VI4 Spotlight is where you can find the latest news and happenings at the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation.
Caitlin Murdoch Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Eric Skaar lab in the department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. Caitlin grew up on Merritt Island, a barrier island on Florida’s Space Coast. After receiving her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Florida, she moved to Durham, NC to pursue graduate studies at Duke University. There, she earned her PhD in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in the lab of Dr. John Rawls. For her dissertation, she used zebrafish to study mechanisms by which the microbiota shape the development of the innate immune system. In the Skaar lab, Caitlin continues to use gnotobiotic zebrafish as a model to investigate the impact of metals on shaping inter-bacterial interactions in the intestine.....Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Jane Ferguson Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and an Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Microbiome Innovation Center. Dr. Ferguson completed a BA in Human Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, and a PhD in Nutrigenomics at University College Dublin, Ireland, before moving to Philadelphia for postdoctoral training in Cardiovascular Genomics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ferguson moved to Nashville to join the faculty at Vanderbilt in October 2014.....Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Annet Kirabo, DVM, MSc, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Kirabo is interested in understanding the role of inflammation in hypertension. She obtained her PhD from the Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. During her PhD training, she was awarded an American Heart Association (AHA) predoctoral fellowship to determine the specific involvement of vascular smooth muscle cell expression of Jak2 in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Ashley L. Pitzer, PhD, is a Research Instructor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is interested in the molecular mechanisms and genes responsible for cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and hypertension. As a PhD candidate in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine, her doctoral dissertation was a molecular study of the mechanism of RIG-I inflammasome in vascular endothelial cell dysfunction....click the image to the left to continue reading!
Dr. Tegy Vadakkan received his PhD from the University of Houston, Texas and completed postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine. Before coming to Vanderbilt in January of 2022, Tegy was a lead research technologist at the Boston Children's Hospital at Harvard Medical School... Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Brad Reinfeld, Ph.D. is a part of the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program. He was a member of the Kim Rathmell lab and recently defended his dissertation, "Deciphering Cell Specific Metabolic Programs in the Tumor Microenvironment." He is now finishing his medical training at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Matt Madden, Ph.D. is a also part of the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program. He was a member of the Jeff Rathmell lab and recently defended his dissertation, "Glucose and Glutamine in the Tumor Microenvironment and CD8 T Cell Function." He is now finishing his medical training at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.....Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Kelsey Pilewski, Ph.D. and Andrea Shiakolas, Ph.D. are part of the Ivelin Georgiev Lab at Vanderbilt Vaccine Center. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey received her undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and French from the University at Buffalo in 2016. Kelsey joined the Georgiev Lab in 2017 to complete her thesis research investigating the discovery and characterization of antibody and vaccine candidates against a number of pathogens. She received her PhD from Vanderbilt University in March 2022 and joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow shortly after, where she is now working to expand the discovery capabilities of LIBRA-seq. Outside of lab, Kelsey can be found hiking or baking. Andrea Shiakolas is a postdoctoral fellow in the Georgiev laboratory. She completed her PhD at Vanderbilt in the Georgiev laboratory in 2022. Her research focuses on developing and applying antibody discovery technologies (LIBRA-seq) against a variety of viral pathogens, including HIV, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and obtained her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt in 2015. She also worked at the Vaccine Research Center in Dr. John Mascola’s group at the NIH studying the antibody/virus co-evolution in the context of HIV. Outside of the lab, she loves playing with her puppy Doug, drinking wine, and going hiking... Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Seth graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a B.A. in Biochemistry and History and a M.S. in Chemistry. Following graduation, Seth joined the lab of Dr. Scott Hensley at the University of Pennsylvania and studied human antibody responses to influenza A viruses and the viral evasion of pre-existing immunity. Seth defended his PhD in 2018. In the lab, Seth is continuing to study antibody responses against respiratory viruses with special interests in defining conserved sites on viral proteins that are targeted by human antibodies and identifying how prior exposure shapes human antibody responses against viruses like influenza and SARS-CoV-2....Click the image on the left to continue reading.
Dr. Ferguson completed a BA in Human Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, and a PhD in Nutrigenomics at University College Dublin, Ireland, before moving to Philadelphia for postdoctoral training in Cardiovascular Genomics at the University of Pennsylvania. She moved to Nashville to join the faculty at Vanderbilt in October 2014... Click Dr. Ferguson's photo to continue reading.
Dr. Patrick earned her Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and her M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She's an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Rheumatology at Vanderbilt where her work focuses on identifying and characterizing pathogenic molecular pathways in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and pediatric autoimmune disease.... Click Dr. Patrick's photo to continue reading.
Lillian Brady, Ph.D. and Kirsty Erickson are part of the Erin Calipari Lab at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Pharmacology. Lillian obtained her PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Neurobiology. While at UAB, Lillian worked with Dr. Lynn Dobrunz where she studied the role of the dopamine system in the modulation and regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission and neural circuit function within the hippocampus. Lillian joined Vanderbilt University as an Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Research Fellow in May of 2017 where her research interests include understanding the synaptic physiology, circuit function, and molecular mechanisms that underlie different types of learning behavior. Kirsty graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2016 with a BS in Medical Biology, during which time she studied the role of Ubiquilin-1 in learning and memory. Kirsty came to Vanderbilt in 2017 as a research assistant in the Neul lab, where she investigated the pathogenesis of Rett Syndrome. Now, she joins the Calipari Lab as a graduate student interested in terminal dopamine dynamics that render susceptibility to stimulant use disorder... Click the image on the left to continue reading.