The Team

 

 

Ana Fernandez-Sesma, PhD

Principal Investigator (ana.sesma@mssm.edu)

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CV: Fernandez-Sesma CV

“I am a professor in the department of Microbiology at ISMMS. My training as a viral immunologist sparked my interest in the study of mechanisms of innate immune evasion developed by viruses that allow them to establish infection in humans.  The work from my group on immune evasion strategies developed by human viruses such as DENV, influenza and HIV may have important implications for the identification of target molecules for therapeutic interventions against those viruses as well as the understanding of how these viruses establish infection in humans as well as vaccine design.  I am the PI of a multicenter and multi-investigator project named Dengue Human Immunology Project Consortium (DHIPC) to study human immune responses to dengue virus infection and vaccination that is part of the NIH/NIAID HIPC centers .  I am also very committed to graduate education and mentoring and I currently serve as the co-director of the Microbiology Main Training Area (MTA) of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at ISMMS

Positions and Honors

  • 2007-present. Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Virology.
  • 2008-2015. Member of the Steering Committee of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at ISMMS.
  • 2008-2015. Member of the Steering Committee of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at ISMMS.
  • 2010-present. Co-director of the Microbiology Main Training Area (MTA) of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences at ISMMS.
  • 2011-present. Member of the editorial board of Virus research
  • 2011-present. Permanent member of the NIH/NIAID study section Virology B.
  • 2013. Elected Best Faculty Mentor to postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • 2013-present. Abstract evaluator for the American Society of Virology (ASV) annual meetings.
  • 2013-present. Abstract evaluator for the Pan-American Dengue Research Network Meetings (PANDERM)
  • 2014-present. Academic Editor for PLoS Pathogens
  • 2012-2015. Associate Professor in the department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), New York, NY.
  • 2013. Elected Best Faculty Mentor to postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, ISMMS.
  • Ranked #4 and top female NIH funded Investigator in Microbiology in the US by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR).
  • 2016-present. Professor with tenure in the department of Microbiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).
  • 2016. Featured in “Just desserts” monthly meeting of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) Office for Women’s Careers focused on outstanding women scientists.
  • 2016. Ranked #3 and top female NIH funded Investigator in Microbiology in the US by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR).
  • 2017. Ranked #5 and top female NIH funded Investigator in Microbiology in the US by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR).
  • 2018. Mount Sinai Alumni Award for Achievement in Graduate Education
  • 2018-present. Member of the NIH/NIAID/DMID Advisory Council.
  • 2018. Ranked #4 and top female NIH funded Investigator in Microbiology in the US by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR).

 

 

tarrell malloyTarrell Malloy (tarrell.malloy@mssm.edu)

Program Coordinator

(212)241-0852

“My main role is to manage the multi-investigator project DHIPC, organize conference calls and coordinate all the needs for the different groups involved. I act as the liaison between the investigators and the administrative and financial offices both at ISMMS and the NIH. I also manage all the other projects of Dr. Fernandez-Sesma and assist Dr. Fernandez-Sesma and her team with grant submissions and scheduling”.

Irene Ramos picIrene Ramos, PhD (irene.ramos-lopez@mssm.edu) Research Assistant Professor, Project Manager

“My main interest resides in the interaction of viruses with primary human cells and their effect on the modulation of the inflammatory response. Specifically, great part of my work focuses on the study of the interaction of influenza virus with cell surface receptors in primary immune cells, as well as on the characterization of the contribution of influenza virus virulence factors to the modulation of the innate immunity. Another aspect of my research is interested in analyzing the dynamics of the innate immune responses and replication of influenza viruses in human primary epithelial cells. In addition, I am currently Project Manager for a multicenter study funded by NIH focusing on the human innate immune profiling of dengue and Zika virus infection (DHIPC). As part of this study, I am also involved in the ex vivo profiling of innate immune responses to dengue and Zika virus.”

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 Dabeiba Bernal-Rubio(dabeiba.bernal@mssm.edu)

Senior Associate Researcher, Laboratory Manager

 

 

 

“My main research area is primary human cells isolations, differentiation and culture as well as DENV infections mainly related with DHIPC ongoing project. Also coordinate different projects in the lab by interacting with all the investigators in the team and providing technical and administrative support.”

  Rafael%20Fenutria%20websiteRafael Fenutria, PhD  (rafael.fenutria@mssm.edu) Postdoctoral Fellow

“My major area of interest is to understand the earliest events that occur when flaviviruses interact with human immune cells, and trying to understand the mechanistic details by which flaviviruses modulate human immune responses. We are also working to develop a novel (improved) mouse model for immunological evaluation of flavivirus infection”.

paula_monte Paula Lopez-Monteagudo PhD  (paula.lopez-monteagudo@mssm.edu) Postdoctoral Fellow

 

 

 

“My main research interest lies in the study of the specific interactions between influenza A virus (IAV) and human myeloid cells. Specifically, I am focused in the role that human dendritic cells (DCs) have triggering the inflammatory response as well as initiating the adaptive response during IAV infection. In relation with that, I am also interested in the study of influenza virus virulence factors and how they can modulate the immune system.”

