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.
Yueh-Ming (Ming) Loo, Ph.D. email icon
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology
Dr. Loo graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2003 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During her postdoctoral training with Dr. Michael Gale Jr. at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Dr. Loo’s research defined innate immune recognition and control of hepatitis C virus. Dr. Loo was subsequently recruited to the University of Washington in 2007 and is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology. Dr. Loo and her team are focused on developing small molecules that activate innate immune signaling as adjuvants to enhance vaccine efficacy or as therapy to control virus infections. Separately, Dr. Loo is also working to define the function of a subfamily of RNA helicases in RNA virus replication and innate immune signaling.

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Graduate Students:

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Andrey Shuvarikov email icon
MCB Ph.D. Student
 
Kathryn Wuertz email icon
Pathobiology Ph.D. Student
 
Lauren Aarreberg, email icon
Immunology Ph.D. Student
Lauren is a Ph.D. candidate within the Department of Immunology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Gale, Jr. her research examines non-canonical intracellular signaling pathways that are initiated in response to IL-1b. Her work characterizes an important and unappreciated crosstalk between IL-1b and IFN signaling at the level of IRF3 modulation, with critical outcomes for pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) recognition and innate immune activation. Additionally, she has explored a previously unidentified IL-1b-STING-IRF3 axis in control of RNA virus infection. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego, and will continue her career in academic research in order to answer important immunological questions in the field.
Rebecca Olson email icon
Immunology Ph.D. Students
 

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Postdoctoral Fellows:

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Alison Kell, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Kell is a senior postdoctoral fellow studying mechanisms by which RIG-I-like receptor activation drives RNA virus evolution. Alison completed her doctoral studies at the University of Washington modeling RNA virus fitness and superinfection using a rhabdovirus-salmonid natural host system. Currently investigating differential host responses to old world hantaviruses, emerging zoonotic RNA viruses, Dr. Kell aims to identify how innate immune evasion and antagonism impacts disease outcome and define how virus-host co-evolution directs these responses. When not at the bench, Dr. Kell is a UW Postdoc Association board member and active in organizing career development programs for postdocs at the UW Medicine research campus.
Amina Negash, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
 
Amy Stone, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Stone's primary research interest lies in the innate immune response to RNA viruses. In particular, the initial interactions between host cells and incoming virions. Her favorite approaches include a thorough examination of the cellular and molecular defenses utilized by immune and non-immune cells in response to viruses in order to define the initial, critical steps of host-pathogen interactions. The ideal end result of her translational research is to develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat RNA virus infections. Dr. Stone also have a keen interest in training. She has mentored undergraduate and high school students in her doctoral thesis lab that are currently pursuing careers in medicine and medical research. Additionally, she is currently the Program Leader of the Center for Innate Immunity and Immunological Diseases (CIIID) Education Core.
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
 
Justin Roby, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Roby is a Senior Fellow conducting innate immunity and virology research under the mentorship of Dr. Gale. Leveraging over 8 years’ experience in the field of flavivirus biology, Dr. Roby is currently investigating the mechanisms of West Nile virus and Zika virus inhibition of cellular JAK/STAT signaling and the implications for this antagonism in driving diseases such as microcephaly. A recent recipient of the prestigious Perkins Coie Award for Discovery, Dr. Roby hopes to continue working with these important human pathogens, exploring the selective pressures that direct virus quasispecies evolution and the development of virulence. A greater understanding of these processes will afford insight into potential drivers of viral emergence and may lead to better design of effective therapeutic interventions.
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.
Kwan Chow, Ph.D. email icon
Senior Fellow
Dr. Chow is a postdoctoral fellow conducting research on innate immune signaling during West Nile virus infection. Her work combines concepts and techniques from biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, virology, and high throughput technologies to dissect the molecular pathways that regulate antiviral response upon immune cell activation. Prior to joining the Gale lab, Dr. Chow obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from University of California, Berkeley. Her graduate work focused on gene regulation during B lymphocyte development and malignant transformation.
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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Aimee Sekine email icon
Research Scientist
 
Connor Driscoll, Ph.D. email icon
Bioinformaticist
Dr. Driscoll is a Data Analyst in Gale lab. He earned his PhD from the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University in 2016. There he employed various DNA sequencing technologies to study the genomics of toxic environmental bacteria and their associated viruses. During this time he obtained a skill set to analyze complex next-generation sequencing datasets, which he utilizes in collaboration with members of the Gale lab as well as cross-institutional researchers to help assess patterns in gene expression and the human microbiome associated with the innate immune system.
Elyse Dewey email icon
Research Scientist
Elyse is a research scientist in the Immunology Department at the University of Washington. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Biological Science and joined the Gale Lab in 2015. In the Gale Lab, Elyse is part of a collaborative research team working on determining how the immune system responds to Zika virus infection. Additionally, she studies PAMP-mediated activation of RIG-I signaling, and focuses on the role of novel RIG-I co-factors in these signaling pathways.
Elise Smith email icon
Research Scientist
 
Frank Fernandez email icon
IT Support
 
Jackie Berhorst email icon
Research Coordinator

 

Jean Chang email icon
Research Scientist
 
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
 
Lynn Law, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist
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.
Marian Fairgrieve email icon
Research Scientist
 
Megan I De La Riva email icon
Student Assistant
 
Megan Knoll email icon
Research Scientist
 
Michael Davis, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist
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.
Michelle Noval email icon
Research Scientist
 
Nanette Crochet email icon
Lab Manager
 
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.
Rich Green email icon
Senior Bioinformaticist
Richard Green began his career as an intern at Barlow Scientific, a small biotech company in Olympia Washington. In 1998 he joined the molecular cloning group at the HTSC (High Throughput Sequencing Center) in UW’s Department of Molecular Biotechnology run by Dr. Leroy Hood. During his time there the lab sequenced the rice genome and contributed to others (human, dog, and soybean). After completing his Masters in Bioinformatics in Boston he returned to Seattle and joined the University of Washington Medical Center and worked in Bioinformatics and Proteomics for Dr. Jay Heinecke until 2009 when he joined the department of Microbiology as a Computational Biologist. In 2015 he joined the lab of Dr. Michael Gale Jr.  in the department of Immunology and Center for Innate Immunity. Richard is interested in using computational methods to solve biological problems.  His research interests include: Genomics, Genetic Resource Populations (Collaborative Cross), Regression Modeling, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and High Performance Computing.
Sunil Thomas, Ph.D. email icon
Research Scientist
 
Tien-Ying Hsiang, Ph.D email icon
Research Scientitst