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.

CO-INVESTIGATOR

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Research Associate

Noton K. Dutta, Ph.D.

I obtained my Ph.D. from Jadavpur University, India, and did postdoctoral research at Seoul National University, South Korea and Tulane University, USA. I am presently working on multiple projects, including a systems biology-based characterization of animal models of latent TB infection and reactivation, and testing the efficacy of novel drugs and drug combinations in murine and guinea pig TB models.

Hobbies: Traveling, reading, and cooking.

LAB MANAGER

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Research Technologist

Pranita Neupane, MD

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, and I enjoy gardening and traditional art, like Rangoli and Heena. 

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

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Samuel Ayeh, MD, MPH

Post-Doctoral Fellow

I obtained my medical degree from the University of Ghana Medical School in February 2012. After two years of internship, I served for 3 years as a general practitioner. In May 2019, I obtained a Masters in Public Health from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a major in Epidemiology and Biostatistical Methods for Public Health and Clinical Research.


Research Interest: Molecular mechanisms underlying chronic infectious diseases (particularly TB and HIV), and drug development for TB/HIV.


Hobbies: Soccer, Table tennis.

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Vignesh Chidambaram, M.B.B.S., MD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

I received my medical degree from the Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India in 2014. I completed my residency in Internal Medicine at the same hospital in 2018. I am currently pursuing my MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a major in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology. 

Research Interest: Epidemiological methods and Modeling in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment  

 

Hobbies: Playing cricket and playing drums 

PRE-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

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Robert L. Jenquin, M.S.

Post-Masters Fellow

I earned my Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Computer Science, after first completing my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. My work in the lab focuses on applying bioinformatics techniques, such as RNAseq, against high volumes of sample data to extrapolate meaningful results and expand our knowledge of M. tuberculosis and M. avium. Outside of the lab, I work in computer security to analyze and protect against malware threats.

Hobbies: Playing guitar, composing, and trying new food.

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Aakanksha Kapoor, B.Tech.

M.S. Student in Biotechnology

I am a master's student at Johns Hopkins University, currently studying MS in Biotechnology. I received my Bachelor of Technology degree in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology, India. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the persistence and the drug resistance of M. avium and M. tuberculosis.

 

 

Hobbies: Running, Swimming, Reading and Volunteering.

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Harley Parker, B.S.

Ph.D. Student in Pathobiology

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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Monika Looney, B.S.

Ph.D. Student in Pathobiology

I received my Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology and Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016. I am currently a PhD candidate in the Pathobiology program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, conducting my thesis work in the Karakousis Lab. My research focuses on furthering our understanding of host responses to infection withMycobacterium 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

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Rachel Lorenc

B.S. Student in Chemistry/Molecular and Cellular BIology

I am a senior at Johns Hopkins University studying chemistry and molecular and cellular biology. I am interested the molecular mechanics behind why the HIV+ population is significantly more susceptible to tuberculosis disease and understanding the host-pathogen interaction in Mtb infection. Outside of lab, I am the president of JHU Triathlon Club and am an EMT for the Hopkins Emergency Response Organization.

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Sarah Kohl

B.S. Student in Molecular and Cellular Biology

I am a senior at Johns Hopkins. I am currently studying molecular and cellular biology and public health. My academic interests include infectious diseases and epidemics, particularly tuberculosis, both on a molecular and cellular level and a population level. I am also interested in the challenges to providing health care to rural areas and to populations who typically do not have access. My other interests include cooking, skiing, and traveling. I am also involved with the club softball team and am an EMT.

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Olivia Wang

B.S. Student in Molecular and Cellular Biology

I am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University studying Molecular and Cellular Biology and Computational Medicine. I am interested in understanding the pathogenesis of tuberculosis infection and the mechanisms by which our immune system defends against it. I am also interested in learning about host-directed therapies for TB. My other hobbies include cooking, grocery shopping, journaling, and travelling.

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Lucas Zhou

B.S. Student in Biomedical Engineering

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

B.S. Student in Biomedical Engineering

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. 

SCIENTIFIC STAFF

Linda Brady

Geltrouda Demczuk

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Artwork by Monika Looney - Inquiries welcome