Lab Personnel

Gwendolyn Swarbrick

Gwendolyn Swarbrick

Mrs. Swarbrick received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 1999. First as an undergraduate in San Diego and then following graduation, as a research assistant at the University of Manchester, Manchester, England, she gained laboratory experience in Biochemistry and Genetics. Since July, 2001,Mrs. Swarbrick has worked in David and Deborah Lewinsohn's laboratories and has extensive experience in the isolation and characterization of CD8+ T cell clones, and utilizing ELISPOT, ELISA, and FACS analysis to characterize T cell clones and T cells in peripheral blood. She also has extensive experience using IFN-γELISPOT and synthetic peptide pools to measure antigen-specific T cell responses in humans and Rhesus monkeys and has defined the epitope and restricting allele of Mtb-specific Class Ia-restricted T cell clones. 

Since July 2003, she has acted as laboratory manager for both David Lewinsohn and Deborah Lewinsohn, with responsibility for training and oversight of laboratory personnel and for administrative grants management. She was the project manager for two NIH T cell epitope discovery contracts, (HHSN272200900053C and HHSN266200400081C) as well as the administrative manager of the Mucosal Immunity Study Team Infrastructure and Opportunities Fund (MIST IOF) funded by an NIH consortium, U01AI095776. She is currently the project manager for the "Targeting MAIT cells for TB vaccines" grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Learn More about the Mucosal Immunology Studies Team

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Elly Karamooz

Elly K-1

Elly graduated from Reed College in 2004. She received her MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 2005 and completed residency in internal medicine at OHSU. She is currently a fellow in Pulmonary & Critical Care at OHSU and joined the Lewinsohn Lab in 2014. Currently she is studying vesicular trafficking of MR1 vesicles.

Publications:

Schumacher MA, Karamooz E, Zíková A, Trantírek L, & Lukeš J. Crystal Structures of T. brucei MRP1/MRP2 Guide-RNA Binding Complex Reveal RNA Matchmaking Mechanism. Cell. 126, 701-711. 2006. PMID: 16923390

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Erin Meermeier

Erin Riscoe

After receiving her B.S. in microbiology from Oregon State University in 2010, Erin Meermeier joined OHSU's School of Medicine PhD Program for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB). She joined the Gold and Lewinsohn Lab in May of 2012 as a graduate student and is working towards her degree in Molecular Microbiology/Immunology. 

Her projects currently include:

  • non-classically restricted, pathogen-reactive, human T cell cloning.
  • MR1 (MHC-related protein 1) functionality in the context of an APC's (antigen presenting cell) stress response due to bacterial infection.
  • Monkeypox virus host-pathogen interactions through T cell anergy.

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Gitanjali Narayanan

Gitanjali earned her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and MS in Molecular Medicine in 2012 from the Pennsylvania State University, where she worked in the laboratory of Gary Perdew. There, she studied the role of the AhR in modulating the complement response to tumor growth. Gitanjali matriculated into the MD/PhD program at OHSU in 2012 and joined the Lewinsohn Lab as a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Currently, her thesis research is focused on understanding the regulation of MR1 in antigen presentation to MAIT cells. 

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Michelle Sorensen

Michelle S-1

Michelle graduated from the R.D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in biology with major concentrations in cellular biology, molecular biology and neuroscience. After graduation, she moved to San Diego, where she worked for 3 years in the biotech industry before returning to academic research and her hometown of Portland, Oregon. Michelle has worked as a research assistant at OHSU for more than ten years.  She spent 4 years studying alcohol addiction in the Behavioral Neuroscience Department, 4 years researching circadian biology in the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, and 1 year investigating ophthalmic genetics at the Casey Eye Institute. Michelle joined the Lewinsohn lab in 2014 as a senior research assistant under Melanie Harriff.  Michelle's projects include characterizing vesicular trafficking pathways for MR1 antigen presentation and identification of mycobacterial ligands for MR1.  Michelle is also the lab manager for David Lewinsohn's lab.

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Aneta Worley

Aneta Worley

After graduating with B.S. in Chemistry from Portland State University in 2009, Aneta started working as a TA at the University and taught introduction to Chemistry lab. She also worked as a Research Assistant in a Physical Chemistry Lab of prof. Shankar B. Rananavare. Her project focused on alveolar air-water interface and phase diagrams of membrane lipids with surfactant proteins.

