IMMP Current Students

Adewunmi Adelaja

Mentor: Alexander Hoffmann
Research project:

Ade researches the temporal patterns of NFkB activation in health and disease.

Taylor Brown

Mentor: Elissa Hallem

Research project:

Taylor studies the interactions between parasitic nematodes and bacteria.

Yi-Pei Chen

Mentor: Patricia Johnson
Research project:

Yi-Pei’s current research focus is understanding the mechanisms Trichomonas vaginalis uses to cause pathogenesis by using cellular, molecular biology and biochemical methods.

Publications:

Leukocyte Lysis and Cytokine Induction by the Human Sexually Transmitted Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Mercer F, Diala FG, Chen YP, Molgora BM, Ng SH, Johnson PJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Aug 16;10(8):e0004913. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004913. eCollection 2016 Aug.

Quen Cheng

Mentor: Alexander Hoffmann
Research project:

Quen Cheng is an infectious diseases physician pursuing a Ph.D. as part of the UCLA STAR program, and his research is in the molecular regulation of innate immune responses. These molecular pathways must be finely tuned to appropriately respond to a wide range of danger signals triggered by infection, and their regulation is highly dependent on cellular context. Using a systems biology approach, Quen aims to characterize the diversity of macrophage responses when primed with different cytokines, and to understand the differential effects of type I interferon on infected vs bystander cells.

Charles Choi

Mentor: Peter Bradley
Research project:

Charles is currently researching “Biochemical approaches to studying the structure of the moving junction complex of Toxoplasma gondii.

Publications:

Novel insights into the composition and function of the Toxoplasma IMC sutures. Chen AL, Moon AS, Bell HN, Huang AS, Vashisht AA, Toh JY, Lin AH, Nadipuram SM, Kim EW, Choi CP, Wohlschlegel JA, Bradley PJ. Cell Microbiol. 2017 Apr;19(4). doi: 10.1111/cmi.12678. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Stephanie DeMarco

Mentor: Kent Hill
Research project:

Stephanie studies the regulation of social motility in the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. T. brucei is the causative agent of sleeping sickness in humans and related diseases in animals in sub-Saharan Africa. Through molecular and systems-level approaches, she hopes to further elucidate the molecular mechanism of social motility and identify novel regulators of this process.

Publications:

“With a Little Help from My Friends”-Social Motility in Trypanosoma brucei. Saada EA, DeMarco SF, Shimogawa MM, Hill KL. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Dec 17;11(12):e1005272. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005272. eCollection 2015 Dec. Review

Fitz Gerald Diala

Mentor: Patricia Johnson

Research project:

Fitz Gerald is uncovering the genes involved in metronidazole action and resistance in Trichomonas vaginalis.

Publications:

Leukocyte Lysis and Cytokine Induction by the Human Sexually Transmitted Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Mercer F, Diala FG, Chen YP, Molgora BM, Ng SH, Johnson PJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Aug 16;10(8):e0004913. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004913. eCollection 2016 Aug.

Tran Do

Mentor: Robert Modlin

Research project:

Investigate the role of regulatory T cells in skin immune homeostasis

An-Chieh Feng

Mentor: Stephen Smale

Research project:

An-Chieh researches epigenetic profiling of the inflammatory response regulation in macrophages.

Daniel Ferrer

Mentor: Wenyuan Shi
Research project:

Daniel researches the molecular mechanisms involved in communication between oral bacteria that help prevent foreign bacteria from establishing themselves in the oral cavity.

Spencer Gang

Mentor: Elissa Hallem
Research project:

Spencer is investigating the neurobiology of host-seeking behavior in skin-penetrating parasitic nematodes.

Publications:

Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes. Gang SS, Hallem EA. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2016 May 17. pii: S0166-6851(16)30058-5. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2016.05.007.

Diverse host-seeking behaviors of skin-penetrating nematodes. Castelletto ML, Gang SS, Okubo RP, Tselikova AA, Nolan TJ, Platzer EG, Lok JB, Hallem EA. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Aug 14;10(8):e1004305. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004305. eCollection 2014 Aug.

David Gray

Mentor: Donald Kohn
Research project:

David is researching gene therapy for the treatment of primary immunodeficiencies. His project focuses on CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing for therapeutic treatment of X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia.

