People


Faculty

Frances E. Lund
Charles H. McCauley Professor, Department of Microbiology
Founding Director, Immunology Institute
flund@uab.edu 
Hometown:
 Chicago, IL 
University/Degree: 
Univ. Notre Dame, BS Microbiology, Duke University, PhD

Troy D. Randall
Meyer Foundation, William J. Koopman Endowed Chair in Immunology
Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
troyrandall@uabmc.edu
Hometown: 
Columbia, MO
University/Degree: 
University of Denver, BS, Duke University, PhD

Miranda L. Curtiss
Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine Division of Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care
mlcurtiss@uabmc.edu
University/Degrees: University of Nebraska BA/BS, University of Iowa MD/PhD, University of Alabama Birmingham Internal Medicine residency, Pulmonary fellowship and Allergy/Immunology fellowship
Research Interests: asthma, mechanisms of allergic disease development and maintenance, transcriptomics

Selene Meza-Perez
Instructor
selenemezaperez@uabmc.edu
University/Degrees:
Biologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) BS, Immunologist from the National Polytechnic Institute Mexico (ENCB-IPN) PhD.
Research Interest: Characterization of the influence of microbiota in the metabolism of the immune responses developed in the adipose tissue in the context of cancer and inflammation
Hobbies: Hiking, Baking

Aaron Silva-Sanchez
Instructor
aaronsilvasanchez@uabmc.edu
Hometown: 
Mexico City, Mexico
University: 
National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), BS, National Polytechique Institute (ENCB-IPN), PhD
Research Interest: 
My main interest is to understand the development of mucosal immune system development and how alterations during early neonatal period affect the response to further microbial challenges.

Research Staff

Davide Botta
Scientist II
dbotta@uab.edu 
Hometown: 
Lariano (Rome), Italy 
University: 
Benedictine College, BS, University of Arizona, PhD
Research Interest: 
My research is disease-focused and at the cutting edge of early drug discovery. I investigate the metabolism of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), the bioactive form of the vitamin niacin, and the roles that NAD-utilizing enzymes and NAD-derived molecules play in modulating cellular life/death decisions, inflammatory responses and tumor growth. My research interests also include investigating innate and adaptive immune responses to lung disease and infection using pre-clinical animal models of influenza, pulmonary fibrosis, ARDS and COVID-19.

Esther Zumaquero
Scientist II

ezm@uab.edu
University/Degrees: University of Granada, BS, University of Granada, PhD
Research Interest: My research interest in Dr. Lund’s Lab lies in the study of Human B Cells and B lineage Plasma Cells (PC), and include: 1) Understand how pro-inflammatory signals play a role in the commitment of B cells to the PC fate. 2) Identify new drugs to treat autoimmune diseases like SLE and RA, and determine whether those patients who have high levels of DN2 B cells in blood respond better to these drugs. 3) Describe new methods to grow, expand and maintain PC in vitro.
Hobbies: Sleeping, Mysteries TV Shows and Books, Zumba

Larisa Pereboeva
Scientist II

Lpereb@uab.edu
University/Degrees: MD (Biochemistry) from Siberian State Medical University, Tomsk, Russia; MS in Molecular Biology from North East Wales Institute, Wrexham, Wales; PhD in Virology State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”, Koltsovo, Russia 
Research Interest: My research is aimed broadly at developing complex biologicals, such as genetically modified viruses and mammalian cells to apply as therapeutics in different pathologies or as research tools.  My research interest in Dr. Randall/Lund’s Lab lies in the characterization of SARS-COv2 specific B memory cells in different tissues. This includes analysis of antigen-specific B cell repertoire and exploits methodologies of the high-throughput expression of recombinant antibody derived from the antigen receptor genes of single-sorted B cells. 
Hobbies: Hiking, tennis, gardening, travel

Betty Mousseau
Scientist
I

mousseau@uab.edu

University/Degrees:
A.A.S.-MT-  NCCC & SUNY-Potsdam
Research Interest:
Human Immunology
Hobbies:
gardening, going to concerts and music festivals, exploring flea markets and antique malls.  

