Chiara Mariottini, PhD – Research Assistant Professor, Program Manager
Chiara’s first interaction with research was during her undergraduate years at University of Perugia, in Italy, where she studied Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacy. Towards the end of her undergraduate studies, she 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 her tenure with them that she decided to pursue a career in science.Chiara then moved to Florence, where she specialized in behavioral neuroscience and neuropharmacology and obtained her PhD in Physiological and Nutritional Sciences (with specialty in Neuropharmacology) from the University of Florence. In January 2008, Chiara joined the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai, New York, for her postdoctoral studies with Dr. Ravi Iyengar. Chiara’s 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 her career, Chiara’s interest in translational research and clinical development has grown considerably, and for this reason, Chiara joined the Krammer Laboratory 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, Chiara enjoys any outdoor activity, in particular running and hiking. Chiara loves dogs.
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.
Frans grew up in Queens, New York and earned her B.S. in Math and Statistics at Stony Brook University. After graduating, she attended Drexel University where she received her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She was involved in multiple academic projects, some of which included biosimulations of HIV dynamics and bioengineered neural networks used as potential interventions for patients with NDD. Since graduate school, her research interests lie in clinical and epidemiological data. In the future, she hopes to apply her data analysis expertise to public health interventions for underserved communities here in NYC. In her free time, Frans enjoys finding all the best foods in Queens with friends, playing competitive sports and hanging with her family.
Daniel accomplished his BS in Health Policy and Management from Providence College, including a program in Copenhagen, Denmark studying Healthcare Delivery and Prioritization. Prior to his time in the Simon Lab, Daniel worked as a Medical Team Associate in the Boston Children’s Hospital NICU. His research interests include Epidemiology and Global Health, which he hopes to study further in Graduate School in the near future. Outside of the lab, Daniel enjoys running, hiking, and dogs!
Parnavi Viral Desai, MSc – Lab Manager
Catherine received her Bachelor’s degree from the National University of Singapore where she specialized in Life Sciences and worked on Dengue Virus. She went on to pursue her PhD in Virology at the Imperial College London under the guidance of Peter O’Hare. During her studies she focused on the spatiotemporal analysis of de novo translation and transcription during Herpes Simple Virus infection by employing click chemistry. During her first postdoctoral fellowship she worked on the characterization of monoclonal antibodies against influenza virus, in particular the H5 and H7 subtypes. She also investigated Fc-mediated antibody effector functions and their in protection against influenza virus infection. Catherine’s current research interests include developing vaccines and antibodies against influenza viruses and emerging zoonotic viruses such as hantaviruses and arenaviruses. Outside of the lab, Catherine enjoys exploring the city and adventuring out into nature.
Isabel Francisco, DVM
Isa grew up in Manila, Philippines and came to the US to complete her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, where she majored in Biology and minored in English. She went on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. While in veterinary school, she completed an International Veterinary Medicine postgraduate certificate, volunteered for veterinary service trips in Morocco and the Dominican Republic, and worked on public health research in her home country of the Philippines. After receiving her DVM, she completed an equine medical and surgical internship at Vermont Large Animal Clinic and then worked for Health Resources in Action, a public health nonprofit in Boston. She is interested in working at the intersection between animal, human, and environmental health, and in public health work related to health and environmental justice.
Isa joined the Krammer Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in partnership with the nonprofit BioBus. She will be conducting virus surveillance in bird species found in NYC parks as well as training and mentoring high school youth seeking hands-on experience in the sciences. In her free time, Isa enjoys reading, cooking, listening to musical theater, and hanging out with her cat, Ferreira.
Kaori Sano, PhD
Kaori is originally from Kanagawa, Japan. After finishing high school, she entered Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, majoring in veterinary medicine. During this period, she was involved in research on viruses infecting wild bats in the Philippines. After graduating, she entered Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, to do a joint PhD course with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID). During her PhD course, Kaori worked on research regarding anti-influenza virus IgA antibodies and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus at the Department of Pathology, NIID. Kaori’s current research project here in the Krammer lab is assessing the mucosal antibody response against respiratory pathogens such as influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2. In her free time, she likes to go hiking, jogging, and collecting Snoopy items.
Eduard Puente Massaguer, PhD
Eduard received his bachelor’s degree from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), where he majored in Biotechnology. He went on to pursue his PhD in Biotechnology at Dr. Francesc Gòdia’s lab, where he worked in the development of new generation vaccines based on virus-like particles (VLPs). During his PhD, he visited the group of Dr. Reingard Grabherr at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, studying different strategies to produce VLPs at bioreactor scale. Eduard joined the Krammer laboratory in November 2020, where he works in the development of a universal influenza vaccine based on chimeric hemagglutinins, in collaboration with the groups of Dr. Palese, Dr. García-Sastre and the CIVICs. Outside of the lab, Eduard enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring the city.
