I am a Bioinformatics Scientist [C] at the Vaccine Research Center of the NIH/NIAID in the Cellular Immunology Section with Dr. Robert Seder.
I was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in the lab of Luis Barreiro.
In my research, I am interested in understanding the intersection of genomics, immunity, and stress, and how these factors interact to regulate the host response to infection, vaccination, and cancer.
I earned my Ph.D. in
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill,
where I used statistical and quantitative genetics to model heritable host determinants of influenza A virus pathogenesis. I worked in the labs of Mark Heise and Will Valdar in the department of genetics. At UNC, I was a predoctoral trainee in the molecular biology of viral diseases.
Previously, I completed a masters degree and conducted research as a visiting scholar in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In my time there, I studied flavivirus transmission in
Culex mosquitoes through field work completed in
Macha, Zambia, and I trained in vaccine science and policy. I obtained my bachelors degree in Biochemistry
and Religion from Swarthmore College.
To support undergraduate student success, I have volunteered as a mentor with the First-Generation, Low-Income, Immigrant (FLI) Network at the University of Chicago since 2018. I have also served on the Steering Committee for the UChicago BSD Postdoctoral Association.
I have reviewed manuscripts for the journals Genetics, Journal of Virology, Database and Microbiology Spectrum.
To advocate for access to medicines, empower students, and endorse innovation in neglected research areas, I served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), North America from 2015-2019.
Download my CV.
- [2023-06-07]: I am excited to join the Vaccine Research Center at the NIAID as a Bioinformatics Scientist!
- [2023-02-27]: Congrats to all collaborators for our quantitative genetics study in bulb mites (10.1093/evolut/qpad039), now in press in the journal Evolution.
- [2022-11-18]: Thank you to the UChicago BSD Diversity Committee (BDC) for their Diversity Equity and Inclusion Award. Read about the award and other amazing colleagues receiving awards this year here: Trainees recognized for extraordinary DEI leadership.
- [2022-08-10]: I received notice of funding for my 2-year LRP award from the NIH today! The award is for Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH, L70) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
- [2022-04-27]: I am happy to be quoted in my support of First Gen student mentorship initiatives, in the following chapter: Ardoin, S. & Erb, M. (2022). First generation graduate students: Reducing barriers with support mechanisms. In D. J. Nguyen & C. W. Yao (Eds.), A handbook for supporting today's graduate students. Stylus Publishing.
- [2021-11-01]: I am grateful to be selected as an ISFS Associate: Intersections Science Fellows Symposium, November 1-3, 2021.
- [2020-07-21]: The preprint for our study on sex differences in selection has been posted on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.20.213132.
- [2020-05-13]: I received a notice of grant awarded from the NIH / National Institute on Aging for my F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). This postdoc fellowship is for "Quantifying gene expression and network regulation in single cells to reveal the consequences of stress on the immune response".
- [2020-04-17]: Thanks to the UChicago FLI Network for featuring an interview about my experience as a #firstgen student in acadmic research on their FLI Fridays blog. Read more here and here.
- [2019-10-14]: Our study on social history effects and the immune response to pathogen signals has now been published online in PNAS: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820846116. Read more about this study in a feature by Duke Today here.
- [2019-06-24]: Our malaria infant study has now been published in Malaria Journal: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-019-2842-7.
- [2019-03-01]: The preprint for our study of age-depedent effects on the host immune response to malaria infection and treatment is now posted on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/564757.
- [2019-02-18]: Our study on social rank and social history effects on pathogen stimulation in immunity has been submitted, and the pre-print is posted on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/552356.
- [2018-11-07]: The preprint for our work on QTL mapping study design, given diallel data, has been posted on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/489682.
- [2018-10-31]: The preprint for our diallel study on litter size has been posted on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/458877.
- [2018-08-01]: Today, I start a new position as postdoc at The University of Chicago, in the Barreiro Lab!
- [2018-01-09]: My dissertation defense is complete! Thanks for all the support from my advisors, committee, coworkers, friends, and family! [photo 1] [photo 2]
- [2017-11-29]: The influenza diallel (10.1534/g3.117.300438) and carrot diallel (10.1534/g3.117.300235) manuscripts are now available with G3 Early Online.
- [2017-11-15]: Our influenza diallel study has been accepted for publication in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. A preprint is available at bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/214205.
- [2017-11-08]: The carrot diallel study, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Wisconsin, has been accepted for publication in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.
News Coverage of Research
- [2022-06-27]: Males help keep populations genetically healthy, Science Daily.
- [2019-10-22]: Monkeys: Past social stress impacts genes, health, Medical News Today.
- [2019-10-15]: How status sticks to genes, Duke Today.
- [2019-10-15]: Bullies may come and go, but the 'molecular memory' of being a target lingers, ScienceDaily.
- [2019-10-14]: Low social status leaves scars in the immune system, UChicago Medicine.