Lab Members

Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D.


Rafael A. Larocca, PhD

Rafael obtained his B.S. degree in Biomedical Science in 2003. He received his Masters (2006) and PhD (2009) degrees in Immunology from University of Sao Paulo - Brazil. During his Ph.D., he studied the role of allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cells as potent inducers of regulatory CD4 T cells aiming to generate transplant immune-tolerance. After the completion of his Ph.D. he was invited to work with Dr. Terry Strom (Harvard Medical School), where he initially studied the therapeutic impact of anti-TIM4 mAb treatment generating tolerance and preventing new onset Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in mice. He joined Dr. Dan Barouch laboratory at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research in 2012 and his research focuses on finding novel strategies for the development of optimal Adenovirus-vector vaccines for HIV-1, by targeting immunomodulatory pathways improving immune responses following vaccination. Recently he joined a collaborative effort for the development of an effective Zika virus vaccine. LinkedIn / ResearchGate -

Amanda Jezek Martinot, DVM, MPH, PhD

Dr. Martinot received her veterinary degree from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. She went on to study the epidemiology of infectious diseases and global health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she completed her MPH in 2006. She has since specialized in comparative pathology and infectious diseases by completing her residency training and PhD at the Harvard Medical School, New England Primate Research Center and Harvard School of Public Health where she studied the microbiology and immunopathology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infectionHer research interests lie in understanding the interface of the host immune response to bacterial metabolic state as a means to  develop novel therapeutics and vaccines against human and animal tuberculosis (TB) infection.  She is interested in understanding the immunologic characteristics of dormant TB within the host environment. She is specifically interested in understanding whether 1) latency associated antigens exist and are effectively presented to the host immune system and 2) we can enhance immune recognition of these antigens to facilitate control of mycobacterial infection in individuals previously exposed to TB. She joined the Barouch lab with the intent to learn vaccine immunology and adenoviral vaccine technology, a knowledge of which she aims to apply to her future work in the field of infectious disease research. LinkedIn/ResearchGate -

Staff Scientists

Jinyan Liu, MD, PhD

Jinyan completed his medical training at Tongji Medical University, and obtained a Ph.D in Immunology from the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control (NCAIDS) and Wuhan Institute of Biological Product, Ministry of Public Health, P. R. China. He joined the Barouch laboratory during his postdoctoral research training. Currently he is a staff scientist in the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research. His research is focused on the development of an effective global HIV-1 vaccine. In particular, he is interested in Development of an HIV vaccine pre-clinical animal models, evaluation of HIV-1 vaccines in nonhuman primates, and human clinical trail. Dr. Liu also focuses on evaluation of HIV neutralizing Ab treatment on SHIV infected monkey; evaluation of immunodominance in epitope-modified DNA vaccines; and Assessment of macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) and fms-like tyrosine linase 3 ligand (flt3) as DNA vaccine adjuvants. 

Lori Maxfield, PhD

Lori Maxfield is currently a Staff Scientist in Dan Barouch’s lab. She received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from The Penn State Hershey Medical Center studying transcriptional regulation of the adenovirus E1b gene before pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship in John Coffin’s lab at Tufts University to study the relationship between retroviral integration and host cell transcription. By joining Dan Barouch’s research group, she has combined her interest and expertise in Adenoviruses and Retroviruses to develop and evaluate novel adenovirus-based vectors with a focus on HIV vaccine development. Projects she is currently working on include the development of Rhesus adenovirus-based vaccine vectors, preclinical development and characterization of a replication-competent Ad26 vector expressing a mosaic HIV envelope protein, and study of recombination of wild-type adenoviruses in vivo in a Rhesus macaque model.  LinkedIn ResearchGate - 

Joseph Nkolola, PhD

Dr Joseph Nkolola obtained his BS degree in Biology/Chemistry at the University of Zambia in 1993 and in 1998 was awarded his MS degree in molecular biology from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. He obtained his PhD degree in immunology from Oxford University in 2004. After a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health under the John E. Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP), he joined the laboratory of Dr Barouch as a research fellow in medicine in 2007 and currently holds the position of Staff Scientist at the CVVR. Dr Nkolola is the sectional leader in the Barouch laboratory co-ordinating and overseeing the group’s efforts in developing and testing HIV Envelope subunit protein vaccines that may confer protection against the virus by eliciting a protective antibody response. LinkedIn / ResearchGate -