Publications:

Limiting Cholesterol Biosynthetic Flux Spontaneously Engages Type I IFN Signaling. York AG, Williams KJ, Argus JP, Zhou QD, Brar G, Vergnes L, Gray EE, Zhen A, Wu NC, Yamada DH, Cunningham CR, Tarling EJ, Wilks MQ, Casero D, Gray DH, Yu AK, Wang ES, Brooks DG, Sun R, Kitchen SG, Wu TT, Reue K, Stetson DB, Bensinger SJ. Cell. 2015 Dec 17;163(7):1716-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.045. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Correction of the sickle cell disease mutation in human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Hoban MD, Cost GJ, Mendel MC, Romero Z, Kaufman ML, Joglekar AV, Ho M, Lumaquin D, Gray D, Lill GR, Cooper AR, Urbinati F, Senadheera S, Zhu A, Liu PQ, Paschon DE, Zhang L, Rebar EJ, Wilber A, Wang X, Gregory PD, Holmes MC, Reik A, Hollis RP, Kohn DB. Blood. 2015 Apr 23;125(17):2597-604. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-12-615948. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Elliot Kim

Mentor: Robert Modlin
Research project:

Elliot’s research focuses on virulence factors ofToxoplasma gondii and their interaction with the host cell.

Publications:

The Rhoptry Pseudokinase ROP54 Modulates Toxoplasma gondii Virulence and Host GBP2 Loading. Kim EW, Nadipuram SM, Tetlow AL, Barshop WD, Liu PT, Wohlschlegel JA, Bradley PJ. mSphere. 2016 Mar 23;1(2). pii: e00045-16. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00045-16. eCollection 2016 Mar-Apr.

Keloid-derived, plasma/fibrin-based skin equivalents generate de novo dermal and epidermal pathology of keloid fibrosis in a mouse model. Lee YS, Hsu T, Chiu WC, Sarkozy H, Kulber DA, Choi A, Kim EW, Benya PD, Tuan TL. Wound Repair Regen. 2016 Mar;24(2):302-16. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12397.

Novel components of the Toxoplasma inner membrane complex revealed by BioID. Chen AL, Kim EW, Toh JY, Vashisht AA, Rashoff AQ, Van C, Huang AS, Moon AS, Bell HN, Bentolila LA, Wohlschlegel JA, Bradley PJ. MBio. 2015 Feb 17;6(1):e02357-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02357-14.

RON5 is critical for organization and function of the Toxoplasma moving junction complex. Beck JR, Chen AL, Kim EW, Bradley PJ. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Mar 20;10(3):e1004025. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004025. eCollection 2014 Mar.

All-trans retinoic acid-triggered antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on NPC2. Wheelwright M, Kim EW, Inkeles MS, De Leon A, Pellegrini M, Krutzik SR, Liu PT. J Immunol. 2014 Mar 1;192(5):2280-90. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1301686. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Jerry Hung-Hao Lo

Mentor: Stephen Smale

Research project:

Jerry is now investigating how master regulators orchestrate pluripotency in embryonic stem cells by scrutinizing the functional significance with a gene-centric approach and to examine mechanistic insights that confer transcriptional selectivity between pluripotent genes and others.

Publications:

A comprehensive functional map of the hepatitis C virus genome provides a resource for probing viral proteins. Remenyi R, Qi H, Su SY, Chen Z, Wu NC, Arumugaswami V, Truong S, Chu V, Stokelman T, Lo HH, Olson CA, Wu TT, Chen SH, Lin CY, Sun R. MBio. 2014 Sep 30;5(5):e01469-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01469-14.

Discovering monotonic stemness marker genes from time-series stem cell microarray data. Wang HW, Sun HJ, Chang TY, Lo HH, Cheng WC, Tseng GC, Lin CT, Chang SJ, Pal N, Chung IF. BMC Genomics. 2015;16 Suppl 2:S2. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-16-S2-S2. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

MicroRNA-134 Contributes to Glucose-Induced Endothelial Cell Dysfunction and This Effect Can Be Reversed by Far-Infrared Irradiation. Wang HW, Su SH, Wang YL, Chang ST, Liao KH, Lo HH, Chiu YL, Hsieh TH, Huang TS, Lin CS, Cheng SM, Cheng CC. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147067. eCollection 2016.

Dysregulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 by Multiple miRNAs in Endothelial Colony-Forming Cells of Coronary Artery Disease. Su SH, Wu CH, Chiu YL, Chang SJ, Lo HH, Liao KH, Tsai CF, Tsai TN, Lin CH, Cheng SM, Cheng CC, Wang HW. J Vasc Res. 2017;54(1):22-32. doi: 10.1159/000449202. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Katelyn Masiuk

Mentor: Donald Kohn
Research project:

Kate studies hematopoietic stem cell transplant and gene therapy for the treatment of genetic blood disorders.

