People

Faculty

 

Juan Manuel Carreno Quiroz, PhD – Research Assistant Professor

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. 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. In the Krammer Laboratory, Juan Manuel oversees and manages the serology core, his work is focused on understanding the immune responses during viral infection and vaccination settings. Outside of the lab, he enjoys to run in central park, to participate in indoor sports, and travel around in his bike. He spends time with family and friends exploring all the culinary, cultural and amusement attractions in NYC.

 

Research Staff

 

Ilaria Ceglia, Ph.D., Senior Program Manager

Originally from Foggia, a city in the southern-eastern region of Puglia in Italy, Ilaria is an enthusiastic and passionate neuroscientist and neurobiologist. She earned her BSc and MSc in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at La Sapienza University of Rome and PhD in Pharmacology at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy. She conducted her post-doctoral and research associate training in the laboratory of the late Dr. Paul Greengard, at the Rockefeller University where she studied novel molecular pathways that affect the progression of neurodegenerative processes. As a Research Assistant Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, Ilaria’s interest was focused on a more clinical translational oriented research by investigating hematological malignancies mechanisms. She returned to Rockefeller University to join the role of Science Informationist, a more project management oriented career pathway position, where she managed multiple databases and projects in the early and late stages of the drug development process. Recently, Ilaria joined the Krammer laboratory as Senior Project Manager where she manages and oversees the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) program and serves as Quality Control Analyst of Krammer’s Nucleic Acid Production Service (NAPS) facility. She is eager to learn more about viruses and universal vaccines development processes. Away from work, Ilaria enjoys tasting international cuisines and finding the most authentic Italian places in the city, barbeques and happy hours with friends and family, dancing, biking, running in Central Park, cooking, playing and watching soccer – regardless Italy’s qualification to the Word Cup 2022!

 

Bindu Chadaga, MA – Grants Manager and CIVIC Coordinator

Bindu manages the research portfolio and financials for the Krammer lab.  Previously, she served as a Senior Grants Specialist in the Grants and Contracts Office at Mount Sinai and earned degrees from Haverford College and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  In her free time, Bindu is a printmaker and dreams of owning a really big art studio.

 

Frans Cuevas, MSBME – Data Manager

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 Caughey – Administrative Coordinator 

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!

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

 

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.

 

Philip Meade, PhD

Philip 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.

 

 

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).

 

Jordan Clark, PhD

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.

 

Nisreen Okba, PhD

Nisreen Okba graduated from the faculty of pharmacy, Tanta University with with a BSc (Hons) in pharmaceutical sciences. Following that, she worked as a pharmacist at the Ministry of health Egypt and then as a teaching assistant at the Microbiology Dept., Faculty of pharmacy, Al-Azhar University. Meanwhile, she obtained a MSc. in pharmaceutical microbiology from faculty of pharmacy, Tanta university. Her interest in virology started when she met her former supervisor Dr. Ali Zaki, who had first discovered MERS-CoV. She then joined the Viroscience dept., Erasmus Medical Center as a visiting researcher and later as a phD and postdoc. to work with on coronaviruses. Her phD project (ZAPI), under the supervision on Dr. Bart Haagmans and Prof. Marion Koopmans, focused on the development of platforms for rapid responses against zoonotic infections, where her focus was on MERS-CoV. Her work involved understanding immune responses to MERS-CoV, development of immunological assays, antibodies/nanobodies and protein-based vaccines. In Jan. 2020, with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she started as a postdoc at the same department. She was heavily involved in SARS-CoV-2 related work including assay set up, understanding immune responses, development and characterization of antibodies and vaccines. In the Krammer lab, Nisreen will focus on broadly reactive vaccines and antibodies for Influenza and Coronaviruses. Outside work, Nisreen enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and hiking.

 

Anass Abbad, PhD

Anass is from Rabat, Morocco. He graduated from Abdelmalik Essaadi University majored his Bachelor degree in Bioengineering and his Master degree in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology. Afterwards, he decided to pursue a PhD program in Virology at Hassan II University and Pasteur Institute Morocco. His PhD work focused on serological characterization of the emerging MERS-CoV in high-risk areas of Morocco and the impact of the human receptor DPP4 genetic variability in binding to MERS-CoV Spike protein. Anass recently joined the Krammer lab serology core to participate in the characterization of the immune response of SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza virus, in addition to study the cross-reaction antibody response of the Sarbecovirus. During leisure time, Anass enjoys spending time with family and friends around tasty meals, roam in NYC to discover new cultures and go for a run in Central park.

