People

Florian Krammer, PhD – Principal Investigator, Professor

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Alicia Solórzano, PhD – Research Assistant Professor, Project Manager

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During the initial phase of my scientific career I studied Naked RNA viruses (Narnaviruses), present in the yeast Sachharomyces cerevisiae. I unveiled the molecular mechanism by which these viruses form stable structures in vivo and their mode of replication. All this work was done in the Department of Microbiology-Biochemistry at the University of Salamanca (Spain) under the mentorship of Drs. Rosa Esteban Cañibano and Tsutomu Fujimura. http://ibfg.es/en/rosa-esteban-en

In 2002, I joined the lab of Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) in New York as a post-doctoral fellow to work on influenza. Since then, I have been working with the influenza virus at different levels: vaccine development, molecular virology, viral replication, pathogenesis and transmission. My main contributions during this stage were to develop a new generation of live-attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) based on truncations of the NS1 gene (the main interferon antagonist of the virus). I also participated in the recreation of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus or “Spanish flu” that in 1918 killed 20-40 million people worldwide. In 2007 I moved to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine) as a Research Assistant Professor. Although I was involved in different projects, my main objective was to develop LAIV based on mutations in the polymerase. At this position I also became familiar with different animal models for influenza research. I also got training to work under BSL3 containment with highly pathogenic influenza viruses. After four years, I joined the Public Health Research Institute in Rutgers, NJ where I assessed the ability of H3N8 viruses from different origins to infect and replicate in pigs showing that some avian virus can indeed replicate without adaptation. At this Institute, I also was in charge of the virology program at the BSL3 facility.

Since May 2015, I am back at Mount Sinai where I coordinate efforts in the Krammer, Palese and García-Sastre’s laboratories together with other private and government institutions to develop and implement a novel influenza vaccine approach based on hemagglutinin stalk-reactive antibodies (universal influenza vaccine approach).

Chiara Mariottini, PhD – Research Assistant Professor, Project Manager

My first interaction with research was during my undergraduate years at University of Perugia, in Italy, where I studied Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacy. Towards the end of my undergraduate studies, I spent approximately a year in the Department of Pharmacology under the supervision of Dr. Carlo Riccardi and Dr. Maria Cristina Fioretti, both known as international experts in cell biology and immunology. It was during my tenure with them that I had decided to pursue a career in science. I then moved to Florence, where I specialized in behavioral neuroscience and neuropharmacology and obtained my PhD in Physiological and Nutritional Sciences (with specialty in Neuropharmacology) from the University of Florence. In January 2008, I joined the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai, New York, for my postdoctoral studies with Dr. Ravi Iyengar. My research at the Iyengar Lab focused on the transcriptional mechanisms that can regulate memory strength, flexibility, and persistence in health and disease, with a particular focus on the hippocampus.

Throughout my career, my interest in translational research and clinical development has grown considerably, and for this reason, I joined the Krammer Lab in November 2018, as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology to work on developing a universal influenza vaccine, in collaboration with Dr. Palese and Dr. Garcia-Sastre. Outside of research, I enjoy any outdoor activity, in particular running and hiking. I love dogs.

Raffael Nachbagauer, MD, PhD – Research Assistant Professor

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Veronika Chromikova, PhD

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As a kid, I could never make up my mind whether I wanted to be a scientist, a doctor, a ballet dancer, or a writer. However, when my sister took me to a biology lab and showed me how to plate bacteria for the first time, the decision has been made.  I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Biology (2008) and Master’s degree in Molecular Biology (2010) at the Comenius University in Bratislava (SK). During my Master’s Degree research, at the Institute of Molecular Biology at The Slovak Academy of Sciences, I studied how individual proteins interact in a bacterial spore coat during the process of sporulation. I earned PhD in Biotechnology (2015) from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (AT) where I worked with mammalian cell culture and established stable cell lines for production of recombinant IgMs.  Part of my PhD studies was done at the University of California Irvine, in Dr. Forthal’s lab, focusing on HIV research – where I discovered the charm and treachery of immunological assays, and at the Technical University in Munich in the lab of Dr. Groll, focusing on X-ray crystallography – where I realized that sometimes your plans to crystallize a protein may be just a wishful thinking. Outside of the lab I like driving, reading and videogames and contrary to the general belief of my colleagues, I spend some time outdoors occasionally.

Meagan McMahon, PhD

Meagan received her undergraduate degree at Deakin University, where she majored in Biology. The following year, she completed her honours year under the guidance of John Stambas and Daniel McCulloch at the School of Medicine, Deakin University in Australia. During this honours year she assessed the role of ADAMTS enzymes in influenza virus infection. Meagan went on to continue studying the role of ADAMTS enzymes in influenza virus infection and immunity in the Stambas and McCulloch laboratories as a PhD student and graduated in 2017. Meagan’s current research interests include developing a universal influenza virus vaccine, assessing broadly protective monoclonal antibodies and researching influenza virus transmission in animal models.

Meagan is originally from Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Here she enjoyed following the Collingwood Magpies, an Australian rules football team and being champion of board games, like Cyclades and Settlers of Catan.