Publications:

Improving Gene Therapy Efficiency through the Enrichment of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Masiuk KE, Brown D, Laborada J, Hollis RP, Urbinati F, Kohn DB. Mol Ther. 2017 Jun 26. pii: S1525-0016(17)30259-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.05.023. [Epub ahead of print]

Enrichment of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells facilitates transduction for stem cell gene therapy. Baldwin K, Urbinati F, Romero Z, Campo-Fernandez B, Kaufman ML, Cooper AR, Masiuk K, Hollis RP, Kohn DB. Stem Cells. 2015 May;33(5):1532-42. doi: 10.1002/stem.1957.

Brenda Molgora

Mentor: Patricia Johnson
Research project:

Brenda is analyzing the surface proteome of adherent and less adherent strains of Trichomonas vaginalis to uncover key players in the parasite’s attachment to host cells.

Publications:

Complete genome sequence of hypervirulent and outbreak-associated Acinetobacter baumannii strain LAC-4: epidemiology, resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors. Ou HY, Kuang SN, He X, Molgora BM, Ewing PJ, Deng Z, Osby M, Chen W, Xu HH. Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 2;5:8643. doi: 10.1038/srep08643.

Leukocyte Lysis and Cytokine Induction by the Human Sexually Transmitted Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Mercer F, Diala FG, Chen YP, Molgora BM, Ng SH, Johnson PJ. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Aug 16;10(8):e0004913. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004913. eCollection 2016 Aug.

Ian Perrone

Mentor: Oliver Fregoso

Research Project:

Ian researches retroviral-host interactions and evolution.

Geoffrey Pronovost

Mentor: Elaine Hsiao

Research project:

Geoff investigates how the maternal microbiome shapes homeostatic placental and fetal brain immunity and development through gestation.

Alexander Sercel

Mentor: Michael Teitell

Research project:

Alex researches the mechanisms and metabolic effects of transferring mitochondria between cells.

Drake Smith

Mentor: Lili Yang
Research project:

Drake is currently studying the biology and therapeutic applications of invariant natural killer T cells.

Publications:

Propagating Humanized BLT Mice for the Study of Human Immunology and Immunotherapy. Smith DJ, Lin LJ, Moon H, Pham AT, Wang X, Liu S, Ji S, Rezek V, Shimizu S, Ruiz M, Lam J, Janzen DM, Memarzadeh S, Kohn DB, Zack JA, Kitchen SG, An DS, Yang L. Stem Cells Dev. 2016 Dec 15;25(24):1863-1873.

Genetic engineering of hematopoietic stem cells to generate invariant natural killer T cells. Smith DJ, Liu S, Ji S, Li B, McLaughlin J, Cheng D, Witte ON, Yang L. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 3;112(5):1523-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1424877112. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Christina Van

Mentor: James Waschek
Research project:

Christina is studying the role of neuroprotective peptides during inflammation in multiple sclerosis.

Publications:

PACAP modulations of CNS and peripheral inflamamation, in Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide-PACAP. Ago, Y. Condro, M., Rajbhandari, A., Van, C., Bhavaani, J., May, V., Washcek, J. Current Topics in Neurotoxicity Book Series.ISBN: 9783319351339

High-resolution characterization of a PACAP-EGFP transgenic mouse model for mapping PACAP-expressing neurons. Condro MC, Matynia A, Foster NN, Ago Y, Rajbhandari AK, Van C, Jayaram B, Parikh S, Diep AL, Nguyen E, May V, Dong HW, Waschek JA. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Dec 15;524(18):3827-3848. doi: 10.1002/cne.24035. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Novel components of the Toxoplasma inner membrane complex revealed by BioID. Chen AL, Kim EW, Toh JY, Vashisht AA, Rashoff AQ, Van C, Huang AS, Moon AS, Bell HN, Bentolila LA, Wohlschlegel JA, Bradley PJ. MBio. 2015 Feb 17;6(1):e02357-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02357-14.

 

Lulan Wang

Mentor: Genhong Cheng
Research project:

Lulan researchs virology of negative-strained RNA viruses, and genome-wide mutagenesis.

Publications:

Generation of a Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine that Elicits Broad Protection in Mice and Ferrets. Wang L, Liu SY, Chen HW, Xu J, Chapon M, Zhang T, Zhou F, Wang YE, Quanquin N, Wang G, Tian X, He Z, Liu L, Yu W, Sanchez DJ, Liang Y, Jiang T, Modlin R, Bloom BR, Li Q, Deng JC, Zhou P, Qin FX, Cheng G. Cell Host Microbe. 2017 Mar 8;21(3):334-343. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.02.007.

