Post-doctoral FellowShaowen hails from the University of Iowa, where he did his graduate thesis research with Richard Roller. Shaowen defined how Herpes Simplex virus organizes host cell cytoplasmic membranes to form a viral assembly center in neuronal cells. As you can see from his photo, he is a person of many interests!
Clarisel is a summer research intern participating in the Brigham & Women’s Division of Infectious disease Brigham Research in Infectious Disease and Global Engagement (BRIDGE) program. The Bridge program is an 8-week summer fellowship program that provides development in clinical and basic research skills in the field of infectious diseases, building a bridge to careers in medicine, public health, infectious disease research, and administration. The long-term goal is to assist underrepresented persons in building essential skills for their future careers.
Clarisel received a B.A from the University of North Carolina, where amongst her many research experiences she investigated the role of Microtubule Acetylation during Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and analyzed fluid dynamics in viral transmission from human expiratory activities. Clarisel is working closely with post-doctoral fellow Laura Murray-Nerger to characterize a novel host factor in control of the EBV lytic switch.
Postdoctoral FellowYizhe completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Peeking University. His PhD in Pathology was entitled, "Study on the function of the phosphatase PTENα in tumor immune escape". Yizhe is studying EBV/host interactions, including roles of innate and adaptive immunity in control of EBV-transformed B-cells and the molecular mechanism by which particular human immunodeficiencies cause susceptibility to particular aspects of EBV pathogenesis.
Graduate StudentZhixuan is a visiting graduate student from Sun-Yat Sen University of Medical Sciences. Zhxiaun is using inducible degron systems to characterize key host proteins that control the EBV lytic switch, including their roles in 3D EBV genomic reorganization to drive immediate early lytic gene expression upon immunoglobulin receptor cross-linking.
Nina received a BS Biological Sciences and a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Maryland. She then moved to the Midwest to pursue a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Genomics at Washington University in St. Louis. Her doctoral studies with Jacqueline Payton and Daisy Leung used ChIP-seq, biochemical and informatic approaches to characterize human respiratory syncytial virus non-structural protein NS1 nuclear roles in modulation of gene transcription.
Brenda Piedras Iturbide
Technical Research Associate
Brenda joined the Gewurz lab in 2021 after recently graduating from Trinity College with a double major in Biology and Public Policy & Law. Brenda pursued her undergraduate research in the Toscano lab at Trinity, where she focused on invertabrate ecology.
Yin did her doctoral studies at Kansas State in Pathobiology with Dr. Jianfa Bai. Yin’s studies focused on developing novel assays for detection of emerging viruses, including African swine fever virus, Seneca valley virus 1 and foot-and-mouth disease virus. She characterized genetic diversity of emergine porcine circoviruses. She also characterized genome diversity and field detection of the nidovirus porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Yin’s work lead to the development of novel diagnostic tests currently in use.
Laura joins us following her PhD studies at Princeton, where she studied human cytomegalovirus in the lab of Ileana Cristea. Laura used whole cell proteomic profiling to characterize roles of protein acetylation in host defense and HCMV replication and characterized roles of lamin B1 acetylation. She also studied the temporal dynamics of complex formation during HCMV infection.
Yifei joins us after completing PhD studies with Sanjay Reddy and Blanca Lupiani at Texas A&M. Yifei’s doctoral studies focused on the alpha-herpesvirus Marek’s Disease Virus, an important avian tumor virus. Yifei studied roles of the US3 kinase, the MEQ oncoprotein and miRNAs.
