The Team

M. Cecilia Berin, PhD (Principal Investigator)

Cecilia Berin is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. She received her PhD (Physiology) from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada and her postdoctoral training (Mucosal Immunology) from the University of California, San Diego. She joined Mount Sinai as an Instructor in 2001. Her research has used mouse models of food allergy to identify mechanisms of sensitization to foods and to study the communication between the skin and gastrointestinal tract in food allergy. She has also designed mechanistic studies for multi-center clinical trials for the NIAID-funded Consortium for Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) and the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN).

Charuta Agashe, MS (Laboratory Manager, Senior Research Associate)

Charuta Agashe received her MS (Molecular Science and Nanotechnology) from the Louisiana Tech University prior to joining the Berin Lab in 2013. She is responsible for overseeing clinical trial-associated immune profiling, and in the development of novel sample-sparing assays for identification of allergen-specific T cells in pediatric blood.

Wajiha Kazmi (Visiting Medical Student – Research)

Wajiha Kazmi is a rising 4th year medical student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, New York. During medical school, she developed an interest in immune-mediated diseases. She joined the Berin Lab in 2021 to conduct research focused on the study of T-cell mediated immune mechanisms of allergy and tolerance to foods.

Daniel Lozano-Ojalvo, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Daniel Lozano-Ojalvo performed his PhD studies at the Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación (CIAL) belonging to the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). Dr. Lozano-Ojalvo’s thesis research was focused on peptide-based immunotherapy for the treatment of egg allergy. He joined the Berin Laboratory in 2018 with a postdoctoral fellowship from the Fundación Alfonso Martin Escudero. His main area of research at Mount Sinai is in studying the evolution and heterogeneity of the food-specific T cell response in food allergic patients. He has also investigated the role of skin dendritic cells in the development of immune tolerance following epicutaneous immunotherapy.




Justine Noel (PhD Student, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences)

Justine Noel obtained her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University, New York, and is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She joined the Berin Laboratory in 2018. Her thesis work will focus on the impact of prenatal environmental exposures on maternal and infant immunity.




Nicole Ramsey, MD, PhD. (Instructor)

Nicole Ramsey received her medical degree and PhD from Cornell University, and her pediatric residency training from Baylor College of Medicine. She joined the Berin Laboratory in 2018 to study the immune basis of reaction thresholds to peanut in peanut allergy, with a focus on using mass cytometry to profile the acute response to allergen in peripheral blood.



Benedict Shi (Center for Excellence in Youth Education)

Benedict Shi is a high school student at The High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. He is currently working on using spectral flow cytometry to profile T cell responses during pregnancy. In his spare time, he enjoys landscape photography.



Lila Stevens (Center for Excellence in Youth Education)

Lila Stevens is a student at The High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. She is currently using spectral flow cytometry to identify the innate immune signatures of allergy in children from city and farm environments. 



Kayla Wisotzkey (Research Associate)

Kayla Wisotzkey received her BS in cellular and molecular biology from Towson University before joining the Berin Lab in 2021. She is currently a Research Associate for the Berin Lab, where she processes blood and performs assays for multiple food allergy focused clinical trials.