Screening for novel small molecule inhibitors targeting the assembling of influenza virus polymerase complex by a BiLC-based reporter system. Li C, Wang Z, Cao Y, Wang L, Ji J, Chen Z, Deng T, Jiang T, Cheng G, Qin FX. J Virol. 2016 Dec 28. pii: JVI.02282-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02282-16. [Epub ahead of print]

Potential for treatment and a Zika virus vaccine. Quanquin N, Wang L, Cheng G. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2017 Feb;29(1):114-121. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000441. PMID: 27906864

From Mosquitos to Humans: Genetic Evolution of Zika Virus. Wang L, Valderramos SG, Wu A, Ouyang S, Li C, Brasil P, Bonaldo M, Coates T, Nielsen-Saines K, Jiang T, Aliyari R, Cheng G. Cell Host Microbe. 2016 May 11;19(5):561-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Functional Genomics Reveals Linkers Critical for Influenza Virus Polymerase. Wang L, Wu A, Wang YE, Quanquin N, Li C, Wang J, Chen HW, Liu S, Liu P, Zhang H, Qin FX, Jiang T, Cheng G. J Virol. 2015 Dec 30;90(6):2938-47. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02400-15.

Cryo-EM structure of influenza virus RNA polymerase complex at 4.3 Å resolution. Chang S, Sun D, Liang H, Wang J, Li J, Guo L, Wang X, Guan C, Boruah BM, Yuan L, Feng F, Yang M, Wang L, Wang Y, Wojdyla J, Li L, Wang J, Wang M, Cheng G, Wang HW, Liu Y. Mol Cell. 2015 Mar 5;57(5):925-35. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.12.031. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Integrating computational modeling and functional assays to decipher the structure-function relationship of influenza virus PB1 protein. Li C, Wu A, Peng Y, Wang J, Guo Y, Chen Z, Zhang H, Wang Y, Dong J, Wang L, Qin FX, Cheng G, Deng T, Jiang T. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 26;4:7192. doi: 10.1038/srep07192.

 

Lynnea Waters

Mentor: Michael Teitell
Research project:

Lynnea is currently studying B cell activation and the germinal center reaction.

Publications:

Functional identification and evolutionary conservation of the yme1L1 mitochondrial integrity gene promoter. Wisidagama, D.R., Waters, L., Sims, R., Morford, T., Malone, C.S. Gene Reports. 2016 June 9; (4);272-279.

LKB1 regulates germinal center formation and termination. Waters LR, Walsh NC, Teitell MA. Cell Cycle. 2015;14(14):2183-4. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2015.1056610. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

LKB1 inhibition of NF-κB in B cells prevents T follicular helper cell differentiation and germinal center formation. Walsh NC, Waters LR, Fowler JA, Lin M, Cunningham CR, Brooks DG, Rehg JE, Morse HC 3rd, Teitell MA. EMBO Rep. 2015 Jun;16(6):753-68. doi: 10.15252/embr.201439505. Epub 2015 Apr 26.

David Weiss

Mentor: Robert Modlin

Research project:

David’s research focuses on elucidating the genes involved in regulating cytokine production by helper T-cells in the context of intracellular bacterial infection.

 

Jiaji Yu

Mentor: Lili Yang

Research project:

Jiaji is currently studying T cell based cancer immunotherapy.

Jiayan Zhang

Mentor: Hong Zhou

Research Project:

Jiayan Zhang researches the structure and mechanism of HCMV glycoprotein by cryo-electron tomography.

Tian-Hao Zhang

Mentor: Ren Sun

Research project:

Virus fitness landscape

Publications:

Annotating Protein Functional Residues by Coupling High-Throughput Fitness Profile and Homologous-Structure Analysis. Du Y, Wu NC, Jiang L, Zhang T, Gong D, Shu S, Wu TT, Sun R. MBio. 2016 Nov 1;7(6). pii: e01801-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01801-16.

A benchmark study on error-correction by read-pairing and tag-clustering in amplicon-based deep sequencing. Zhang TH, Wu NC, Sun R. BMC Genomics. 2016 Feb 12;17:108. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2388-9.

Coupling high-throughput genetics with phylogenetic information reveals an epistatic interaction on the influenza A virus M segment. Wu NC, Du Y, Le S, Young AP, Zhang TH, Wang Y, Zhou J, Yoshizawa JM, Dong L, Li X, Wu TT, Sun R. BMC Genomics. 2016 Jan 12;17:46. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-2358-7.