 

Kirill Vasilev, PhD

Graduated from St. Petersburg State University (Russia) in 2014 with BSc in Biology. In 2016 obtained an MSc at the same university. From 2016 until 2020 worked on PhD thesis under the supervision of Dr. Andrey Egorov at the Research Institute of Influenza. The PhD project was devoted to the investigation of immunogenic properties of NS1-truncated influenza viruses. Also participated in various research on the postvaccinal immune response to influenza-based viral vectors. The work in Dr. Krammer’s laboratory will be mainly focused on T-cellular immune response analysis on vaccination and viral infections in animal models. Outside work enjoys reading, cooking, and long walks.

 

Research Associates 

                       

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, like hiking.

 

Gagandeep Singh

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.

 

Madhumathi Loganathan 

Madhu earned her Bachelor of Technology degree in Biotechnology in India and did her Master’s in cellular and molecular biology at Long Island University. Later, she worked in infection control at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In the Krammer Lab, she is working on cloning and recombinant viral proteins production in insect cell lines. In her spare time, Madhu enjoys exploring new places.

 

Johnstone Tcheou

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).

 

Benjamin Francis

Ben is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. He majored in Biology, taking interest in his molecular biology course and microbiology project lab in his last semester of his senior year. Continuing that interest, he is excited to begin his career in the Krammer Lab where he will work in the protein and baculovirus department. Other than biology, he was the captain of the Brandeis University Swimming and Diving Team and in his down time he enjoys playing the saxophone, staying active, playing video games, and cooking.

 

                                    

Kaitlyn Bushfield

Kaitlyn recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the New School where she majored in Interdisciplinary Science and minored in Psychology. She is thrilled to continue her research career at Krammer Laboratory where her primary focus is next-generation sequencing. Kaitlyn’s research interests lie at the intersection of communicable disease and novel therapeutics as well as achieving equity in their production and distribution. Outside of the lab, Kaitlyn enjoys drawing, collaging, reading, spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors on the West and East coast.

                                    

Pooja Bandawane

Pooja completed her bachelor’s in Microbiology in India and moved to the US for her Master’s in Biotechnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her masters, she worked at the Dillard lab to understand the pathogenesis of gonorrheal infection. Post-graduation, she moved to New York to work with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for developing therapeutics and vaccines for respiratory viruses. At the Krammer lab, she will work on developing universal vaccines and therapeutics for SARS CoV2 and Influenza. When not in the lab, Pooja enjoys dancing, sketching, listening to metal music, and traveling.

 

Joel Gonzalez

Joel grew up in the Bronx, New York and is actively pursuing a degree in Public Health and Molecular Biology at Brown University. He first engaged in the field of microbiology after participating in the NYC Virus Hunters program his senior year of high school. There, he conducted research on avian viruses here in the Krammer Laboratory before returning to school. During his time at school, he took a variety of courses, one of which helped him discover and classify a unique bacteriophage. Joel is excited to be back in the lab once again, now as a research assistant. In his free time, Joel enjoys playing sports, listening to music, cooking, and playing video games.

 

Jesus Gonzalez

Jesus Gonzalez is a student from the Bronx, New York who is currently entering his second year at Brown University. His experience with microbiology began in his senior year of high school where he became an inaugural member of the Biobus New York City Virus Hunters program (NYCVH). He, alongside his peers, worked to research avian viruses in the New York metropolitan area under the Krammer Laboratory. Leaving at the end of the year, Jesus came back the following summer to work in the Krammer Laboratory this time as a Research Assistant, to continue cultivating an interest in microbiology. Outside of the lab, he enjoys exercising, playing basketball, playing video games, and spending time with his friends.

 

Visiting Master’s Students

 

Lukas Pucher

Lukas comes from a small down in eastern Austria where he grew up between pumpkins, apple juice and Puumala virus. He earned his bachelor ‘s degree in Food Science and Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Currently, he is undertaking his master’s degree in biotechnology at the same university including a semester at Gent University in Belgium. Lukas moved to New York to work on improving influenza vaccines and to watch people on the subway. Apart from science, he likes spaghetti, feminism and beer.

 

Dilan Ozcelik

Dilan is of Turkish origins, but he was born and raised in France. He comes from the European capital of Strasbourg, where he was living among French and German cultures. He graduated with honors from the University of Strasbourg (UNISTRA) with a bachelor’s degree in biology, specializing in cell biology and physiology of organisms. He then joined the Master of Virology at the same University. Dilan joined the Krammer laboratory to work on the generation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against the Influenza A virus. In addition to science, Dilan has a particular interest in art and enjoys spending his free time drawing and painting.