Thomas ‘Scott’ Simpler
Scientist I
ssimpler@uab.edu
University/Degrees: B.S. Marine Biology – University of South Alabama
Research Interests: Animal Colony Management and Lab Supplies Procurement
Hobbies: Scuba Diving, Golf, and Fishing

Michael D. Schultz
Scientist I

mschul20@uab.edu
University/Degrees: University of Wisconsin Superior, BSc, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ph.D.
Research Interest: My first interest is in studying NAD metabolism in the context of cancers like Multiple Myeloma and autoimmune disorders like Lupus. I focus on the enzymes CD38, which is a multifunctional protein that catabolizes NAD into NAM, and NAMPT which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the NAD salvage pathway. My second interest is testing novel vaccine designs for SARS and flu viruses and the effects of intranasal vaccine administration on the transmission rates of respiratory ailments.
Hobbies: I’m a digital artist, a writer, a pumpkin carver, and I ruin animal models fun.

Uma Mudunuru
Researcher V

umamudunuru@uabmc.edu
University/Degrees: College of Veterinary Science, ANGRAU, M.V.Sc., Texas A&M University, MS

Jun Wang
Researcher V

feijun@uab.edu
University/Degrees: School of Medicine, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China / MD
Research Interest: Translational medical research
Hobbies: Travel

Guang Yang
Researcher V

gyang@uab.edu
University/Degree: Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, MS, MD 
Research Interest: Molecular biology, Virology, ipsc, Protein expression and purification, Tetramer, imaging, Histochemistry. 

Fen Zhou
Researcher V 

fzhou@uab.edu
University/Degree: Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, China. MS, MD
Research Interest: Human cell culture, mouse cell culture, compound screening, enzyme activity assays, phenotypic and functional assays, Elisa, cellular and molecular biology techniques, flow cytometry, human tissue processing, in vitro cytotoxicity assays, in vivo animal models of disease. 

Jobaida Akther
Research
er V

jobaida@uab.edu
University/Degrees: Ph.D. (Gifu University, Japan)
Research Interest: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Protein Chemistry, Immunology
Hobbies: Reading, Travelling

Md. Emon Hossain
Researcher
V

emon@uab.edu
University/Degrees: Shimane University, Japan – Ph.D.
Research Interest: Memory B Cells, Respiratory Infectious Diseases, Cellular Reprogramming and Stem Cells.
Hobbies: Soccer and Traveling

Suki Chen
Researcher II
I

Sukic@uab.edu
University/Degrees: University of Alabama at Birmingham – B.S.
Hobbies: Overfeeding my guinea pigs

Davies Kalange
Researcher II

Dkalange@uabmc.edu
University/Degrees: The Master’s University. BS in Biology. Pre-Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Biology
Research Insterest: Role of B memory cells in inflammation
Hobbies: African art (oil, water and acrylic) and soccer

Isabella Cheatwood
Student Worker

Ircheatw@uab.edu
University/Degrees: Undergraduate Immunology Program at UAB
Hobbies: Obsessing over work and school

Trainees

Nipun Jayachandran
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Njayacha@uab.edu
University/Degrees: Postdoctoral researcher – University of Pennsylvania; PhD – University of Manitoba (Canada); Research fellow – National Institute of Immunology (India)
Research Interests: Investigating the mechanisms underlying the development and survival of ASCs in the context of flu and autoimmunity.
Hobbies:  Walking and exploring nature, watching Sci-Fi movies.

