica joined the department in September, 2017. She is a recent masters graduate from Colorado State University and is excited to continue working with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Fortune Lab. She hopes to use her varied lab experience to help investigate Mtb strain diversity. In her free time, Jessica enjoys parkour, rock climbing, and quilting.
Ian Wolf, Research Assistant - Rubin Lab
Ian joined the department in August, 2017. He is a recent graduate of Ithaca College and originally from Scottsdale, Arizona. He has previous research experience investigating host-pathogen interactions involved in Chlamydia membrane biogenesis. In the Rubin Lab, his research focuses on genes of unknown function in Tuberculosis. Outside of lab he can be found hiking, eating good food, practicing Spanish or planning a backpacking trip that involves all of the above.
Yi Wang, Research Assistant - Grad Lab
Yi joined the department in August, 2017. She has been working on the adaptive evolution of Neisseria gonorrhoeae featuring its divergence from N. meningitidis. Her work in the Grad lab is focused on the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance in Enterococcus, Neisseria and Streptococcus applying genetic approaches. In her leisure time Yi enjoys climbing, photography, music and basically everything that’s fun outdoors!
Kate Thornburg, Research Assistant - Catteruccia Lab
Kate joined the department in July, 2017. She is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she studied ant behavior and sociality. She is from Concord, Massachusetts and is working in the insectary of the Catteruccia lab. In her free time she likes to read, garden, and bake new things. A lapsed trail runner, she hopes to start up again soon.
Breanna Walsh, Research Assistant - Wirth Lab
Breanna joined the department in July, 2017. She graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a BS in Biology of Global Health. Within her major, she became fascinated with the roles that law, policy, and ethics play in informing and reflecting basic biologic research. She also spent three years as a teaching assistant for various lab courses, which bolstered her enthusiasm for science education. While at Georgetown she worked as a research assistant in Dr. Heidi Elmendorf’s lab where she studied epigenetic regulation in Giardia lamblia, with a focus on tRNA methylation. In the Wirth lab she is supporting various lab projects that explore different targets and mechanisms of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. Outside of the lab, Breanna enjoys exploring new places (like Boston!), going to concerts, reading, and cooking copious amounts of breakfast food. Click here to email Breanna.
Jacki Mordi, Research Administration Manager
Jackie joined the department in April, 2017. She is a member of the Finance/Research Administration team who collectively oversees the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases’ funding from pre-award to final reporting, including compliance and training. Before coming to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she worked at Harvard Catalyst/Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center for 8+ years. Jackie is passionate about people and is interested in advocating for them. She believes very strongly in the dignity of the human person as the foundation for social justice. She is particularly interested in empowering people through education, mentoring and helping to create opportunities for them. She loves music, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Click here to email Jackie.
Abbey Interrante, Communications & Outreach Coordinator - Defeating Malaria Initiative
Abbey was with the departmentfrom April, 2017 to June, 2018. She was a science writer who is working on communication efforts for the Defeating Malaria Initiative. She has previously worked in communications at the health and medicine publication STAT and the TV show NOVA on PBS and was involved with the malaria eradication goal at Harvard.
Laura Vaughan, Research Assisant - Essex Lab
Laura was with the department from April to November, 2017. She was a member of the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership as a Research Coordinator for Dr. Roger Shapiro and Molly Pretorius Holme. In this role, she assisted in the implementation of clinical trials and surveillance research focused on maternal-infant HIV transmission, infant HIV treatment, and community-based HIV prevention interventions in Botswana. Laura completed her Master’s degree in Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2013. Previously, she worked at Partners In Health as a Research Assistant on the end TB project, which aimed to find shorter, less toxic, and more effective treatments for MDR-TB through expanded access to new TB drugs, a clinical trial, and advocacy at the national and global levels. In her free time, Laura enjoys jogging, swimming, spending time with family and friends, cooking with her fiancé, and exploring new places.
Naresh Singh, Research Assistant - Catteruccia Lab
Naresh joined the department in February, 2017. He has been working on human malaria throughout his research career. He has used laboratory based animal models as well as in vitro cell culture, using mosquitoes to grow complete cycles of malaria parasites in order to study the biology of different stages. His specialty is the understanding of biology of malaria sporoizite development in mosquitoes. In Dr. Catteruccia’s lab he is working on Plasmodium gametocyte culture and infection in mosquitoes. Lab research is directed toward identifying factors that interact with mosquitoes and are crucial for parasite survival. The ultimate goal is to target these important points in mosquito and design transmission, blocking strategies to disrupt malaria transmission to new human hosts. Click here to email Naresh.
Katie Westervelt, Research Assistant - Catteruccia Lab
Katie joined the department in February, 2017. She is studying malaria transmission through Anopheles mosquitos. She graduated from Williams College in 2016, where she completed an honors thesis in Biology, studying Drosophila to investigate the role of the inositol pathway in wing development. Outside of lab Katie is passionate about sustainably produced food, and prior to this position she worked on a small organic farm in Lanesboro, MA. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing, and spending time outdoors. Click here to email Katie.
Amanda Jimenez, Research Assistant - Fortune Lab
Amanda was with the department from January, 2017 to March, 2019. She utilized her essential microbiology and molecular biology techniques to investigate drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In her free time she practices martial arts, illustrates animals, and travels to Spain whenever possible. Click here to email Amanda.
BlakeLee Kaiser, Staff Assistant - Fortune Lab
BlakeLee joined the department in January, 2017. She is originally from Dallas, Texas where she completed her Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Texas. Through this program, she interned with Planned Parenthood and discovered her passion for women’s health. Before coming to Harvard, she worked for WGBH TV and Radio. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, meditation, trying new foods and traveling. Click here to email BlakeLee.
Cory Schlesener, Research Assistant - Wirth Lab
Cory joined the department in October, 2016. He is from Austin, TX and came to Harvard to join the Wirth lab. His work in the lab supports research on genetic variation and adaptation related to emerging drug resistance in malaria parasites. Outside of lab he likes to try new foods and create his own versions at home. He also enjoys walking the city streets or hiking in nature, and exploring Boston! Click here to email Cory.