Lab Members

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


Instructor

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 -

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Malika Aid, PhD

Dr. Malika Aid 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.


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

Dr. 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 - jnkolola@bidmc.harvard.edu


Peter Abbink, PhD

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.

 

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 - 

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.

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John D Ventura, PhD

John studied both Microbiology at the University of Rhode Island and Classics at the University of the Aegean in Rhodes, Greece as an undergraduate. He completed a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Rhode Island, working on a joint collaboration between the laboratories of Dr. Albert Kausch and Dr. Stephen Dellaporta as a Visiting Assistant in Research at Yale University. During his Thesis work, he genetically profiled maize sex determination gene homologs in Nipponbare rice. The project was part of a larger effort to use current plant biotechnology to address global food security concerns by developing hybrid rice cultivars by crossing transgenic male and female sterile plants. After graduating with his Master’s, John taught community college for two years as an Adjunct Professor of Biology in Providence, Rhode Island before continuing his graduate school training and receiving a PhD in Microbiology from Yale University. During his dissertation work, he developed an intravital imaging technique to longitudinally visualize HIV-1 infection in living animals using nanoluciferase-based non-invasive bioluminescent imaging. He went on to use this technology to unbiasedly observe infection dynamics during acute, antiretroviral therapy suppressed, and rebounding infection in multiple humanized mice models at tissue and whole-animal resolutions. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Dan Barouch’s lab using single-cell RNA sequencing technology to characterize SIV/ SHIV latent reservoir generation, composition, and persistence. When not in the lab, John enjoys playing the piano, collecting vinyl records, and writing music.        

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Ai-ris Yonekura Collier, M.D.

Dr. Collier is a physician-scientist specializing in high-risk pregnancy care in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at BIDMC. The goal of her translational research is to characterize the maternal cellular immune phenotype at the maternal-fetal interface in order to develop novel treatment targets for important pregnancy disorders like preeclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth restriction. She obtained her MD through the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School where she spent time in the lab of Dr. Shannon Turley, evaluating a novel mechanism of cellular immune tolerance induction by lymph node stroma cells. She is using her background in immune tolerance to study the mechanisms of maternal immune tolerance to the fetus in placenta in healthy and complicated pregnancies. As the principal investigator on multiple clinical protocols obtaining biospecimens from human pregnancy, she represents the Barouch Lab cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and CVVR. She is a fellow in the NICHD-funded Reproductive Scientist Development Program supporting early career physician-scientists doing basic science in obstetrics and gynecology.

 
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Jingyou “Jay” Yu, PhD

Originally from Changde, China, Jingyou obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from China Agricultural University.  He further earned his master’s degree in Microbiology from the State key laboratory of virology in Wuhan University. In 2013, he joined Dr. Shan-Lu Liu’s lab in the Ohio State University as a PhD student, characterizing the interactions between host innate immune responses and viral infections, with particular interests in elucidating how interferon stimulated proteins such as IFITMs modulate HIV and ZIKV infection. In 2019, he joined the Barouch lab as a postdoctoral fellow, with special research interests in developing HIV reservoir eradication strategies as well as novel vaccine candidates against mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

 
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Samuel Vidal, M.D., PhD

Sam is a fellow in the BWH/MGH infectious disease program. He studied chemistry at Haverford ('08) and joined the MSTP at Columbia ('16) where his thesis focused on taxane resistance in advanced carcinomas. During medical school he became interested in vulnerable populations and after internal medicine residency at NYP-Columbia ('18) he moved to Boston for fellowship. He joined the Barouch lab's HIV and TB vaccine efforts after completing clinical training in the summer of '19. Outside the lab he enjoys his outpatient clinic, volunteering, and trips to visit his family in France and New York.

 
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Lisa Tostanoski, PhD

Dr. Tostanoski is currently an NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Barouch Laboratory, supported by the Multidisciplinary AIDS Training Program. Lisa received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Bucknell University in 2012. At Bucknell, she was an undergraduate researcher in the biomechanics and injury prevention laboratory of Prof. Kathleen Bieryla, and gained additional research experience in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine through internships with the Union Memorial Hospital Orthobiologics Lab and Bioactive Surgical. Lisa went on to enroll in the Bioengineering Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland – College Park, where she was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow in Prof. Christopher Jewell’s laboratory. Her doctoral research focused on harnessing engineering and biomaterials to develop new tools to study and direct immunological tolerance. Dr. Tostanoski has published 18 papers from her graduate work in the Jewell Lab and has received numerous awards, including the Lemelson-MIT “Cure It!” Prize, the American Chemical Society’s W. H. Peterson Award, her graduate department’s Fischell Fellowship, and a University of Maryland Distinguished Dissertation Award. In January of 2018, Lisa joined the Barouch group for her postdoctoral research. Her projects focus on the application of biomaterials and engineering technologies to design novel vaccination platforms for infectious diseases, like HIV and Zika virus. Throughout her time in graduate school and now as a postdoctoral fellow, Lisa has maintained a strong commitment to STEM outreach and mentoring. Outside of the lab, Lisa is a dedicated Baltimore Ravens fan.