Jordan Clark graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Genetics in 2014. Following this, he undertook a BBSRC funded collaborative PhD studentship between the Moredun Research Institute and the University of Glasgow. This lasted from 2014 until 2018 and was supervised by Professor Alain Kohl and Dr Roman Biek at the University of Glasgow, and by Dr Colin McInnes at the Moredun Research Institute. This PhD focussed on the characterisation of louping ill virus (LIV), an important but poorly studied animal pathogen in the UK. In 2018 Jordan joined the Molecular Virology Research Group at the University of Liverpool under the supervision of Professor James Stewart. Here, Jordan studied the innate immune protein BPIFA1/SPLUNC1, specifically the mechanism through which this protein inhibits influenza A virus infection in the respiratory tract. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan switched focus to work on elucidating the phenotypic differences between SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in addition to testing antiviral drugs, vaccines, and other therapeutics using animal models. Within the Krammer lab Jordan researches the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and hantaviruses. Outside of science Jordan enjoys films, TV, botany, Buckfast, and watching Scotland be repeatedly humiliated at sports.
Irene Hoxie, PhD
Irene earned her B.S from the University of Maryland, studying biology and geology, and did her PhD in biology in Dr. John Dennehy’s lab at the City University of New York, where she focused on Rotaviruses, RNA, and bioinformatics. Her current focuses in the Krammer lab are primarily on neuraminidase-based Influenza vaccines and next-generation sequencing. Outside of the lab, Irene enjoys hiking, painting, bar crawling, and caring for her various pets (pictured above).
Disha Bhavsar, MS
Disha completed her undergraduate degree in India in 2015 and decided to continue with her scientific studies by attending graduate school in the USA. She earned her master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2018. During her master’s degree, she worked on the properties and cross-linking in the proteins found in Alzheimer’s plaques. In her time outside the lab, she likes to explore new places and undertake different activities, such as hiking.
George received a BA in French and Francophone Studies from Florida International University in spring 2019. Following graduation, George worked as a TA in organic chemistry, an emergency department medical scribe, and a research assistant studying the intersection of Black chemistry students’ racial and professional identities. George plans on applying to medical school this upcoming cycle, with ambitions to provide holistic patient-centered healthcare to medically underserved communities. Outside of work, George loves to cook, try new restaurants, read, volunteer, play tennis, swim, run, and ski.
Gagandeep Singh grew up in Punjab, India where he completed his studies in Forensic Science and Human Genetics from Panjab University, Chandigarh. In his path as a human geneticist, he studied genetic diversity and structure of different population groups of India. Before joining the Krammer lab, he was working as a Forensic Biologist at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) where he gained experience in Wildlife Forensics and Conservation. Outside of work, Gagandeep is very passionate about cooking and enjoys the company of nature.
Johnstone Tcheou is a recent graduate of Brandeis University, having received a bachelor’s degree in biology and public health. Coming home to New York, he is excited to study the immune response post-infection and post-vaccination and analyze data as part of the serology core. He hopes to explore potential career paths with his interests in viruses, epidemiology, and public health while with the lab. Beyond work, Johnstone enjoys trying different restaurants, playing video games, playing bass and guitar, and watching and playing soccer (hopefully his team, Arsenal, can find success again).
A Texas native, Hisaaki grew up in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan, where he attended an international school from ages 6 to 18. Dreaming of attending medical school in the United States, he moved to California to explore his interests in medicine and human behavior at the University of California Berkeley. After receiving his degree in economics and cognitive science, he moved across the country to work as a medical assistant in New York City, where he helped provide primary care medicine amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future, he hopes to combine his passion for health equity and behavioral science with a clinical education to advocate for vulnerable populations as a physician. In his free time, Hisaaki also studies stroke and vision rehab as a member of the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory at NYU Langone and supports people in need as a Crisis Text Line counselor. He also enjoys cooking, playing video games, weight lifting, and learning how to boulder.
Ariel received his BA from Yeshiva University in January 2020 where he majored in Biology and minored in Psychology. His research interests lie mainly within molecular mechanisms of transcription and translation, intracellular communication and immunology. He is currently a part of the Serology Core where he is investigating immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viral proteins. Ariel also plans on applying to PhD programs in molecular and cellular biology. In his free time, Ariel enjoys reading, playing the violin and hiking in tree-filled places.
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.
Annika received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg in 2019 and is currently doing her master’s in Molecular Life Sciences in Hamburg, Germany. Annika moved to New York to do her master thesis in the Krammer lab in Influenza vaccine development. In her free time, she likes to explore the city, go hiking and stay active.