Lab Photo: May 2023

PI: Alissa Rothchild, PhD

Postdoc –  Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Aderem lab
Ph.D. – Harvard University, Immunology, Behar lab
B.S. – Brown University, Biology

As a graduate student, Alissa studied immune mechanisms of protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and has been hooked on TB and lung immunity ever since! She is particularly interested in studying the role of alveolar macrophages in immune responses to airborne microbes and regulation of pulmonary inflammation, using a combination of immunology, microbiology, and systems biology approaches. In her free time, Alissa Alissa enjoys hiking and biking through the Pioneer Valley, running after her two toddlers.

Graduate Student (PhD): Pamelia Lim

B.S. – University of Rochester, Cell and Developmental Biology,       Minor in Biomedical Engineering 

Pamelia is interested in studying innate sensing functions of alveolar macrophages in both naive and infected conditions, and characterizing subpopulations of AMs that are differentially targeted by Mtb during infection. She enjoys cooking and baking while binge watching reality cooking shows, and crocheting small things for her cat. 

Graduate Student (PhD): Linh Pham, MS

B.S. – International University-National University in Vietnam, Biotechnology

M.S. – University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Biotechnology

In her undergraduate research, Linh investigated the effect of androgens on the in vitro growth and maturation of mammalian oocytes in a swine model.  During her master’s training in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, she studied the role of telomerase in cancer, bone marrow production, and Dyskeratosis Congenita. After receiving her Master’s degree, Linh studied Artenovenous fistula (AVF) and vascular remodeling for chronic kidney disease. Linh now studies the cell-protective Nrf2-dependent transcriptional signature up-regulated by Mtb-infected alveolar macrophage, designing approaches to modify Nrf2 expression in vitro and in vivo. In her free time, she likes swimming, rock climbing, and baking.

Graduate Student (PhD): Divya Dubey

B.S. – Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ, Biotechnology 

Divya Dubey began her research journey as an undergraduate research assistant at a plant virology lab at Rutgers University, NJ. There she learned about the evolutionary biology of Begomoviruses and published a study measuring the protein diversity between two proteins encoded on the secondary genomic segment of bipartite Begomoviruses. As a graduate student at UMass Amherst, Divya made a big jump to immunology and now studies the effect of M. tuberculosis infection on alveolar macrophages (AM) in C3HeB/FeJ mice and characterizes how mouse strain differences generate unique responses to TB vaccination and challenge in AMs. When she is not busy with ELISA data to analyze, Divya is active on her two main forms of social media: Letterboxd for movies and Goodreads for books.

Research Fellow: Maritza Cervantes Palacios, MS

M.S. – Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Experimental Biology

B.S. – Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Biology

Maritza has been working with different aspects of the immune response since she started volunteering in a lab during college. She is always eager to learn new approaches to study this and is looking forward to exploring different microbiological and molecular techniques. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading and hiking.

Undergraduate research assistant: Aiden McKeeby

Aiden is a junior Pre-Veterinary Major from Mattawan, MI. His current research interests involve the standardization of a neutral lipid assay in macrophages using staining and laser microscopy, as well as how the pathways that produce these lipids are affected by tuberculosis. On campus, Aiden performs with the Minuteman Marching Band as well as the Pep Band. His hobbies include skiing, mountain biking, reading, and hockey. Aiden plans on attending vet school after his time at UMass.

Undergraduate research assistant: Sethe Cloutier

Sethe chose UMass in hopes of gaining microbiology/immunology research experience as an undergraduate. She has fallen in love with the laboratory setting and is excited to learn more about the role of alveolar macrophages in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. In the future, she would like to work with prion diseases or other protein malformation ailments. When not in lab or class, Sethe enjoys working with miniatures, reading, and watching horror movies.

Lab Alumni

Brenda Genium

Undergraduate research assistant: 2021-2022

Brenda graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst as a double major in Microbiology and Public Health. She loves learning about infectious disease, and thinks viruses are particularly interesting. On campus, Brenda was a Resident Assistant in Southwest, a Microbiology Peer Advisor, and a member of the HerCampus chapter. Off campus she loves exploring new restaurants, playing with dogs, painting, and hiking.

Sydney Doherty

Undergraduate research assistant: 2021-2022

Sydney graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Pre-Veterinary Science. She will be starting at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Fall 2023.

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