New Staff Announcement Archive

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. Click on Sabrina’s name to email her.

Liliana Welch - Staff Assistant

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. Click on Elisabeth’s name to email her.

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. Click here to email Bailey.

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. Click here to email Ben.

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. Click here to email Maryam.

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. Click here to email Andrew.

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. Click here to email Wiktor.

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). Click here to email Emily.

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. Click here to email Claudia.

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. Click here to email Eileen.

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. Click here to email Sara.

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. Click here to email Kyra.

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. Click here to email Samantha.

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. Click here to mail Frank.

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. Click here to email Becky.

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. Click here to email Eryney.

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. Click here to email Jennifer.

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! Click here to email Cheikh.

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! Click here to email Kathryn.

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. Click here to email Katie.

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.Click here to email Jessica.

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. Click here to email Jessica.

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. Click here to email Ian.

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! Click here to email Yi.

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. Click here to email Kate.

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.