Lab Alumni

Melis Anahtar |

Melis is in her final year of the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School. She received her S.B. in mechanical engineering from MIT, then hopped across the pond to get some thymic education and an MSc in immunology from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Immunology in the Kwon Lab in May 2015, focused on understanding the role of the cervicovaginal microbiome and hormonal contraceptives on HIV acquisition risk in women. She is now developing a sequencing-based clinical diagnostic for bacterial infections. In her free time, Melis enjoys café hopping in Cambridge, preferably with a MinION in her backpack (just in case!)

Antonella Lisanti |


Antonella joined the Kwon Lab as a research technician in 2013, where she worked on projects with the lab’s lung group for three years. She received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University where she worked on induced pluripotent stem cell research as well as public health projects in Uganda, Cameroon, and Ecuador. Antonella took a brief hiatus from science to teach high school with Teach for America before coming to the Kwon Lab. She is now an MPH student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is working on a master’s thesis in the lab to quantify rates of intimate partner violence and intravaginal cleansing practices in the FRESH cohort. In her spare time, Antonella enjoys volunteering, baking, arts and crafts, and playing with her 600 cats.


Brittany Bowman | 


Brittany is a research technician in the Kwon Lab. She graduated from Yale University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is from West Grove, PA and rowed with an Olympic gold medalist while she was a member of the Yale Women’s Crew team. She joined the Kwon Lab in September 2012.

Jeffrey Paer |


Jeff joined the Kwon Lab as a technician in 2015 soon after receiving a B.A. in biology from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. He witnessed firsthand the crippling effects of HIV and other infectious diseases while volunteering in a Tanzanian hospital in 2014, and was inspired to study the topic of antibiotic resistance for his Honors Thesis research upon his return stateside. At this point in his early academic career, he dreams of earning an MD-PhD with the ultimate goal of becoming an infectious disease physician and researcher. He is also an avid guitarist and composer, and is especially interested in jazz and improvisation. In addition to biology and music, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and traveling.

Taufiqur Bhuiyan


Taufiq was a research fellow of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Division of Infectious Diseases. After completing M.Sc from University of Dhaka in Microbiology, he did his PhD from University of Gothenburg, Sweden to study humoral and cellular immune responses to Helicobacter pylori. He worked on functional T and B cell studies in understanding the immunological basis of cholera infections in Bangladesh and related to protection. He joined MGH (Edward T Ryan, Stephen B Calderwood, Jason B Harris) and the Kwon Lab (Douglas S Kwon) in July 2014 and his main research interests focused on the characterization of antigen specific single cells in blood and mucosa to better understand cholera pathology by using nanotechnology.

Elizabeth Byrne


Elizabeth was an undergraduate at Harvard studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. In the Kwon Lab she was interested in understanding how the microbiota of the female genital tract interact with the immune system. She is currently a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Sarah Moore


Sarah was a clinical fellow of Infectious Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, where she studied biochemistry and received her MD from University of Utah School of Medicine. She grew up in Saint George, Utah. She spent two years in Gabon, Central Africa habituating/studying western lowland gorillas for conservation/ecotourism prior to pursuing her medical studies. She enjoys listening to live jazz music and traveling. She joined the Kwon Lab in September 2012 and her research interests focus was on phylogenetic analysis of HIV in order to better understand disease pathology. She is currently working as a clinical attending in Infectious Diseases.

Greg Olson


Greg joined the Kwon Lab as a technician in June 2012. He received a BA in Classics and a BS in Immunology from Brown University, where he wrote his thesis on the role of NFκB signaling pathways in the mosquito immune response. After throwing that cap in the air, he changed hats to work for Google, Inc in Cambridge, MA before returning to the welcoming arms of science. He is currently enjoying the quiet beauty of winter camping, the wonder and awe of mountain summits, and the sound and mystery of the wind as an M.D. Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Kate Doherty


Kate is a native of Dallas, Texas and graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in medical humanities and Spanish language. She continued on at Vanderbilt for medical school and graduated in 2015. Kate was awarded an HHMI Medical Research Fellowship and spent a year living and working in the beautiful coastal city of Durban, South Africa at the Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV. She was working with the FRESH project (Females Rising through Education, Support and Health) to study the determinants of vaginal mucosal immunity in young, high-risk South African women that may predispose them to acquiring HIV. The project paralleled with her interest in women’s health. Whether in Nashville or Durban, Kate enjoys hunting for treasures at thrift shops, checking out local dive restaurants and romping in the wilderness. She is currently a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Brown School of Medicine.

Diana Jeang


Diana was a summer student in the Kwon Lab and an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Molecular and Cellular Biology and French. Diana sings opera as a voice minor student at the Peabody Conservatory and keeps busy as a resident advisor to freshmen at Hopkins. In Boston, Diana enjoys exploring the city with Back on My Feet, a running group that runs with and promotes the self-sufficiency of residents of local homeless shelters. She is currently a medical student at Brown University.

Kendall Jackson


Kendall joined the Kwon Laboratory for the summer of 2015 and conducted research on how HIV affects the gut microbiome. She is now a senior at Harvard College studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology; she hopes to pursue an MD/Ph.D post college.

Jesús Luévano


Jesús-Mario (aka JM), joined the Kwon Lab in 2014. His research focused on lumenal shifts in the human gut microbiome in the context of different stages of HIV infection. He received his A.B. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard College, where his undergraduate research involved the study of the gut microbiome in the context of genetics and obesity in mouse models. JM is currently a third year medical student at Harvard Medical School, part of the joint HMS-MIT Health Science and Technology Program.

Nikita Padavattan 

Nikita_Lab Photos

Nikita joined HPP and the Kwon Lab team in 2014. She conducted her masters studies at the HIV Pathogenesis Programme at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. She obtained her BSc degree and Bachelor of Medical Science honors degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Thereafter she completed an internship at the South African Medical Research Council.