Juan Manuel Carreno Quiroz, PhD

Juan Manuel obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and then joined the Arias-Lopez group at the Institute of Biotechnology UNAM to obtain his Master’s Degree, where he had the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of viruses studying the restriction of rotavirus by interferons. He then pursued his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland in the laboratory of Dr. Burkhard Ludewig, and during his studies he focused on the immune responses against Salmonella typhi and the development of vaccines against this pathogen. With the keen interest of reincorporating to the virology field, Juan Manuel recently joined the Krammer lab and is currently working on understanding the mechanisms of immunological imprinting during influenza virus infection. Outside of the lab, Juan Manuel enjoys to run in central park, do indoor sports, and travel around in his bike. He spends time with family and friends exploring all the culinary, cultural and amusement attractions that this great city has to offer.

 

Research Associates

Parnavi Viral Desai, MSc

Sadaf Aslam, BA

Sadaf graduated from Hunter College with a degree in Biology. She joined the Garcia-Sastre laboratory in 2016 where she first learned about Virology Research. In 2017, Sadaf transferred to the Krammer Laboratory where she continued to explore the field of Virology where she is involved in projects related to the development of a universal influenza vaccine.

Shirin Strohmeier, MSc

Shirin is originally from a small town in Austria called Graz and came to New York for her masters thesis and then fell in love with the city. She likes kickboxing, exploring new restaurants and working with animals in different in vivo studies.
 Andres Javier, MSc

Andres Javier from the Dominican Republic, joined the lab in August of 2018. Before joining the lab, he worked under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Pappas to understand the adaptive mechanisms of Leptospira spp. Besides his newfound hobby of purifying proteins, Andres also enjoys practicing Capoeira, playing baseball and watching Game of Thrones.

Christina Capuano, BA

Christina graduated in 2018 from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and joined the Krammer lab in September that year. Outside of work she enjoys trying new bars and restaurants, fitness, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Students

Jim Duehr, BA

Jim received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 2014 and joined the lab to pursue his PhD in the spring of 2015. In vitro, his interests revolve around immune responses to viral hemorrhagic fevers, with a special focus on antibody responses against Ebola, Hanta, and Zika viruses. With his ever-narrowing time in vivo, Jim enjoys wilderness backpacking, orienteering, science advocacy, and competitive lock picking.

Philip Meade, BA

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Philip is a PhD student who joined the lab in 2015, defecting from GGS.  He has never looked back.  Now, he plans to use influenza protein microarrays to answer questions about the antibody response to infection with influenza virus.

Ericka Kirkpatrick, BSc

Ericka graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a BS in Microbiology and a BS in Zoology. She made the treck to Mount Sinai with her 2 dogs and is excited to begin working on her PhD. In lab, she is interested in virus-host interactions and co-evolution. Outside of lab, she loves exploring the city’s parks and anything related to Harry Potter.

Daniel Stadlbauer, MSc

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Originally from Austria, Daniel came to Mount Sinai in October 2016 as visiting PhD student. For his master’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Daniel utilized insect cell cultures for protein surface display and to generate virus-like particles on the basis of the influenza A virus matrix protein M1.

Jessica Tan, BA

Jessica graduated from Temple University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and in 2014 she graduated with a Professional Science Master’s in Biotechnology. She began her medical school training in 2015 and Joined the Krammer Laboratory in 2017. She is interested in developing novel treatments and vaccine strategies and is currently focusing on investigating the antibody response against influenza B virus neuraminidase. Outside the lab, Jessica likes to read for fun, watch dramas with English subtitles, cook, eat delicious foods and spend time with family and friends.

Guha Asthagiri Arunkumar, MSc

Guha graduated from VIT University, India, with a B.Tech in Biotechnology. He then made his way to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and graduated with a Master of Biotechnology degree with a specialization in Molecular Biology.  His research experience at Penn involved working on the effect of plasminogen on CXCR4, and mechanosensitive transcription factors such as TBX5, in Dr. Daniel Rader’s lab in the Perelman School of Medicine. Through the course of his Master’s, Guha undertook courses such as Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vaccines and Therapeutics, and Virology to indulge his interest in the field of viruses and how to combat them. He then decided to dive deeper into these fields by joining the PhD in Biomedical Sciences program at Mount Sinai in the Microbiology department. Following his PhD, Guha hopes to be involved in virus vaccine related research and development in an industrial setting. Outside of the lab, Guha enjoys photography, supporting Tottenham Hotspur (London based football/soccer club), being involved in student governance and organizations, being a foodie, playing video games, and listening to Electronic Dance Music.

Madhusudan Rajendran, BA

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Fatima Amanat, MA

Former laboratory members

Arvind Rajabhathor, BA – Research Associate

Angelique Zaragoza, MSc – Masters Student

Juan Ayllon, PhD – Research Assistant Professor

Ariana Hirsh, BA – Lab Manager

Teddy John Wohlbold, PhD – MD/PhD Student

Andriani Ioannou, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow

Klaus-Daniel Cortés, MSc – Visiting Master Student

Daniel Kaplan, BA – Research Associate

Florentine Guglia – Visiting Master Student

Manpreet Kaur, MSc – Research Associate

Paul Bunduc, BSc – Research Program Coordinator

Phillip Comella, BA – PhD Student (rotation)