Malika Aid, PhD

Malika did her undergraduate studies in computer science engineering.  Her engineering thesis was about the development of a mathematical model to predict meteorological changes using cloud distribution and density. She joined Dr Sylvie Mader’s team at the institute for research in immunology and cancer (IRIC) in Montreal for her master and Ph.D. in Bioinformatics.  She worked on the characterization of the transcriptional regulation mechanisms of estrogen receptor ERalpha. During her Ph.D., she developed a computational tool to predict transcription factors DNA binding sites using ChIP-Seq and ChIP-chip data. This software was then used to identify new transcriptional partners of estrogen receptor alpha and their downstream target genes. After her Ph.D., she joined Dr Sekaly’s group at VGTI Florida for her post-doc. During her two years post-doc position at Sekaly’s group, her work was focused on the development and implementation of system biology approaches to identify gene expression signatures that predict protection and acquisition from HIV and SIV infections. In 2016, she joined Dr. Dan Barouch laboratory at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research and her ongoing research focuses on developing system biology approaches in order to understand the role of the innate and adaptive immune response with a focus on identifying gene expression signatures that predict response to vaccines.  She is also involved in other projects that aim to elucidate mechanisms that regulate the establishment/maintenance of HIV latency and therapeutic strategies currently under evaluation in order to eradicate HIV persistence.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Xuan He, PhD

Xuan received her B.S. degree in Biology from Sichuan University in 2009. During her Ph.D. study in China CDC and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, she mainly focused on the phenotypic and functional changes in NK cells and γδ T cells from human or non-human primates during HIV/SIV infection. She also standardized in vitro assay that allows assessing the anti-HIV capacity of immune cells, including NK, γδ T and CD8 T cells. She joined the lab of Dr. Dan Barouch in 2016 and her research focuses on the study of innate immune response in defense against SIV/SHIV infection in non-human primate model. She is also interested in generating bispecific anti-HIV-1 antibodies that combine the breadth and potency of broadly neutralizing antibodies, with the aim of producing enhanced HIV neutralization in vitro and better control of viremia in vivo.

Lawrence Tartaglia, PhD

Lawrence received his B.A. (’03) and M.S. (’07) degrees in molecular biology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. During his master’s degree he studied the psychrophilic ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel H. Shain. Here he used molecular and biochemical techniques to determine how ice worm microtubules remain functional at low physiological temperatures on Alaskan glaciers. In 2008 he entered the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at the University of Florida and joined the lab of Dr. Mavis Agbandje-McKenna. His work focused on the design of integrin protein expression systems and the biophysical characterization of the cellular interactions of adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2). He completed his Ph.D. in 2013 and joined the lab of Dr. Dan Barouch in 2014. His current research interests encompass the generation and preclinical evaluation of novel SHIVs, AAV vectored immunoprophylaxis measures against HIV infection, and enhancement of adenovirus vaccine delivery vectors via alpha defensin treatments. LinkedIn / ResearchGate - 

Anthony Cadena, PhD

After completing his B.A. (‘10) in Human Biology at the University of Virginia, Anthony received his PhD (‘17) in Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. JoAnne L. Flynn.  His doctoral work in tuberculosis focused on host-pathogen dynamics in early infection and their contribution to immunopathology and host outcome.  During his time as a doctoral student, he developed a strong collaboration with Dr. Sarah Fortune at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where he helped construct and test libraries of genetically barcoded Mycobacterium tuberculosis that were used to track bacterial dissemination and bacterial fate in macaques.  In 2017, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Dan Barouch to help understand the establishment and persistence of the HIV viral reservoir.  He is also closely working with Dr. Galit Alter at the Ragon Institute of MGM, MIT and Harvard in a joint collaboration to enhance the functionality and potency of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 infection.  


Eryn Blass, PhD

Eryn is a graduate student in the Harvard Virology Ph.D. program. She received her B.A. in Biology from Queens College, City University of New York. Her main research interests focus upon innate immunity and how it shapes the development of protective adaptive immune responses in the vaccine setting. In addition to research she is also active in the scientific community as a board member of Harvard Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (HGWISE), and is an editor of Signal-to-Noise, an online publication produced by the Harvard student group Science in the News.

Graduate Students

Po-Ting Liu

Po-Ting received his BS degree in Biomedical Science in 2010. He obtained his MS degree from National Taiwan University, Graduate Institute of Microbiology in 2012. During his master’s degree, his research was focused on understanding the maturation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). He and his colleagues discovered that ESCRT machinery, a cellular process involved in cytoplasmic membrane scission, is required for the maturation of EBV, it was the first report demonstrated that DNA virus is able to recruit cellular machinery to nuclear membrane for viral nucleocapsid egress. In 2014, he entered the PhD Program in Virology at Harvard Medical School, where he shifts his research interest to HIV. After rotating in several labs, he decided to join the Barouch Lab in the spring of 2016, and start working on understanding the nature of SIV reservoirs and developing assays for quantifying replication-competent viruses to inform therapeutic strategies for HIV eradication.

