PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

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Petros C. Karakousis, M.D.

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Petros Karakousis is a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has a joint appointment in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

 

He graduated summa cum laude from the Johns Hopkins University in 1994 and received a Distinguished Alumni Scholarship to study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 1998. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine in 2001 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After completing fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he joined the Department of Medicine faculty in 2005.

LAB MANAGER

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Pranita Neupane, MD

Research Technologist

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I am an ECFMG-certified medical graduate (2014) from Nepal. I have worked as a medical officer in various hospitals in Nepal. I am associated with the USA-based nonprofit organization, "Project for a village" and have volunteered as a health care provider in rural areas of Nepal. 

In order to pursue my research interests, I worked at the National Institute of Health (NIH) on projects related to the pathogenesis of sepsis and septic shock, with special emphasis on Bacillus anthracis. I have also worked as a research volunteer at Johns Hopkins during summer and fall 2019 on studies directed to understanding the underlying mechanism during oxidative stress and atherosclerosis in order to reverse or reduce these effects and changes.

 

In my free time I like to play badminton, gardening, and traditional art like Rangoli and Heena. 

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POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

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Styliani Karanika, MD

 Infectious Diseases Fellowship

 

I obtained my medical degree from the University of Athens, Medical School in July 2011. I served as a rural physician and resident in Greece until August 2013 when I joined MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas as a post-doctoral research fellow. There, I worked on projects focused mainly on DNA damage response, activation of immune signaling and mechanisms of apoptosis in in-vitro and in-vivo models. Then, I moved to Brown University in March 2015 where I ran epidemiologic studies in C. difficile, MRSA, ESBL gram negative bacteria.  I was also involved in clinical trials investigating novel diagnostic nanotechnology-based molecular assays for the diagnosis of bacteremia and candidemia. Subsequently, I completed my Internal Medicine residency training at Boston University Medical Center in June 2019 and then I joined fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

Research interest: TB vaccine, HIV, SARS-CoV-2, immunology

Hobbies: Piano, Traveling, Cooking

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Monika Looney, PhD.

 

I received my Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology and Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016. I am currently a postdoc in the Karakousis Lab. My research focuses on furthering our understanding of host responses to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Current projects are aimed at defining the functional roles of microRNAs, tRNA-derived fragments, and the inflammasome in tuberculosis pathogenesis and treatment using both unbiased, high-throughput and targeted mechanistic approaches. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify novel targets for host-directed therapy development. 

Current project: Investigating the role of microRNAs in tuberculosis pathogenesis and treatment.

Hobbies: Painting, Mountain Biking, Traveling, Volunteering

PRE-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

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Harley Parker, B.S.

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Youngstown State University in 2018. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in the Pathobiology program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and will be conducting my thesis work in the Karakousis lab. My current research focuses on identifying potential drug-targetable genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis to improve treatment times.

 

Hobbies: Baking, Reading, and Skiing

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Carina Danchik, B.S.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2017. After that, I spent a year and a half as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I am now a PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. My current project is focused on testing genes involved in antibiotic tolerance in Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium tuberculosis to identify new targets for drug discovery.

 

Hobbies: Baking, Reading, Gardening

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Jennie Ruelas Castillo, B.S.

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2019. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. My research focus is investigating sex-based disparities in tuberculosis disease outcomes, with a focus on differences in macrophage regulation between females and males during infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

 

Hobbies: Painting, Hiking, and Reading

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Darla Quijada, B.S.

I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from the University of Vermont in 2017. I worked as a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA conducting work on HIV and Zika vaccines. In 2019, I was a Biological and Biomedical Sciences PREP student at Yale University investigating the role of identifying cellular and viral protein interactions in HIV-1 infections. I am currently a first-year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program. My rotation project focuses on understanding host-pathogen interactions such as mycobacteria-induced mitochrondrial stress. 

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Lucas Zhou

I am a freshman at Johns Hopkins University studying biomedical engineering (BME). I am interested in exploring the intersection between infectious disease, neuroscience, and BME, especially the application of novel BME methods to clinical treatment.  

My other interests include playing piano and cello, working out at the gym, and traveling. 

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Marissa McDonald

I am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, studying Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Immunoengineering and a minor in Computational Medicine. I am interested in understanding the dormancy of tuberculosis and using this information to develop more effective antibiotics. I am passionate about engineering for low resource settings, where advancements in science and medicine often do not translate. Outside of the lab, I am the Director of Style for Marque Magazine, Maryland's first and only student-run fashion magazine. I am also on ¡Baila!, JHU's only Latin dance team, and the Worship Coordinator for InterVarsity, one of the Christian fellowships on campus. 

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Alyssa Zimmerman

I am a freshman at Johns Hopkins University studying molecular and cellular biology along with environmental science. I am interested in understanding the functions related to dormancy of tuberculosis and exploring antibiotic treatments that may reduce the dormancy period. Aside from academics, I am involved in a few environmental groups on campus and enjoy working out and cooking.

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Justin Wei

I am an undergraduate at JHU class of 2023, majoring in molecular and cellular biology. I am interested in exploring the complex interaction between tuberculosis pathogenesis and our immune response to its infection, as well as the striking similarities that certain parts of TB pathogenesis have to other major diseases/illnesses. Outside the lab, my interests including watching anime, playing video games, working out, and motorcycling.

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Emily Lu

I am a freshman at Johns Hopkins University studying Molecular and Cellular Biology. I am interested in infectious disease pathology and prevention, and more specifically the improvement of tuberculosis vaccines and host-directed therapies to improve treatment time. My other hobbies include contemporary dance and ballet, sketching, and playing the cello.

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Gopi Patel

I am a junior at Johns Hopkins University studying Public Health and Molecular and Cellular Biology. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind latent tuberculosis infections and the use of host-directed therapy in TB treatment. Outside of lab, my hobbies include photography, reading, and working out. 

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Lab Mascot

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SCIENTIFIC STAFF

Linda Brady

Email

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