Eshaani did her doctoral studies in virology with Dr. Haitao Guo at University of Indiana and subsequently at University of Pittsburgh studying Hepatitis B virus (HBV) host/pathogen interactions. Eshaani found that HBV precore protein p22 inhibits alpha interferon signaling by blocking stat nuclear translocation. In the Gewurz lab, Eshaani is study the EBV oncoprotein LMP1, which mimics signaling from activated CD40 receptors. Eshaani is studying the long-standing question of why signaling from two LMP1 cytoplasmic tail domains are each necessary for EBV-mediated B-cell transformation into immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines, a key model for post-transplant and AIDS-associated lymphomas. Check out this Brigham Research News piece by Eshaani:
Third Year HMS Virology Graduate Student (G3)
Prior to matriculating in the Harvard Graduate Program in Virology, Stephanie did research in Alan Chiang’s laboratory on EBV lytic reactivation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Stephanie is pursuing proteomic analyses of EBV host-pathogen interactions and studying a novel innate immune pathway subverted by EBV in newly infected B-cells and cells undergoing lytic replication.
Eric Burton, PhD
Eric Burton received his PhD from Stonybrook University. Eric’s doctoral research with Sumita Bhaduri-McIntosh focused on host pathogen interactions that regulate the EBV lytic cycle. Eric identified that EBV exploits several inflammasome sensors to activate the lytic cycle, in particular the NLRP3 inflammasome. He also identified host repressors important for the maintenance of EBV latency.
Rui Guo, PhD
Rui Guo received his PhD from Kansas State, where his thesis research with Ying Fan focused on procine reproductive and respiratory virus syndrome host/pathogen interactions. He discovered that PRSSV uses nanotubes for intracellular spread, that nanotubes also transfer mitochondria between nearby and infected cells, and that PRSSV RNA persists in germinal centers during persistent infection.
Benjamin Gewurz, MD, PhD
Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @BenGewurz. Associate Professor of Medicine.
Ben graduated from Stanford University with as B.S. in Biological Sciences. As an undergraduate, he used bacterial genetic screens and the first whole genome sequence of a living organism to study bacterial pathogenesis of Haemophilus influenzae with Drs. Stanley Falkow and Richard Moxon. He received a Stanford Firestone Medal for his thesis research.
Ben then received MD-PhD training at Harvard Medical School and MIT. His thesis studies with Hidde Ploegh and Don Wiley focused on human cytomegalovirus evasion of the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway. He solved the crystal structure of the US2/HLA-A2/Tax peptide complex at 2.2A resolution in collaboration with Rachelle Gaudet, the first atomic structure of a virus-encoded immune-evasin together with its host cell target. His thesis research was recognized by the Harvard Modell prize.
Ben trained in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and in infectious diseases at the Brigham & Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals, Harvard Medical School. His post-doctoral studies with Elliott Kieff focused on Epstein-Barr virus oncoprotein LMP1-mediated canonical NF-kB pathway activation. He performed the first siRNA screen of the canonical LMP1/NF-kB pathway and identified LMP1 genome-wide canonical NF-kB targets.
Ben began his independent laboratory at the Brigham & Women’s in 2012. His research has been supported by the the NIH, a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Medical Sciences, an American Cancer Society Research Scholarship, the Starr Cancer foundation, the Grunebaum Foundation, and the Harvard Catalyst. He has been awarded the Jeffrey Modell Prize for Harvard Graduate Program in Immunology best thesis, the Thaler Award for Research in Immunocompromised Patients, the Finland Award for Excellence in Research, the Kass Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine, the International Herpesvirus Workshop Priscilla Schaffer Memorial Award and a Chair’s Research Award. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2020. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2021.
Ben enjoys teaching, and received a Derek Bok teaching award for undergraduate education in immunology. He is the Associate Chair of the Harvard Virology graduate program (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/virology/), and teaches in several virology program courses, including as the course director of Virology 201, “Current Topics in Virology”. He is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a member of the Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center, and is on the advisory boards for the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD and Health Sciences and Technology programs and on the Harvard Division of Medical Sciences Standing Committee on Higher Degrees in Medical Sciences. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Virology and of Tumor Virology, and is a PLoS Pathogens Associate Editor. He is a Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He is a standing member of the NIH HIV Coinfection and Cancer (HCAC) study section. He attends on the Brigham & Women’s and Dana Farber Immunocompromised Host infectious disease inpatient consult service.
Harvard Virology Program Group Photo