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. He is the Director of the Johns Hopkins University TB Research Advancement Center (TRAC).

LAB MANAGERS

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Hannah Bailey, B.S.

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Research Technologist

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Towson University in 2021. I previously worked on identifying sORFs in E. coli.

 

Hobbies: Yoga, Traveling, Camping

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Addis Yilma, MSMS

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Research Technologist

I am a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying Biotechnology, concentrating in biodefense. I also have a master's degree in medical science from Southern California University. My goal is to use the knowledge I have acquired and apply it to medical school. In the past, I volunteered at the University of Maryland shock trauma, where I got the opportunity to observe surgeries and work alongside healthcare professionals. I have also worked in the pharmaceutical field, where I learned how to make emulsions, liquids, ointments, powders for intravenous mixing or compounding procedures and prepare chemotherapy medications for oncology patients. I am thrilled to join this lab to learn new skills, conduct research, and work alongside great co-workers. 

In my free time, I love spending time with my family, watching documentaries, and volunteering in the community.

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JUNIOR FACULTY

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Styliani Karanika, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

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

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 a Ph.D. Candidate in the Pathobiology program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. My current research focuses on identifying potential “anti-persistence” therapeutic targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis to increase susceptibility of persistent/tolerant bacteria to antibiotics and reduce treatment duration. I utilize conditional knockdown mutants generated by the ORBIT recombineering system to model the usage of an adjunctive inhibitor to look for altered susceptibility to front-line TB antibiotics.  

  

Hobbies: Baking, Reading, Skiing, Caring for Lab Mascot 

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Carina Danchik, B.S.

After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2017, I spent a year and a half as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. I am now a PhD candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. My current research focuses on elucidating molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance in M. tuberculosis to identify new targets for drug discovery, a strategy which could decrease treatment times by sensitizing the bacteria to antibiotics and allowing for more rapid killing.

 

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 graduated with a B.S in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from the University of Vermont in 2017. Afterwards, I was a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA evaluating the efficacy of HIV and Zika vaccines in clinical trials.

 

In 2019, I was a BBS PREP student at Yale University in the Ho lab investigating cellular and viral proteins in a HIV-1 infection. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program and my thesis project focuses on host-pathogen interactions relating to mitochondrial dysfunction and stress in mycobacterium infections.

 

Hobbies: Zumba, pottery, cooking and watching good TV shows (just to list a few- Insecure, Stranger Things, Ted Lasso, Mandalorian and many more)

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Iris Chen, B.S.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Pharmacology from China Pharmaceutical University and the University of Strathclyde in 2020. I am now an ScM student in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. My current project is focused on testing the therapeutic efficacy of the MIP-3α/RelMtb fusion vaccine.

 

Hobbies: Hiking, Reading, Comics 

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Tianyin Wang, B.S

I received my Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from University of California, Davis in 2021. I’m now an ScM student in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. My current project is focused on transcriptomic analysis of different vaccination routes with the MIP-3α/ RelMtb fusion vaccine targeting dendritic cells.

 

My hobbies include urban dance and K-pop dance, playing the piano and the drum set, and watching anime.

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Lucas Zhou

I am a senior at Johns Hopkins majoring in Public Health and Biomedical Engineering, concentrating in immunoengineering. Owing to tuberculosis' growing resistance to existing drug regimens, I am interested in developing novel drug treatments to combat this threat to public health.

 

Additionally, I enjoy playing piano and cello, poetry, working out at the gym, and traveling.

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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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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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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. 

SUPPORT STAFF

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Percy

Lab Mascot

SCIENTIFIC STAFF

Linda Brady

Lab Helper

Lynnia Hurt

TB Admin Coordinator