Graduate Student Directory
Box 103020 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Research interests: Infectious disease, immunology, informatics
I was born and raised in Singapore, a metropolitan tropical island just 85 miles north of the equator. For undergraduate studies, I went to Brown University in Providence, RI. There, I received a degree in Immunology, did an undergraduate thesis project tracking the evolution of HIV drug-resistance mutations, and experienced my first snowfall.
My research interest lies in host-pathogen interactions. I am concerned about the state of infectious diseases in the world today: drug-resistant strains of bacteria and parasites are rapidly becoming prevalent, and no effective vaccines are available for many important viruses such as HIV, influenza, and dengue virus. I believe that the answer to this problem is a robust understanding of both pathogen and the immune system. All pathogens have evolved methods to avoid the immune system in order to survive in their host, and understanding such virulence factors allow us to develop effective therapeutics that interfere with them to alter the balance in favor of the host. I am interested in applying both traditional as well as newer computational techniques to approach these issues.
I currently work in the Tomaras lab, where I am studying the viability of HIV after antibody-dependent phagocytosis (ADCP) by primary monocytes/macrophages. ADCP is one of several known non-neutralizing antibody-mediated responses, which have been shown to be important in preventing infection in human and non-human primate studies. However, the role of ADCP in such protection is unclear. Understanding whether ADCP is a dead-end pathway for the virion, or whether HIV can escape from phagolysosomes and contribute to further spread of infection will help us to determine if ADCP is a useful or detrimental response to be elicited as part of a vaccine response.
On the side, I enjoy reading (I am a big fan of Tolkien), and after hours you might find me lounging at home on the sofa with a book in one hand and my pet hedgehog on my lap.
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