Lab Members

Michael Gale Jr., Ph.D. email icon
Professor, Department of Immunology
Director, Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease
Dr. Gale is the Director of the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID) and is an Adjunct professor of Global Health. He is a professor of Immunology, and is a formally trained immunologist and virologist with expertise in studies of virus/host interactions, innate immunity, and immune signaling of RNA viruses. His research is focused on understanding the innate immune response to infection by emerging RNA viruses, including Zika virus,  and leveraging this information to build improved vaccines, vaccine adjuvants, and antiviral therapeutics. Dr. Gale is currently developing and testing two novel vaccines for protection against Zika virus, and is developing a new class of innate immune-targeted antiviral drugs for broad spectrum application to enhance vaccine immunity and to treat virus infection. These new therapeutics will improve global health by providing effective treatment to the people infected with Zika virus, Ebola virus, dengue virus, or West Nile viruses.

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Gale Lab Graduate Students

Amy Lu email icon
Pathobiology Ph.D. Student
Andrew Gustin email icon
Ph.D. Student
Andrey Shuvarikov email icon
MCB Ph.D. Student
Brittany Ulloa email icon
Immunology Ph.D. Student
Nika Hajari email icon
Pathobiology Ph.D. Students
Rebecca Olson email icon
Immunology Ph.D. Students

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Postdoctoral Fellows:

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Caleb Stokes, M.D., Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
 
Emily Hemann, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Emily Hemann is a postdoctoral researcher in the Gale Laboratory supported by an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Hemann earned her PhD in Immunology from the University of Iowa studying adaptive immune responses to influenza virus infection. She joined the Dr. Gale's laboratory in the fall of 2014 to expand her training in virology, innate immunity, and molecular biology. Dr. Hemann's research is focused on how induction of specific innate immune signals following vaccination or infection impact development of adaptive immune responses with the goal of developing novel vaccine adjuvants and therapeutics to combat viral infections.
Jennifer Rathe, M.D., Ph.D. email icon
M.D. Fellow
 
Julie Eggenberger, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
 
Katharina Esser-Nobis, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Esser-Nobis obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. For her Ph.D. studies she moved on to join the Department of Infectious Diseases at Karl Ruprecht University Heidelberg in Germany where she gained broad expertise in molecular cell biology, immunology, virology and antivirals spanning a wide range of techniques. Her Ph.D. thesis work focused on replication and treatment of Hepatitis C Virus. She joined the Gale lab in spring 2016 and is currently studying the role of mitochondria associated membranes in RIG-I like receptor mediated immune signaling in response to RNA virus infections by employing subcellular fractionation techniques. This will contribute to the understanding of antiviral immune signaling events on a molecular basis and potentially open new therapeutic avenues to control virus infections or to prevent immunopathology.
Sooyoung Lee, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Lee is a postdoctorial fellow studying Virology and Innate immunity in Dr. Gale Lab. Dr. Lee was trained at the Yonsei University of South Korea as a molecular Virologist studying ‘Hepatitis B virus (HBV)’. She found the molecular mechanism that HBx (Hepatitis B virus X protein) mediated Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) development. HBV has been called as a “stealth virus” by avoiding neither innate immune response in hepatocytes nor intrahepatic immune responses. And chronic infection by HBV induces liver inflammation and tissue damage leading to liver cirrhosis and HCC, but molecular mechanism of the processes liver inflammation induced by HBV infection remain unclear. Dr. Lee’s scientific interest is understanding about the interaction of Hepatitis B virus with their host. Recently, she is concentrating on finding out the mechanism how HBV manages to escape or delay host immune responses and the mechanism of inflammation in response to HBV infection.

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Lab Staff:

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Amina Negash, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist
 
Bryan Turbull email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 1
 
Dan Newhouse email icon
Bioinformatist
 
Elyse Verstelle email icon
Lab Manager
Elyse graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Biological Science and joined the Gale Lab in 2015. While in the Gale Lab, Elyse has been a part of a collaborative research team that is working to determine how the immune system responds to Zika virus infection. Elyse is currently working with Dr. Gale to manage the day to day operations within the lab and helps support the ongoing research within.
Elise Smith email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 3
 
Jackie Berhorst email icon
Research Coordinator
 
Jean Chang email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 3
 
Jenny Go, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Go works with Professor Gale to lead collaborative, multidisciplinary studies of Zika virus infection. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research is dedicated to studying emerging viruses, with a particular emphasis on pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses and Zika virus-mediated disease and regulation of immune responses. Dr. Go integrates principles of systems biology to define virus-host interactions that would ultimately help identify therapeutic targets for improved clinical outcomes. She also maintains an active interest in science education in the community where she is engaged in student science research mentoring programs.
Kathleen Voss email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 3
 
Leanne Whitmore email icon
Research Engineer
 
Lynn Law, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer-Senior
NHP Project Manager
Dr. Law received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry at Washington State University and has expertise in transcriptional and translation regulation in mammalian systems. She works with Dr. Gale to manage the NHP Functional Genomics Core that is housed in the lab. With the overall goal of identifying host responses that predict vaccine efficacy, this Core applies functional genomics approaches in nonhuman primate studies to more effectively evaluate vaccine-induced adaptive and innate immune responses and vaccine efficacy in challenge/protection studies.
Megan I De La Riva email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 1
 
Megan Knoll email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 2
 
Michael Davis, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 4
Dr. Davis earned his PhD in Cancer Biology with an emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University in 2005. He has worked on a wide array of projects involving the generation of transgenic mice, state of the art microscopy, early detection cancer biomarkers, and CRISPR-based gene knockout. This work enabled him to develop an extremely diverse knowledge set and tool box with which he has quickly tackled new questions. In 2013 Dr. Davis joined the Gale lab in order to further expand his training into the field of innate immunity with a focus on cellular events surronding inflammasome activation and with intention of moving into the dynamic area of tumor immunology. Excitingly, last year, his training in microscopy allowed him the opportunity to begin exploring maternal to fetal transmission of Zika Virus with Kristina Adams-Waldorf in order to prevent the devastating birth defects associated with infection of pregnant women.
Renee Ireton, Ph.D. email icon
Project Manager, CIIID Assitant Director
Dr. Ireton works closely with Dr. Gale to ensure that the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID) has the administrative support to operate seamlessly. She works with Dr. Gale to manage several large cross-interdisciplinary, cross-institutional NIH government contracts and grants to design novel adjuvants for vaccines and antiviral therapeutics that target the RIG-I innate immune pathway.  She also collaborates with immunologists and bioinformatics specialists in the Gale laboratory on a mouse genetics program aimed at discovering new genes that influence how the body responds to virus infection. She has particular expertise in the submission of large collaborative center grants.  Dr. Ireton’s educational training includes two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame (Biological Sciences and English) and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in the field of Cancer Biology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in cancer proteomic biomarkers.

Tien-Ying Hsiang, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist/Engineer 3

 

Zack Lindbloom-Brown email icon
Senior Computer Specialist - IT