Meet the Team

Principal Investigator

Jaime Hook, MD is a physician-scientist, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, and faculty member of the Mount Sinai Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute.  The goal of her research and clinical career is to improve the lives of patients with severe lung diseases.  Her research program is designed to understand lung infection mechanisms, particularly the host-pathogen interactions that determine severe lung infection and fatal acute lung injury.  New understanding of these interactions is essential to developing new treatment approaches, which are increasingly required in this era of worsening pathogen drug resistance.  She has received a number of research awards, including the 2018 Jo Rae Wright Award “in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement by a young investigator” from the American Thoracic Society Respiratory, Cell, and Molecular Biology Assembly.

Research Associates

Ana Cassandra De Jesus is a Research Associate who received her Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Forensic Science at the University of New Haven.  She first started her career in a diagnostic laboratory testing patient plasma samples for Factor deficiencies and Lupus.  She then interned at the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Science in the DNA division where she researched methods for long-term storage of DNA.  From there she joined the Hook Lab at Columbia University and assisted in its transition to Mount Sinai.  Along with handling the day to day lab operations, her work in the Hook Lab includes researching neutrophil and alveolar epithelium interactions and the effects of flu on alveolar epithelium.  During her free time, she enjoys fancy baking and reading.

Deebly Chavez is a Research Associate who started his research career in 2013 at Dr. Bi-Sen Ding’s lab as an Animal Technician at Weill Cornell Medical College.  During his time there, he studied lung and liver regeneration and various survival mouse microsurgery procedures, such as Pneumonectomy, Hepatectomy, Bile Duct Ligation and Jugular vein injections.  He transitioned to the Pulmonary Department at Mount Sinai Hospital in 2018 and continued his lung injury studies.  In 2020, he joined the Hook lab and is currently learning mouse lung surgeries and imaging techniques.  During his free time, Deebly enjoys spending time with his family.

 

Research Assistants

Sayahi Suthakaran is a Research Assistant in the Hook Lab with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and minor concentrations in Biological Sciences from CUNY Hunter College, New York, NY.  As a former full-time student-athlete battling childhood asthma, Sayahi was inspired to learn more about lung diseases, which led her to join Dr. Maria Padilla and Dr. Aditi Mathur at the Mount Sinai Jewish Respiratory Institute of the Pulmonary Department as a Clinical Research Assistant focusing on Interstitial Lung Disease, specifically Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (2018).  Her interest in learning more about basic science research led her to the Hook lab in July 2019. Her training in the Hook Lab includes science techniques such as Immunofluorescence, Immunoprecipitation, and Western Blotting along with more specified training in mouse lung preparation and lung water assessment and quantification.  Sayahi is a pianist and a newly-trained martial artist who plans to pursue a career in the medical field.

Post-Docs

Sarah KL Moore, MD is a fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) at The Mount Sinai Hospital and a post-doctoral research fellow in the Hook Lab. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Evolutionary Biology and Global Health & Health Policy at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. After graduation, she worked for two years at the Center on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University, studying the ways in which conflict of interest policies at academic medical centers impact physician behaviors. She later obtained her medical degree at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY and completed internal medicine residency training at Columbia-New York Presbyterian Medical Center. As a resident, she was involved in clinical research relating to cardiac arrhythmias and structural heart disease, as well as bias in the design of clinical trials in critical illness. Over the course of her residency and fellowship, Sarah developed a deep interest in the pathophysiology of acute lung injury and repair, motivated in no small part by her experiences caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. She joined the Hook Lab in July 2021 as a second-year PCCM fellow and is excited to bring her diverse clinical and research experiences to the team.

Students

Stephanie Tang is a Master’s student who received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. John’s University.  After graduating, she went on to work as a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Molecular Genetics for Dr. Wendy Chung at Columbia University Medical Center.  She has now joined the Hook Lab as a student in the Master of Science in Biomedical Science Program, where she will be working with mice lungs and performing techniques such as Immunofluorescence and Western Blotting.

 

 

Volunteers

Keshon Suthakaran is a Research volunteer in the Hook Lab working towards a Bachelor’s in Human Biology from CUNY Hunter College, New York, NY.

His training in the Hook Laboratory includes science techniques such as Western Blotting, Total Protein Staining, Protein Quantification, along with more specified training in confocal microscopy.  Keshon is a musician and artist of 10 years who hopes to make an impact in the medical field through basic science research.