Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Doug Kwon

Doug Kwon

Principal Investigator - dkwon@mgh.harvard.edu

Doug is a physician scientist at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Director of Clinical Operations at the Ragon Institute. He has a clinical practice in the division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his M.D. Ph.D. degrees from New York University and then underwent Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He then completed his training in the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Disease fellowship program.

Björn Corleis

Björn Corleis

Senior Research Scientist - bcorleis@mgh.harvard.edu

Björn is a Research Fellow at the Ragon Institute with an interest in mucosal immunology and HIV/TB co-infection. He received his Master in Immunology from the University of Freiburg (Germany) and finished his master studies at the University of Cambridge (UK) with a project on B cell development and British pubs. He obtained a PhD in Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine working on the Interaction of human neutrophils and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (quote: “Neutrophils are super cool!”). Bjorn grew up in Northern Germany and has educated the Kwon Lab in soccer and the famous German pirate Stortebecker since January 2012.

Amy Dickey

Amy Dickey

Postdoctoral Fellow - adickey@mgh.harvard.edu

Amy is a pulmonary and critical care fellow in the MGH/BIDMC combined program who started as a research fellow in the Kwon lab April 2016. She received a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and an MSc in cell biology and MD from Vanderbilt University. After medical school, she moved to Seattle to train in internal medicine at the University of Washington, before coming to Boston for her fellowship. In the Kwon lab, she is studying the airway-specific immune interaction between HIV and TB. Her interest in TB stems from her experiences growing up in China and Taiwan, before moving to the US for college. She enjoys travelling, reading, playing the piano, and warm weather.

Seth Bloom

Seth Bloom

Postdoctoral Fellow - sbloom@mgh.harvard.edu

Seth joined the Kwon Lab in July 2016. He is an Infectious Diseases fellow in the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital program. He earned a BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2004, performing his undergraduate thesis work on influenza virus. Seth stayed at Washington University for his MD/PhD training and Internal Medicine residency, focusing his research on the role of commensal intestinal bacteria in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. In the Kwon lab, his current work involves understanding interactions between bacterial microbiota and mucosal lymphocytes in the female genital tract, with a focus on how these interactions may influence risk of primary HIV infection. Outside of the lab, Seth enjoys running, hiking, spending time with family, and international travel.

Matt Hayward

Matt Hayward

Postdoctoral Fellow - mhayward2@mgh.harvard.edu

Matt proudly joined the Kwon lab as a Research Fellow in October 2017 to investigate the interplay between commensal microbes and tissues of the vagina in relation to HIV acquisition. From studying enteric pathogen, Salmonella enterica for his PhD, to elucidating the role of microbial communities in human health and disease for his first postdoc, Matt has maintained a focus on the microscopic. With extensive experience in both the wet-lab and dry-lab environments he has developed both pipetter’s shoulder and programmer’s slouch. In 2015, Matt was the lucky recipient of a Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue a project at EMBL Heidelberg with Prof Peer Bork on the relationship between the commensal microbes of the human gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer development. In his free time Matt can be found either pumping iron in the gym or with his nose stuck in a musty old book.

Abby Schiff

Abby Schiff

Graduate Student - aschiff@mgh.harvard.edu

Abby is an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School. She received her A.B. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard College, and then worked at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York for a year before starting back up again at Harvard. She is from Brookline, MA and is a true local. She loves singing, activism, and traveling, and you can ask her about her year studying art history in Paris. She started in the lab in June 2013, and is working on a project to characterize the immune response in the lung in the setting of HIV-TB coinfection.

Justin Rice

Justin Rice

Graduate Student - jrice@mgh.harvard.edu

Justin is a second-year student at Harvard Medical School. Before arriving in Cambridge, he completed a BSc in engineering at Cornell University, a PhD in linear algebra at TU Delft in the Netherlands, and a post-doc in neuroscience at CUNY in NYC, followed by stints weighing babies in Honduras, building prosthetic legs in Bolivia, and managing a non-profit in Laos. In the Kwon lab, he is studying the effects of bacteria on genital tract inflammation and HIV susceptibility. In his spare time, Justin enjoys running, dancing, vacuuming, and making flash-cards that he never uses.

