Lab Leadership

Viviana Simon, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor | Simon Lab
Director | Personalized Virology Initiative

Dr. Viviana Simon’s research focuses on understanding viral-host interactions in the context of human and viral diversity. She is interested in the mode of action of known (APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases, SAMHD1) and novel retroviral restriction factors as well as the corresponding HIV, SIV and HTLV antagonists. In addition, she studies the mechanisms driving HIV-1 drug resistance, the role of copy number variation within immune system genes and develop tools to study HIV latency and anti-sense transcription at the single cell level. Her research has been continuously funded by NIH/NIAID since 2003. In addition to conducting basic research, she serves the community by mentoring and teaching. Not only is she a member of the M.D./Ph.D. Admissions committee, but she is also Director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute Seminar Series and since 2016, the Director of the Personalized Virology Initiative.

Faculty Page        PubMed

Lubbertus Mulder, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Mulder Lab

Dr. Lubbertus Mulder is a research assistant professor in the Microbiology Department at ISMMS and joined the Simon lab in 2006. Prior to that he received his formal education and initial training in Italy, (University of Milan, European Joint Research Center Ispra, and the Institute for Immunobiological Research Siena now GSK). He did his post-doctoral work at the Skirball Intitute at NYU Medical Center, and at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center where he trained in molecular virology. His research interest include the interaction of host factors with HIV-1, the impact of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) on HIV-1 life cycle, the use of ERVs as molecular markers of different pathological states.

Faculty Page        PubMed

Giulio Kleiner, Ph.D.

Laboratory Operations Manager

Dr. Kleiner is the lab manager for the Simon lab since joining in 2019. Prior to joining Mount Sinai Dr. Kleiner achieved a Masters in Medical Biotechnologies and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience – Neurobiology at the University of Trieste in Trieste, Italy. Dr. Kleiner worked in different fields of the neurosciences. His PhD thesis was centered on an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, his first postdoc was focused on the rare genetic disease “Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency” and, finally, Dr. Kleiner’s research at Columbia University investigated the role of sulfide oxidation impairment in the pathogenesis of primary CoQ deficiency.

Outside of the lab Dr. Kleiner enjoys scuba diving and playing rugby!


Komal Srivastava, M.S.

Director, Strategy & Operations

Ms. Srivastava joined the Simon Lab in 2020 as the clinical research manager focusing on operations and managament for the Personalized Virology Initiative. Prior to joining the lab, Komal worked at Mount Sinai for the Program for the Protection of Human Subjects and then for the Leni & Peter W. May Department of Orthopedics. Komal earned her bachelors in Economics and Sociocultural Anthropology from University of California, Davis and then achieved her Masters in Health Care Delivery & Leadership from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Outside of the lab Komal enjoys dance, travelling (especially where beaches are involved) and party planning!

Charles Gleason, B.S.

Senior Data Analyst

Charles achieved his Bachelor’s of Science from Brown University and completed post graduate training in data science. He leads the Simon Lab data team and his research interests span synthetic biology and data structures!

Outside of the lab Charles is passionate for biophysics, mountains, and pie! (Especially ones he has made)

Daniel Caughey, B.S.

Administrative Coordinator

Daniel accomplished his B.S. 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. He is currently a master’s degree candidate in the Healthcare Administration program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Outside of the lab, Daniel enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with his Dachshund, Penny!

Post Doctoral Fellows

Giacomo Butta, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Butta joined the Simon lab as a post-doc in 2024, after earning his PhD in Virology at the University of Milan. Giacomo’s PhD project focused on the latent reservoir HIV establishes in the early phases of the infection. In the Simon lab, his research interests include reporter HIV viruses and expanding his knowledge on other infectious diseases.


Lab Members

Hala Alshammary, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

Hala is an accomplished scientist who completed her master’s from New York University. Hala specializes in coordinating lab experiments and working with the Pathogen Surveillance Program.

Ashley Aracena, B.S.

Clinical Research Assistant

Ashley joined the Simon Lab in 2024. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from the CUNY York College. Ashley’s research interests include Microbiology, Virology and Pathology. Currently she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Trial Management.

Outside of the lab, Ashley enjoys music, ballet, fitness and traveling!

Yuexing Chen, M.S.

Data Analyst

Yuexing accomplished her Master of Science from Baruch College. Her research interests include Antibody Library and Sequence Database.

In her free time, Yuexing enjoys exploring Mountains, Archery, and Astrology!

