Jose grew up in a Spanish household within the Boston area, circling the perimeter with high school in Framingham, MA, college at Tufts University, and graduate studies in the Harvard Immunology program. During his undergraduate, Jose worked in human immunology labs at Biogen Idec, University College London, and Children's Hospital Boston, where he focused on monogenic immune deficiencies. For his PhD work, Jose trained with Uli von Andrian, studying how the nervous system and the immune system function together as the principal sensory interfaces between the internal and external environments.Due to his problem of reading a lot, having ignored epithelial cells, and wanting to return to the human system, he decided to take the plunge into the field of single cell genomics to be able to work on all cell types, all the time. As a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Alex K. Shalek at MIT, the Broad, and the Ragon Institute, he began charting maps of human gut and airway, and discovered how human stem cells can be shaped by, and remember, inflammation. He was supported by a great team of undergraduate students, graduate students, and technicians.
Joint Postdoctoral Fellow, Ordovas-Montanes and von Andrian Labs
Sam is a joint Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ordovas-Montanes and von Andrian (HMS) labs interested in studying immune memory to viral infections at barrier tissues. Focusing on the upper respiratory tract, Sam's research aims to characterize and functionally test epigenetic and metabolic mechanisms of trained immunity capable of protecting against viral infection. After attending grades K-12 across four different states, Sam completed his B.A. at Columbia University, and graduate studies in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. Majoring in Chemical Physics at Columbia, his research applied non-linear spectroscopy to study enzyme-DNA and small-molecule-DNA interactions. At MIT and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, he trained with Alex Shalek, adapting low-input bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing technologies for acute HIV infection samples to study longitudinal immune dynamics during the earliest stages of HIV disease. He plans to build on his interests in dynamic immune responses and the roles innate immune cells therein during his Postdoctoral Fellowship. Outside lab, Sam brews beer for friends and family, plays and hosts weekly bar trivia, and sits on the board of a science & technology summer camp.
Graduate Student, Harvard-MIT HST Program
Amanda is a graduate student in the lab. Returning to the Greater Boston Area, where she grew up, from the University of Rochester (U of R) with a degree in biomedical engineering, she is pursuing a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics through the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. At the U of R, Amanda also concentrated in cell and tissue engineering and minored in computational biology. She worked in David Dean’s lab at the U of R Medical Center, researching the safety of in vivo gene delivery via electroporation and the specificity of nuclear localization sequences. During the summers of 2017 and 2018, Amanda worked in George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical School. In summer 2017 – as a Harvard-Amgen Scholar – she researched how cancer cells can be selectively killed by inducing synthetic lethal mutations into them using CRISPR. In summer 2018 – as an intern – she evaluated whether base editors that avoid nicking DNA can increase the survival of highly edited cells.As a graduate student, Amanda is interested in applying her experience with genetic engineering, in combination with new computational and wet lab methods, to understand the mechanisms behind food allergies and autoimmune diseases better and ultimately create therapies for them. Beyond the lab, Amanda enjoys singing, dancing, writing poetry, composing music, and going for long walks.