 

 Susan Park Ochsner, PhD

Susan received her B.A. degree (‘04) in Biology at Johns Hopkins University. After working for a number of years at the Institute of Human Virology, the FDA, and Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, where she worked on HIV vaccine and diagnostic assay development, and clinical TB vaccine assessment, Susan entered the Ph.D. program of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. She joined the lab of Dr. Xiaoping Zhu where she developed a novel mucosal FcRn-mediated subunit vaccine for influenza. Susan completed her Ph.D. in 2018 and joined the lab of Dr. Dan Barouch shortly after, where she continues to work on developing subunit vaccines. Currently, Susan is developing novel HIV-1 Env trimers as vaccine candidates using the unique Signature-based Epitope Targeted (SET) mutation platform to induce tier 2 bNAbs responses in the guinea pig and NHP models.

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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.

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Catherine Jacob-Dolan

Catherine received her BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany in 2018 and is now back in her hometown of Boston as a PhD student in the Harvard Immunology program. Catherine joined the Barouch lab in 2019 and her research focuses on mucosal responses to vaccines (HIV and otherwise) and on structural based immunogen design of new vaccines for influenza. In addition to research she is an active member of the scientific outreach community as an admissions director of the HPREP program and a Science Policy/Science in the News blog editor.

 
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Gabriel Dagotto

Gabe is a graduate student in the Harvard Virology Program. He received his B.S. (’18) in Chemistry from Duke University. During his undergraduate degree he studied novel genes in the commensal fungi Malassezia furfur. His research in the Barouch lab focuses on viral vectors both adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and adenoviruses. His AAV work is focused on investigating novel AAVs found in SIV infected Rhesus Macaques. His adenovirus project is aimed at generating adenoviral vectors as a cancer therapeutic. In addition to his research, Gabe is involved as a mentor in HPREP and SHURP. He is also an avid basketball and football fan and plays basketball and tennis in his spare time.


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Makda Gebre, M.Sc.

Makda is a graduate student in the Harvard Virology and Therapeutics Graduate Programs. She moved to Boston from Logan, Utah where she completed her M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Antiviral Studies and Molecular Biology, respectively, at Utah State University. Her masters research focused on the pathogenies of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and the differential efficacy of antiviral drugs against different clades of CHIKV. Within the Barouch lab, Makda is investigating the immunogenic mechanisms of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. Outside of lab, she enjoys exploring New England and going on outdoor adventures.

 

Lab Managers

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Erica N. Borducchi, PhD, GCLP Lab Manager

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 day to day operation of the GCLP laboratory.  LinkedIn / ResearchGate - eborducc@bidmc.harvard.edu

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 2014 in the Immunology group, and is now the Senior Research Associate and the pre-clinical Analytical Project Manager. 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.

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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.

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Venous Hamza

Venous joined the lab in March of 2018 and is currently a Research Assistant II in the Immunology group. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. She has experience in pediatric healthcare from her previous role at Boston Children’s Hospital. Venous’ responsibilities in the Barouch Lab consist of running pre-clinical and clinical assays, managing GCLP equipment and NHP specimens, and document control. During her free time, Venous volunteers for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation as the Committee Sponsorship Chair.

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Kaylee Verrington

Kaylee received her B.S. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. During her undergraduate studies she participated in cell culturing of Chinese Hamster Ovary cells and stem cells for cloning, differentiation, and other experiments. Kaylee also sampled and researched the water quality, clarity, and nutrients of New Hampshire lakes through the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program at UNH. Kaylee joined the Barouch lab Immunology Group in July 2019. As a Research Assistant, she works under GCLP guidelines for pre-clinical vaccine studies processing samples, monitoring equipment, and managing specimens.

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Nicole Kordana

Nicole joined the lab in July 2018 and is currently a Research Assistant II in the Barouch Lab Immunology group. Nicole graduated from Saint Michael’s College in 2018 with her B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Philosophy. In the Barouch Lab, she runs clinical and pre-clinical assays and is also an Equipment manager, NHP specimen Manager, and Archivist. Nicole is currently studying to further her career in Immunology.

 

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.

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Shivani Patel

Shivani received a B.A. in Molecular Biology Biochemistry in spring of 2019 from Rutgers University in New Jersey. During her undergraduate studies, she was in a molecular biology lab focusing on epigenetic inheritance and RNA induced chromatin modifications. She worked with C. elegans to study what triggers epigenetic changes and how these changes are transmitted through generational boundaries. Shivani joined the Immunology group in Barouch lab in September 2019, and her responsibilities consist of working on pre-clinical vaccine studies and equipment monitoring under the GCLP guidelines.

 
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Huahua “Jenny” Wan

Jenny joined the Barouch Laboratory as a research assistant of the protein group. She received her bachelor degree in Bioresource, LES, from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Her undergraduate research focused on the relations of lifespan extension and rRNA methylation in model organism C. elegans, where she made knockdown constructs, maintained animals, extracted and purified RNA. After undergrad she obtained her M.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell in Ithaca. Currently in the protein group she is doing HIV Env protein purifications, ELISA and other works.

 
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Esther A. Bondzie

Esther A Bondzie graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University in May 2016 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Classical Studies. In April 2017, she joined the Barouch Lab after spending some time at Fenway Community Health Center. Esther is especially interested in infectious diseases research because it has a public health focus and has incredible potential to impact target populations. She hopes to continue on to further her education to become a clinician/research scientist


Administrators

 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. Pug Aficionado. aprichar@bidmc.harvard.edu