Lab Managers

Peter Abbink, Research Lab Director

Peter  received his medical laboratory degree from ROC Leiden, The Netherlands, and his B.A.S. from the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden, The Netherlands. Peter’s areas of interest are molecular biology, virology and nanotechnology. His thesis work at the University of Leiden involved identification of mutations in the human DNA mismatch repair system leading to hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer. Additionally, thesis work at Crucell Holland B.V. involved construction and evaluation of novel adenoviral vaccine vectors. Peter joined Dr. Dan Barouch’s lab in 2004 and has been manager of the Virology group since 2009. He leads the design, construction and production of novel adenoviral vaccine vectors and AAV gene delivery vectors -some of which are currently being tested in clinical trials- as well a variety of virologic assays and in vivo work to determine efficacy of vaccines.



Erica N. Borducchi, PhD

Erica is currently a Research Laboratory Manager in Dan Barouch’s lab. She received a Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil studying the use and limitations of peripheral tolerance in experimental model of asthma. In Dan Barouch’s group, she is responsible for the implementation of the quality system and the day to day operation of the GCLP laboratory in accordance with that quality system.  LinkedIn / ResearchGate -

Faye Stephens, Division Manager

Faye has been working as the lead administrator of the Barouch group since 2006 and is currently the Division Manager for the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research where she oversees project, financial, grants, regulatory and personnel management. Faye received an M.A. from the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa in English Literature and has a mild obsession with fairy-tales, folklore, picture books, Star Trek, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Research Assistants/Associates


Abishek Chandrashekar

Abi joined the Barouch lab in October 2014in the Immunology group as Research Assistant III. He obtained his Masters’ degree in Biotechnology from Northeastern University in 2011. He has industry experience from Percivia LLC, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics and Repligen Corp. in process development, cell culture and fermentation development and optimization



Marinela Kirilova

Marinela received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Biology & Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2013. Her undergraduate research experiences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts Medical School involved molecular biology and tissue culture work. In the Barouch Lab, her duties include growth, purification, and expression testing of recombinant adenoviruses, as well as isolation and vectorization of novel simian adenoviruses. She conducts luciferase-based neutralization assays for detection of neutralizing antibodies in mouse, monkey, or human sera. Marinela also participates in the development of the AAV system for therapeutic gene delivery.


Zhenfeng Li

Feng obtained his MS in Agricultural Science from Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland and then pursued a certificate in Applied Biotechnology at Boston University School of Medicine after he moved to the US. He also has industry experience from Abazyme LLC, Cambridge MA. His main focus was generation of recombinant antibodies and cDNA, ELISA assays, and hybridoma screening. Since joining the virology group of the Barouch lab, Feng has engaged in production and purification of viral vectors as well as tetramer staining.

Katherine McMahan

Katherine attended Clark University, where she received her B.A. for work in Biology and Psychology before continuing on to pursue her M.S. in Biology. Her research focused on the evolution of threat perception and the investigation of underlying behavior-associated gene networks in threespine stickleback models.  She joined the Barouch lab in 2016, where she currently works to produce and purify HIV Envelope constructs, and assesses the immunogenicity of various vaccine candidates. Outside of the lab, Katherine can be found volunteering as an EMT-Basic and studying effective altruism practices.


Noe Mercado

Noe graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As a Research Assistant in the Barouch Lab, he develops adenoviral vectors though the application of several molecular and tissue culture techniques. Additionally, he performs assays to grow, isolate, and purify viral vectors. One of the most important aspects of research for him is that the work of the lab contributes to future treatments for HIV positive patients. In the future he hopes to earn a PhD and continue his research in the medical field.

Ramya Nityanandam

Ramya received a degree in Biotechnology from Anna University in India. She joined the molecular biology department at the University of Central Florida Medical School for her Master’s degree. Her thesis research focused on expressing anti-diabetic hormone through chloroplast engineering in plants.  Here she utilized numerous molecular biology techniques to conduct this work. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, Ramya accepted a position at the New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC) where she applied my acquired molecular biology skill set to study the anti-viral effect of BCA2 against HIV and SIV. Ramya then joined the virology team in Dan Barouch’s laboratory in April 2015 and is currently working on developing novel adenoviruses for vaccine delivery.

Lauren Peter

Lauren Peter received her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University.  She worked at Joslin Diabetes Center, U.S. Genomics, and Artemis Health before joining Dr. Barouch’s lab in 2010.  Lauren works in the Immunology group as an Analytical Project Manager for the Clinical Trial ELISPOT analysis.






Alyssa Richardson

Before Alyssa entered the world of vaccine research she attended Florida State University and began her career as a gallery director in the fine arts business. When she’s not managing Dr. Barouch’s busy schedule she enjoys spending time with her pug Stella, eating carbs, and cheering on the Florida State Seminoles.


Jenna Gillies

Jenna G..jpg

Jenna graduated from Wheaton in Norton, MA with a double major in European History and Classical Civilizations. In her free time, she enjoys staying active, coffee, music, reading and pretending her parents dog, Ghost, is hers.