I have more than 20 years of laboratory experience within the HMS community (1993-2004 with Dr. Michael Carroll; 2004-2011 with Dr. Klaus Rajewsky). In 2012, I started working with Dr. Anderson. My research skills and interests include genotyping mice with PCR and flow cytometry, Southern blot screening of recombinant embryonic stem cells, and isolating immune cells from tumor tissue. My personal interests include cooking with my husband and daughter, catching up with family over social media, and traveling.
Nandini Acharya, Ph.D.
I was born and raised in the beautiful hills of Darjeeling, India and graduated from Calcutta University, India with B.S and M.S degrees in Microbiology. I was lured to the world of Immunology while I was working as a summer student in the laboratory of Dr. Anju Katyal in Delhi University, India. I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Pramod K. Srivastava at the University of Connecticut as a Ph. D. student to further pursue my interest in Immunology. I worked on the role of VR1, the pain receptor, in controlling immune responses in the gut. We discovered that a lipid molecule called anandamide, the endogenous ligand of VR1, plays an important role in the regulation of immune homeostasis in the gut by profoundly influencing a discreet population of macrophages. I joined the laboratory of Dr. Ana Anderson as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2015. I am interested in studying the role of co-inhibitory molecules like Tim3 and also of trace elements like Zinc in controlling several aspects of the innate and adaptive immune response in cancer.
Huiyuan Zhang, B.S.
I was born and raised in Yantai, a city near the east coast of China. I got my undergraduate degree from China Agricultural University, where I had the good fortune to work with Dr. Bin Wang on biomarkers for the prediction and stratification of human type 1 diabetes. Later research experience at Dr. Wanli Liu's lab at Tsinghua University further boosted my interest in Immunolgy and encouraged me to further pursue a PhD in this field. I currently am a graduate student in the Immunology program at Harvard University. In the fall of 2014, I joined Dr. Kuchroo's laboratory as a graduate student and am co-mentored by Dr. Anderson. I have a keen interest in how dysfunction and dysregulation of T cells contribute to diseases such as autoimmunity and cancer, specifically with a focus on regulatory T cells.
Meromit Singer, Ph.D.
Following my passion for computational biology, I completed my BSc in Computer Science and Biology at Tel-Aviv University, and my PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley. During my PhD, I was advised by Prof. Lior Pachter with whom I worked on the development of algorithms for the comparative analysis of DNA methylation across different species and genomic regions. Expanding these comparative analysis techniques to the systems-level and the immune system, I am currently working closely with Dr. Anderson on identifying critical pathways that regulate T cell dysfunction in the tumor environment. My goals are to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of the dysfunctional T cell state within tumors thus enabling perturbations of this dysfunctional state to enhance treatment efficacy through the targeting of critical pathways.
Asaf Madi, Ph.D.
The immune system is dynamic, a constantly evolving network whose complexity is comparable to that of the central nervous system, where ad-hoc decisions, such as inflammation, can be made locally by a few components that come together for daily body maintenance or protection from foreign invaders. <br><br>I am a computational immunologist with a high tolerance for chaos and a background in studying B-cell and T-cell repertoires, using Antigen chip technology and TCR sequencing, both in health and disease. I did my PhD followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann institute of Science, Israel in the labs of Eshel Ben-Jacob, Irun R. Cohen, and Nir Friedman.<br><br>My current research, as a joint postdoc of Vijay Kuchroo (BWH, HMS) and Aviv Regev (Broad Institute), involves understanding the molecular mechanisms in T cell differentiation, activation, and inhibition, not necessarily in that order, using high throughput methods such as RNAseq, Chipseq and CyTOF. More specifically, I am investigating the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of Type 1 regulatory T cells (Tr1) cells that maintain peripheral tolerance and contribute to prevention of autoimmune inflammation in order to assess their potential in the treatment of human autoimmune diseases. In collaboration with Dr. Anderson, I am working on applying my molecular dissection of T cell regulation in addition to CyTOF technology to the study of cancer.
Max Klapholz, B.S.
I am originally from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. While pursuing my B.S. in Biology at Northeastern University, I was fortunate to work with Dr. Min Liu on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases at the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration of BWH, and assisted in preclinical R&D projects at Pfizer, Inc. I recently joined the Ana C. Anderson lab and am excited to explore how co-inhibitory receptors play a role in the immune response to cancer.