  Gabe (Laurence) Webb (laurence.webb@mssm.edu) PhD Student
“My main research interests lie in investigating the molecular mechanisms by which viruses subvert their host’s defenses to aid in the development of novel antivirals, vaccines, and model systems. More specifically, I focus on host-viral protein-protein interactions in an effort to characterize factors critical for either attenuation or restriction of flaviviruses.”

 

    Tongtong Zhu(tongtong.zhu@mssm.edu) PhD Student
“The ability to sense viruses serves as the starting point for mounting any meaningful immunological responses during viral infections in human cells. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind RNA viruses sensing and its link to innate immunity. I use dengue viruses (DENV) as the main tool for studies, among several other flaviviruses.”
  Uma%20website Uma Potla(uma.potla@mssm.edu) Associate Researcher
“My main role is to assist the team with their ordering and research needs. I am responsible for the isolation of primary human cells, virus preparations and I work closely with Dabeiba Bernal to maintain a safe and efficient work environment in the lab”.
  Jessica Pintado Silva(jessica.pintadosilva@icahn.mssm.edu) PREP Scholar
“I am interested in virus-host interactions on a very detailed level.  My main research focuses on the mechanism of interaction between viral and host proteins and their modulation of immune responses in host cells. Specifically, my work focuses on the characterization of viral proteases and the methods by which they interact, target and inhibit key components of the innate immune system.”

PAST MEMBERS OF THE LAB

Sebastian Aguirre, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

“I study the interaction between viruses and the human host at a molecular level. My main project focuses on the strategies used by Dengue and Zika viruses to suppress detection and control by the human immune system”

 

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Ana Maestre , PhD  Postdoctoral Fellow

“My main research interests lie in the host cell-virus interactions, specifically in the host factors that influence virus infections such as HIV and DENV. The main strategy that I use for my research is the modulation of host factor expression in primary human systems, using lentiviruses and siRNA technologies, and genome editing by CRISPR. I am also interested in the study of the adaptive immunity after viral infection, as the neutralizing and Fc-mediated antibody responses and their involvement in protective immunity to HIV.”

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Eric F. Mayer, MD, MSc Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow, Visiting Fellow
“My main interest resides on how immunocompromised hosts interact with
s, in which we are evaluating a T-cell lymphocyte infectious pathogens. I am working on a research project with Dr. Fernandez-Sesma and Dr. Ramo
function assay as a predictor of the protective immune response to inactivated influenza vaccine in pediatric transplant recipients.”
Edwin Carbajal(Edwin.Carbajal@icahn.mssm.edu) PREP
“My research focuses on the modeling of spatial-temporal dynamics of innate immune responses triggered by seasonal influenza virus infections as they progress in the human respiratory epithelium, using both primary and established cell line systems. The detailed characterization of virus infection and host immune responses can provide insights about the contribution of different factors to the dynamics of virus replication at the single cell level.”Scholar
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Rebecca Hamlin (rebecca.hamlin@icahn.mssm.edu) MD/PhD candidate (Recipient of the NRSA Predoctoral MD/PhD F30 Fellowship, NIH/NIAID)

“My research focuses on the interaction between dengue virus (DENV) and the human immune response in primary human systems. In addition to utilizing primary human dendritic cells, I have been developing a novel, ex vivo human tonsil histoculture system for studying DENV infection and the resulting immune response within the context of lymphoid tissue cytoarchitecture.”

 

Kevin Maringer

Kevin Maringer, PhD (k.maringer@surrey.ac.uk)

Lecturer in Microbiology, University of Surrey

“My main research interests concern how dengue virus and other arthropod-borne viruses are sensed by the immune system of their mosquito vector, and how these viruses might antagonise mosquito immune responses. These interactions likely play a key role in modulating disease transmission, and the spread of arthropod-borne viruses into new mosquito vectors and geographical locations.”

 

 

andalusAndalus AyazSURP student (summer 2015)
“Immune sensing of arboviruses by mosquito cells” (with Kevin Maringer, PhD)
tyRonald “Ty”  SmithSURP student (summer 2015)

“Study of human host factors influencing influenza virus infections” (with Irene Ramos, PhD)

Anthony Fredericks Ms
MSBS student (graduated with Ms. “Best Masters’ Thesis Award” 2015)

“Silencing of host factors important for influenza and DENV infections in human cells”

 


Sarah Pagni, PhD, MPHPhD student (graduated with PhD in 2013)

“Phenotypic analysis of dengue viruses”

 

 


Phoenix Bell, MsMSBS student (graduated with Ms in 2012)

“Sequencing of dengue viruses isolates”

 

 


Timothy Savage, Ms, MDMSBS student (graduated with Ms., “Best Masters’ Thesis Award” in 2010)
“Characterization of DENV specific antibodies and host factors that modulate DENV infections”

 

 


Juan R. Rodriguez-Madoz, PhDPostdoctoral fellow (2007-2010)

“Analysis of IFN antagonistic functions of DENV proteins”