Christian Cognigni, BA

Associate Researcher

Christian accomplished his Bachelors of Arts in Biology with a minor in history from New York University, awarded with the Garcilaso De La Vega Prize in Latin American History. His research interests span microbial drug resistance and pathogenesis. In the future, Christian plans to attend graduate school and conduct his own research in Microbiology.

Outside the lab, Christian enjoys cooking and reading books!

Dylan Fitzgerald, B.S.

Associate Researcher

Dylan joined the Simon Lab in 2023. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Agricultural Science with concurrent teacher education from the University of Limerick, Ireland. His research interests include the influence of viral infection on Cell replication through Telomere degradation. In the future, he plans to teach Biology at home in Ireland and help as many students as possible to enjoy Science.

Outside of the lab you can spot Dylan practicing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu! He also enjoys Yoga, Reading, and Podcasts.

Hyun Min Kang, B.A.

Associate Researcher

Hyun Min accomplished his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Hunter College, City University of New York with a major in biochemistry. His research interests include Microbiology and Immunology. In the future, he plans on attending medical school and becoming a physician. His hobbies include the following: astrophotography, playing the piano, amateur radio, attending opera.

Charlotte (Lotte) Kearns, B.A.

PhD Student 

Lotte joined the Simon Lab in 2024. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is very interested in the interplay between the human immune response to viruses like HIV, and how they have coevolved. Currently, she is studying HIV latency establishment and the role of HIV accessory proteins and innate restriction factors in CD4 T cells. After graduation, Lotte would like to pursue a career in academia, and teach and train the next generation of scientists.

Outside of the lab you can spot Lotte enjoying the outdoors, dancing, and making and eating good food!

Neko Lyttle, BA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Neko achieved his Bachelors of Arts in Biology and plans to pursue a career in clinical research! Neko is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Clinical Trial Management

Jake Mauldin, B.S.

Clinical Research Assistant

Jake accomplished his B.S. in Global Public Health from New York University. His research interests include Health Policy and Environmental Health. In the future, he plans on expanding his knowledge in graduate school.

Outside of the lab, Jake enjoys coaching, basketball, and e-sports!

Anna Miller, M.S.

Associate Researcher

Anna accomplished her M.S. in Conservation Medicine from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Her research interests span virology, immunology, microbiology, and public health/disease surveillance. In the future, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in virology, immunology, or microbiology!

Her other interests include bird watching, hiking, and reading.

Jacob Mischka, B.S.

Associate Researcher

Jacob accomplished his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of New Hampshire. His research interests include both Virology and Immunology. In the future, he plans to gain experience and attend graduate school.

In his free time, Jacob likes to hike, play basketball and spend time with friends.

Brian Monahan, M.S.

Associate Researcher

Brian accomplished his MS in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology from University of Massachusetts Amherst, and his BS in Microbiology from University of Maine. His research interests include virology, immunology, genetics, biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health. Eventually, he would like to pursue a PhD in either virology, epidemiology, genetics or biostatistics.

Outside of the lab, Brian enjoys photography, cooking, climbing.

Jessica Nardulli, B.S.

Clinical Research Assistant

Prior to joining the Simon Lab, Jessica received her B.S. in Biology and Society with a minor in Psychology from Cornell University in 2021. Her research interests include epidemiology, healthcare policy, public attitudes toward vaccination, as well as Alzheimer’s research. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing trumpet, guitar, and piano! Jessica also enjoys cooking and donating blood.

Lisa Neureuter, B.S.

Associate Researcher

Lisa joined the Simon Lab in 2024. She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna. Her research interests include restriction factors and their influence on different viruses, especially HIV. Lisa’s future plans are to finish her master’s degree in molecular biotechnology and eventually pursue a PhD in virology or infectious diseases. 

Outside of the lab you can spot Lisa reading, enjoying sports and spending time with friends!

Reima Ramsamooj, M.S.

Associate Researcher

Reima accomplished her Master of Science in Biology from CUNY City College. Her research interests include both Microbiology/bacteria and virology. In the future, she plans to gain experience and expertise in her field and hopefully conduct publishable research.

In her free time, Reima enjoys nature walks, hiking, reading fantasy/horror, and watching movies.

Morgan van Kesteren, B.A.

Clinical Research Assistant

Morgan accomplished her B.A. in Classical Studies from Colgate University. Her research interests include viral pathogenesis, vaccines, bone pathology, and effectiveness of surgical techniques. Morgan’s future plans include attending medical school and pursuing a career in pediatric orthopedic surgery.

Outside of the lab, Morgan enjoys sailing, hiking, playing soccer, singing, and baking with friends!