Crystal Rawlings

Crystal Rawlings

Graduate Student - crawlings@mgh.harvard.edu

Crystal is a graduate student in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard Medical School and officially started biking to the Kwon Lab in September 2012. Prior to moving to Boston, she experimented at the Benaroya Research Institute in her hometown of Seattle and coached swim team in the off hours. She received her BS from University of Washington, where she studied biology, with a side of chemistry and a generous helping of varsity swimming. In addition to her continued tendencies toward water, Crystal almost never sits down and can conjure restaurant recommendations at will.

David Gootenberg

David Gootenberg

Graduate Student - dgootenberg@mgh.harvard.edu

David is an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. He received his A.B. in Chemical and Physical Biology from Harvard College. As an undergraduate, David worked in Peter Turnbaugh’s lab at the FAS Center for Systems Biology studying the interactions between diet, xenobiotics, and the gut microbiota. After graduating, he continued working in the Turnbaugh lab for a year and is proud to note that he is a “published poop researcher.” If you ask him, he will assure you that it is just as glamorous as it sounds. David joined the Kwon Lab in January 2014 and is interested in the interaction between the immune system, gut epithelium, and gut microbial community, and how this relationship changes during HIV infection and across different geographic locations.

Meaghan Flagg

Meaghan Flagg

Graduate Student - mflagg@mgh.harvard.edu

Meaghan received her B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013. She completed her undergraduate thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Rui Yi, focusing on micro RNA regulation of stress responses, including viral infection, in mouse epidermis. She then entered the Ph.D Program in Virology at Harvard University, where she joined the Kwon lab in the summer of 2014. She is interested in the role of epithelial cells during the immune response against HIV at mucosal surfaces.

Alex Munoz

Alex Munoz

Undergraduate Student - armunoz@mgh.harvard.edu

Alex joined the Kwon Laboratory as an undergraduate in the summer of 2017. He will graduate from Harvard College this May with an A.B. in Applied Mathematics and a secondary in Computer Science. Next year, Alex will be matriculating to medical school to pursue an M.D. Alex is interested in the longitudinal dynamics of female genital tract bacteria, and the computational modeling of these dynamics. Outside of lab, Alex enjoys running, spinning, and complaining about Boston weather.

Allison Yan

Allison Yan

Undergraduate Student - apyan@mgh.harvard.edu

Allison is a junior at Harvard College studying Molecular and Cellular Biology. She joined the Kwon lab in August 2017 and is interested in the effects of smoking on the immune response of monocyte-derived macrophages against tuberculosis. When not asking the lung group questions, Allison can usually be found going to spin classes or hunting for the best brunch restaurant in Boston.

Zoe Rogers

Zoe Rogers

Clinical Research Coordinator - zrogers@mgh.harvard.edu

Zoe joined the Kwon Lab as a Clinical Research Coordinator in May 2016.  With a BSc in International Health from the University of New Hampshire, she worked in various research and clinical settings in Boston and Durban, South Africa where she helped set up an acute HIV cohort and characterize the pharmacokinetics of TB treatment in children to optimize dosing. She most recently worked as a patient advocate in a surgical oncology practice at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In the Kwon lab, she will introduce patients to the mucosal research platform and help launch a new fecal transplant study. Outside the lab, Zoe enjoys woodworking, baking, soccer, bocce, and biking.

Mara Farcasanu

Mara Farcasanu

Research Technician - mfarcasanu@mgh.harvard.edu

Mara joined the Kwon lab as a research technician in July 2015. She received a B.S. in the Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago where she applied synthetic antibody engineering technology to design pathogen-specific therapeutic agents, focusing on anthrax toxins. Mara spends much of her spare time outdoors on walks, hikes, and other mini adventures but also loves a good zumba class and is an ardent follower of the Daily Show.

