Lauren O'Donnell, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator
Lauren obtained her BS in Agriculture at the University of Delaware, where she started her virology research in the lab of Dr. Carl Schmidt studying Marek's Disease Virus. She studied HIV pathogenesis while getting her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied neuroimmunology in her postdoc at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. Today, Lauren studies how viral infections alter the course of brain development in her laboratory at Duquesne University and teaches pharmacy students about infectious diseases and immunizations. Lauren's Duquesne faculty site can be found here: https://www.duq.edu/academics/faculty/lauren-odonnell
Manisha Chandwani - Graduate Student
Manisha obtained her Bachelors of Pharmacy degree from Principal K.M. Kundnani College of Pharmacy in 2015. She worked for a year as a case processor in the pharmacovigilance department at Tata Consultancy Services assessing post-marketing adverse effects of drugs. In the O’Donnell lab, Manisha is studying the effects of the anti-viral immune response on NSPC fate and activity in adult mice. In her spare time Manisha likes to read, watch Netflix, and spend time with her cat (Coffee).
Yashika Kamte - Graduate Student
Yashika obtained her B.Pharm. from S.N.D.T Womens' University in Mumbai, India. Her undergraduate research was with natural products. She studied the anti-inflammatory activity of Annaacrdium occidentale and studied compounds such as Mentha piperita, Nigella sativum, Emblica officinalis and Zingiber officinale and their effects on intestinal motility. In the O'Donnell Lab, Yashika is interested in understanding how the antiviral immune response may affect the differentiation of neural stem cells into specific neuronal sub-types. In her free time, Yashika enjoys dancing and reading.
Abigail Dunphy - Undergraduate Researcher
Abby is a Pharmacy major with interests in infectious disease and clinical pharmacology. She has been working in the O’Donnell lab since the beginning of 2017. Her current research focuses on the impact of IFNy treatments on murine neurospheres in the embryonic and neonatal stages of development.
Patrick Creisher - Undergraduate Researcher
Patrick is a Pharmacy major with a strong interest in Virology and Immunology. He joined the O'Donnell Lab in the summer of 2017 and has worked in the lab since. His research involves understanding the canonical signaling pathway of interferon gamma and how it may participate in age-dependent survival differences of measles infected CD46+ mice. Patrick will be joining the PhD program at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the Fall of 2019!
Mika Cadiz - Undergraduate Researcher
Mika is a junior at the University of Minnesota - Morris, where she studies biology with a molecular and cellular focus. She joined the O'Donnell lab in the Summer 2018 as a Neurodegenerative Undergraduate Research Experience fellow. Her research interests are in neuroimmunology, particularly of prion diseases. She has previously worked in an immunology lab, on cytokine production in response to Echinacea purpurea, and in a chemistry lab, on metal organic frameworks as a tool for analyzing amyloid beta. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing fiction, and listening to podcasts.
Mika will be entering the Neuroscience PhD program at the Mayo Clinic in Fall 2019!
Apurva Kulkarni - PhD student
Apurva received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pune, India. He came to the USA in 2009 to pursue a Master’s degree in Pharmacology from Northeastern University, before coming to Duquesne in 2012 for his PhD.
"My initial experience in research during my masters degree encouraged me to pursue a Ph.D. I started working under the Dr. O’Donnell’s mentorship in 2012 to study the effects of anti-viral immune response on brain development. I was always intrigued by stem cells. Therefore, my research focused on understanding how the immune response alters cell cycle and the implications on neural stem cell proliferation and fate. Post-graduation, I began working at Takeda Vaccines with the Discovery group that is currently developing the first vaccine against Norovirus infections (winter vomiting bug). I am leading the effort to develop a 3D cell culture model to understand viral replication and anti-norovirus responses in humans. "
Priya Ganesan - PhD student
Priya obtained her BS in Pharmacy from CU Shah College of Pharmacy, Mumbai, India. In the O'Donnell lab, her research focused on identifying the deficits in the neonatal immune response during a CNS measles infection. She studied the role of adaptive immunity and IFNg in the neonatal CNS. After graduation, Priya was a postdoctoral fellow at SRI International, developing novel engineered T-cell therapies for the treatment of ovarian cancer and viral infections. She is currently a Research Scientist at Teneobio, Inc. In her spare time, Priya loves reading fiction and watching Netflix.