John T. Killian
General Surgery Resident

jtkillian@uabmc.edu
University/Degrees: BS Mathematics – The University of Alabama; MA Economics – The University of Alabama; MD – University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Research Interests. We are interested in the B cells that act as an immune barrier to transplantation for tens of thousands of patients awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. Specifically, we are studying how pregnancy produces immune memory that targets polymorphic HLA molecules on donor organs, and how we can better identify and eliminate that immune memory to improve outcomes for transplant patients.
Hobbies:  Cooking, Working out, Reading, Travel

Dewey J. Brooke
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Student (MD/PhD)
dbrooke@uab.edu
University/Degree: Montana State University (MSU)
Research Interest: Ovarian cancer and the role of potent cytokine FGF18 in promoting tumor proliferation and recruitment of pro-angiogenic macrophages to tumor microenvironment.
Hobbies: Spending time with my Lady (Maddie Bender MD) and developing R packages for High-Performance Computation.

Aaron Lucander
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Student (MD/PhD)
lucander@uab.edu
University/Degree: B.S. Biology – Duke University
Research Interest: We study the basic science of deleterious B cell and antibody responses in the context of human organ transplantation. My long-term goals are to contribute to improving the allocation of human organs, a scarce resource, and the health outcomes of transplant recipients.
Hobbies: Hiking, Reading, and Violin

Chris A. Risley
PhD Candidate

crisley@uab.edu
University/Degrees: B.Sc Biology and German Studies, Centre College
Research Interests: I am interested in the transcriptional regulation of memory B cells (Bmem), specifically how certain Bmem are pre-disposed to participate in recall responses. I use a combination of transcriptomics, in vivo, and in vitro techniques to determine how these cells are functionally distinct, observe their phenotype, and determine functional outputs.
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking with the squad: my wife, my 8 month old son, and our big loveable doofus of a golden retriever, as well as cooking, and feeding my caffeine addiction.

Sweta Desai
Graduate Student
swetad@uab.edu
University/Degree: Osmania University, BSc and MSc, University of Missouri St. Louis, MS Biochemistry & Biotechnology
Research Interest: My research interests are in tumor immunology. I’m particularly interested in studying the factors modulating CD8 anti-tumor function in metastatic ovarian cancer.
Hobbies: Doodling, painting and binge-watching sitcoms.

Eddie-Williams Owiredu
Graduate Student
owiredu7@uab.edu
University/Degree: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology – BS Medical Laboratory Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science
Research Interest: Tissue- and organ-specific human B cell immunity. B cell intrinsic expression of IRF1 in the development of deleterious humoral and inflammatory responses in autoimmunity. Eddie is supported by the AMC21 Scholar Program at UAB.
Hobbies: Movies, Video games, Card games.

Hannah Meshell Canter
Graduate Student
hcanter@uab.edu
University/Degree: Arizona State University – Medical Microbiology BS
Research Interest: My research interests lie in host-pathogen interaction. More specifically I am interested in how the immune system protects the host against foreign viral invaders. 
Hobbies: Treating my cat like a king, reading, exploring new cities/towns


Susana Cheetham
Graduate Student

cheetham@uab.edu
University/Degrees: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, BS Medical Laboratory Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science; University of Leicester, UK, MS Infection and Immunity
Research Interests: I am interested in the immunological mechanisms involved in the control and prevention of infectious diseases. My research work in the Randall lab will include working with flu infection models (Influenza A) to investigate the role of the gut microbiota in modulating immune responses to flu infection.
Hobbies: Reading, Traveling and Baking 

Xinran Wang
Graduate Student
xw2@uab.edu
University/Degrees: China Medical University, BS, MD; Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, MS, MD
Research Interests: My research projects are focused on understanding the functions and mechanisms of different populations of dendritic cells during influenza infection.
Hobbies: Traveling and drawing

Olivia Johnston
Undergraduate Student
blaine18@uab.edu
Undergraduate Immunology Program and Chemistry, UAB
Research interests: Developing a model for B cell specific deletion of genes utilizing lentivirus and CRISPR-Cas9 technology
Hobbies:
Taking my cat on backpack trips