Alissa graduated from Brown University in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology. After a year of teaching in Thailand, she worked as a research technician in Bruce Walker’s lab at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard studying the role of CD8+ T cell responses in HIV elite controllers. In graduate school, she joined Sam Behar’s laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and later UMass Worcester to study the role of iNKT cells and GM-CSF as antimicrobial mechanisms during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. She earned her PhD from the Immunology Program at Harvard University in 2014.
She next joined the Aderem lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute where she characterized the early transcriptional response of infected alveolar macrophages in the lung following Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. She developed techniques to isolate infected myeloid cells from the lung hours to days after infection, perform RNA-sequencing on ultra-low-input Mtb-infected samples, and utilize computational approaches to characterize the transcriptional network and regulators driving the innate responses in the lung.
She is thrilled to have joined the faculty in the Veterinary and Animal Science department at UMass Amherst in Fall 2020 to study how alveolar macrophages respond to infection and regulate inflammation within the pulmonary environment!