Amber Xue, M.S.
Chang (Amber) Xue graduated from Harbin Medical University in China and she finished her graduate study in Tufts University Sackler school in biomedical science with a MS in Pharmacology and Drug development. Amber worked at the Tufts School of medicine before joining BWH. Amber loves traveling and photography, and hopes to go to medical school in future.
Davide Mangani, PhD
I was born in the unique city of Naples, where several ancient cultures melted together throughout the centuries. The first real experience that sparked my passion in scientific research was in Prof. Antonio Giordano’s lab at Temple University. During my BSc and MSc at the University of Naples Federico II, I joined Prof. Gerolama Condorelli’s lab where I studied the molecular pathways driving neoplastic transformation and resistance to conventional cancer therapies.
I then joined the cancer biology PhD program in Zürich and worked in the lab of Prof Michael Weller. My research activity focused on exploring therapeutic approaches aimed at targeting the tumor vascular network and fostering the immune-mediated recognition and destruction of tumor cells in primary brain tumors.
In time, I have grown to love the immune system and its pervasive role in human health and disease. I am bewitched by the complexity of the immune system and its ability to modulate homeostatic processes, interact with environmental cues and human microbiota, and play a key function in cancer and autoimmunity.
Joining the Anderson Lab as a postdoc gives me a unique opportunity to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the immune system’s involvement in pathophysiology and gain crucial insights which can help us identifying new effective therapeutic approaches.
In my free time, I deeply love playing basketball and experiencing the majestic and untouched beauty of the mountains.
Giulia Escobar, Ph.D.
My home town is Milan, the European capital of fashion and design, where I obtained my degree in Medical Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology from Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. Over the years, I have become fascinated by the study of the tumor microenvironment and the development of approaches to unleash the power of the immune system against tumors. During my doctoral training in Prof. Luigi Naldini’s lab at the San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, I developed new strategies to target immuno-stimulating genes into tumors by exploiting genetically engineered tumor-infiltrating monocytes as smart cellular vehicles for delivering therapeutic drugs.
In time, I became intrigued by the potential of our immune system to attack and eliminate tumors similarly as it does for invading pathogens and became interested in studying the biology underneath the dynamic equilibrium between tumors, non-neoplastic cells, and the immune system.
Joining the laboratory of Ana Anderson gives me the possibility to study the mechanisms by which co-inhibitory receptors induce dysfunctional states in CD8 T cells and shape the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment by employing cutting-edge technologies such as Niche-seq, tumor imaging, single-cell transcriptomics and ad hoc transgenic mouse models. I believe these studies will contribute to define novel therapeutic approaches to improve current immunotherapies and to develop novel strategies to enhance the anti-tumor capacity of effector T cells.
Marit van Elsas, B.S.
I am currently pursuing my M.S. in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. During the first year of my Master’s I focused on CD8+ T cell exhaustion in atherosclerosis; however, I always wanted to make the switch to cancer research, and I got the amazing opportunity to join the Ana C. Anderson lab as a research trainee. After obtaining my M.S. I would like to continue my career in science as a PhD candidate in the field of cancer immunology.
Katherine Tooley, B.S.
I was born and raised in Upstate New York, where I acquired my love for maple syrup and quaint Adirondack towns. I attended Boston University from 2010 to 2014, where I completed an honors senior thesis with Dr. Trevor Siggers on the DNA binding specificities of the Glucocorticoid Receptor. After graduating, I worked as a research technician in the lab of Dr. Steven McCarroll in the Harvard Medical School Genetics Department. There, I worked on untangling the human genetics of Complement Component C4 and how its genetic polymorphism within the population can lead to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. While my love for genetics will never die, this project opened my eyes to the far-reaching influences of the immune system. In this case, immunological molecules are contributing to synaptic pruning in the brain, and this sparked my passion to study immunology. I joined the Harvard Immunology PhD program in September of 2016, and joined the Anderson lab in December 2017. I am excited to further elucidate the mechanisms behind immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, and contribute to the fast-paced and exciting research within the cancer immunology field.