For the next two years, she worked in an Ocular Immunology Lab at OHSU, where her research projects focused on Degenerative Retinopathies and Autoimmune Uveitis.

In January of 2012 she joined the lab of Dr. Marielle Gold and currently works on an Airway model project studying tissue samples and cells derived from human airway and lung samples.

Her projects currently include:

  • Indentifying the airway cells that get infected with Mtb and those that activate innate MAIT cells;
  • Determining how airway DC's (dendritic cells) acquire Mtb antigens.

Please visit Aneta Worley's Portland State Site

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Megan Null

Null

Megan received her B.S. in Biology from Pacific University in 2001. She joined the Lewinsohn lab in November of 2004, and her primary project is the NIH funded Large Scale T-Cell Epitope Discovery contract, who's purpose is to define immunodominant CD8 antigens and epitopes from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Her role in this project also includes overseeing the clinical validation of these antigens and epitopes at our collaborative site in Kampala Uganda. Her other projects include working with Dr. Marielle Gold and the Gold lab in determining the role of IL-12 in the human immune response to Tb infection, and phenotyping MAIT cells which includes assisting with experiments and planning in Durban, South Africa with Dr. Emily Wong at KRITH (Kwa-Zulu Natal Research Institute for Tb and HIV).

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Meghan Cansler

Meghan Cansler

Meghan received her B.S. in Biology from Washington State University in 2004 and began working as a Research Assistant with the Lewinsohn Lab in November of that same year. Her primary project is the NIH Large Scale T-cell Epitope Discovery contract that was first awarded to the Lewinsohn lab in 2004. The aim of this project is to define immunodominant CD8 antigens and epitopes from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is also involved in projects to determine the roll of ex-vivo CD8 t-cells to kill Tb infected APCs, as well as the antigen processing pathway of HLA-C restricted epitopes.

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Elyse Allen

Elyse Allen

Elyse graduated from the University of Washington in 2010 with a B.S. in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, as well as a B.A. in English Language and Literature. She remained in Seattle for four years, working in the field of cellular aging and, later, behavioral neuroscience. Elyse transitioned from Seattle to Portland when she joined the laboratories of Dr. Gold and and Dr. Lewinsohn in 2013. Her work focuses on utilization of a new technology called mass cytometry, and she is currently optimizing the technique for use in several projects.

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Irina Kurtz

Irina received her B.S. in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Washington in 2010. She worked in research labs at the University of Washington and the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute after graduation and joined the Lewinsohn lab in 2014.  

Her projects currently include: 

  • Characterizing MR1 positive cells in the Thymus
  • Phenotyping lung-resident MAIT cells. 

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Nick Stucky

Nick Stucky

Nick graduated from Yale College in 2001. He received a MS in Bioengineering at University of Washington and completed a joint MD/PhD (2012/2010) at University of Kansas before completing residency in Internal Medicine at OHSU. He is currently a Fellow in Infectious Disease at OHSU and joined the Lewinsohn lab in 2016. He is working on Mtb diagnostics and characteristics of MAIT subpopulations using RNA analysis.

 

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Eisa Mahyari

Eisa Mahyari

I am computational biologist focused on solving problems related to immunology and infectious diseases. My prior training was in Biology and Chemistry (BS 2006) and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MS 2008). In order to gain more hands-on experience, I spent four years as a group member in Dr. Louis Picker's Lab, where I focused on immunological studies relating to HIV Vaccines. Our work culminated in a critical examination of vaccine-mediated correlates of protection in Rhesus Macaques (Nature Medicine 2012). In 2012, I was accepted as a PhD fellow in the Division of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology. 

As a PhD candidate, I am working under the guidance and mentorship of Drs. David M. Lewinsohn, Marielle C. Gold and Shannon K. McWeeney. I am contributing to a recently funded project by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (PI: Dr. David Lewinsohn) to study a population of tuberculosis (TB)-recognizing T-cells known as mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. A key idea of the proposal is that MAIT cells may be harnessed as unconventional TB vaccine targets. Currently, I am focusing on novel strategies for computational immune phenotyping using CyTOF.  

Visit Eisa's Science Blog

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