Timothy Musoke

Timothy Musoke

Research Technician - tmusoke@mgh.harvard.edu

Timothy joined the Kwon lab as a technician in July 2017. He graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he completed his undergraduate thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Alexey Veraksa, studying the regulation of cell signaling pathways in fruit flies. He grew up in Kampala, Uganda, and moved to the US to pursue his undergraduate studies. He also spent time working in the laboratories of various hospitals while in Uganda. He enjoys soccer, reading novels, and learning new languages.

Alice Linder

Alice Linder

Research Technician - ahlinder@mgh.harvard.edu

Alice joined the Kwon Lab as a Research Technician in June 2017 after graduating from Harvard College with an A.B. in Integrative Biology. She is originally from Corrales, NM and likes to spend her spare time listening to podcasts, wandering the Emerald Necklace, or heading north to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She hopes ultimately to pursue an MD, focusing on Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. Within the lab, she works with the lab’s lung group.

Nomfuneko Mafunda

Nomfuneko Mafunda

Research Technician - nmafunda@mgh.harvard.edu

Nomfuneko is a research technician in the Kwon Lab. She graduated from Smith College in 2017 with an A.B. in Chemistry. She is from Botswana. On her free time you can catch her cooking, at the gym or watching her favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy. She joined the Kwon Lab in October 2017.

Candace Gregg

Candace Gregg

Staff Assistant - cgregg@mgh.harvard.edu

Candace joined the Kwon Lab as Staff Assistant in July 2017. Prior to working with the lab, she studied cultural anthropology at UCLA and worked with the 5 Gyres Institute, an environmental non-profit focused on the crisis of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Originally from the Rocky Mountains, Candace loves to explore New England by car, bike and foot, and can often be found reading a good book or baking the world’s most delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Kwon Lab – South Africa

Sinaye Ngcapu

Sinaye Ngcapu

Postdoctoral Fellow - sinaye.ngcapu@caprisa.org

Dr Sinaye Ngcapu, is a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Drs Douglas Kwon, JoAnn Passmore and Quarraisha Abdool Karim at CAPRISA Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Durban, South Africa. He is also an honorary lecturer at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  Sinaye’s main research focuses are on characterizing the earliest immune responses and the potential mucosal risk factors involved in susceptibility and protection to HIV infection in the genital mucosa. In collaboration with Dr Kwon, Sinaye aims to understand the composition of bacterial species in young women of different ethnic groups in South Africa and characterize the connection between vaginal microbiome, endogenous reproductive hormones, genital inflammation and risk of HIV acquisition. In his spare time, he spends time with family, watch movies and he is the best couch coach ever produced by science.

Nondumiso Xulu

Nondumiso Xulu

Research Technician - nxulu@mgh.harvard.edu

Nondumiso is in the South African branch of the Kwon Lab and HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) which she joined in October 2016. She has always been passionate about science, and after her Matric she enrolled for BSc. Microbiology (University of Zululand, Kwa-Dlangezwa, South Africa). After completion of her undergraduate degree, she went on to enroll for postgraduate studies with a Bachelor of Medical Science Honours and Master Of Medical Science (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, South Africa). Her research projects focused on the characterization Chlamydia trachomatis inclusions as well as the identification and characterization of a novel toxin produced by some serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis. In the Kwon Lab, Nondumiso focuses on processing cytobrush and PBMC samples, flow cytometry and cell sorting. For fun, she enjoys dancing and watching football (soccer).

Kendall Jackson

Kendall Jackson

Postbac Research Fellow - krjackson@mgh.harvard.edu

Kendall joined the Kwon Laboratory in the summer of 2015 as an undergraduate student. She graduated from Harvard College in May 2017 with an A.B. in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and minor in Global Health and Health Policy, and hopes to ultimately pursue an MD. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate research fellowship in Durban, South Africa and is working with the FRESH cohort to develop and implement new sub-studies. In her spare time, Kendall can be found reading, cooking, exploring South Africa, and hopefully in 2018, learning to surf.

Boomer

Boomer

Honorary Kwon Lab Member - boomer@kwonlab.org

Boomer joined the Kwon Lab in the fall of 2014. He has advanced degrees in squirrel chasing and table scrap eating. Although technically banned from the bench, he continues to assist with computational projects and advises graduate students on how to successfully deal with the stresses of completing a Ph.D.