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Team

Torres

Principal Investigator

C.V. Starr Professor of Microbiology

Director, Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens Program
 

KEY INTERESTS:
Staphylococcus aureus, AMR pathogens, pathogenesis, immune response to infection, polymicrobial infections, system biology of host-pathogen interactions, in vivo models of infection, macrophages, neutrophils, pore-forming toxins, toxin-cell interaction, regulation of virulence factors

 

Hometown: Rincón, Puerto Rico

Fun Fact: I love the beach

Víctor J. Torres

 

HONORS, ACADEMIC AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

1998-2000   

NIH-NIGMS: Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Scholar
1999             

NSF-Summer Research Training Program (University of Iowa)
1999/2003   

Hispanic Scholarship Fellow
2003             

American Society for Microbiology Corporate Partner Travel Grant Award
2003-2004   

NIH-NIGMS: Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship
2005             

Pre-doctoral Sidney P. Colowick Award (Outstanding research achievements in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)
2006-2008   

NIH-NIAID: Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship
2006 & 2008             

Collier Award for Outstanding Research at the Gordon Conference on Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity (Proctor Academy in Andover, NH)
2007             

Post-doctoral Sidney P. Colowick Award (Outstanding research achievements in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)
2007             

Best Research Award at the Gordon Conference on Staphylococcal Diseases (Les Diablerets, Switzerland)
2008             

Levi Watkins Jr., Student Award for Contributions in fostering opportunities for under-represented minorities in education and research (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)
2009             

NIH-NIAID: Research scholar development award (K22)
2009             

American Heart Association National Scientist Development Grant
2014             

Burroughs Wellcome Fund: Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases

2015-2017   

The Dean’s List, recognition for exceptional research contributions to NYU Langone Medical center

2016             

NYU SoM NextGen Stars lecture

2018             

Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award

2018             

NYU Langone Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award

2019            

C.V. Starr Endowed Professorship

2021           

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology

MacArthur Fellow

 

EDUCATION

1995−2000

Bachelor of Sciences: Concentration in Industrial Microbiology 

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus, Mayagüez, PR, U.S.A.

Mentor: Mildred Chaparro, Ph.D.

2000−2004

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Microbiology and Immunology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine,Nashville, TN, U.S.A. 

Mentor: Timothy L. Cover, M.D.

 

2005

Postdoctoral Fellow: Division of Infectious Diseases

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, U.S.A.

Mentor: Timothy L. Cover, M.D.

 

2006−2008

Postdoctoral Fellow: Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, U.S.A.

Mentor: Eric P. Skaar, Ph.D.

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2008: Assistant Professor of Microbiology
 

2014: Associate Professor of Microbiology

2019: C.V. Starr Associate Professor of Microbiology

2020: C.V. Starr Professor of Microbiology

2021: DirectorAntimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens Program

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    Exene Anderson

    Graduate Student

    Hometown: Tucson, AZ

     

    Education:

    B.S. - Microbiology and Molecular and Cellular Biology - University of Arizona 

    Project: I'm studying the expression of S. aureus leukotoxins in various organs during infection and how those genes are regulated. 

     

    Fun Fact: I was named after a punk rock singer

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    Ashley DuMont

    Senior Research Scientist

    Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

    Education:

    B.S. - Biology - Denison University 

    Ph.D. - Microbiology - New York University 

    Project:  I am working on developing a vaccine against S. aureus infections and I study the pathogenesis of multi-drug resistant  bacteria.

    Fun Fact: My artwork has been on the cover of Trends in Microbiology twice.

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      Juan Gago

      Graduate Student

      Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

       

      Education:

      M.D. - University of Buenos Aires

      M.P.H. - City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health

       

      Project: I am working on analyzing clinical and demographic characteristics of patients with COVID-19 and sepsis.

       

      Fun Fact: I traveled the Amazonian jungle by boat.

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        Sandra Gonzalaz

        Assistant Research Scientist

        Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia

         

        Education: 

        B.S. Microbiology - Universidad De Los Andes - Bogotá, Colombia

        M.S. Microbiology - Universidad De Los Andes - Bogotá, Colombia

        Project: I work on the host-pathogen interactions occurring during nosocomial MRSA pneumonia infections.

         

        Fun Fact: I like to dance salsa and cumbia.

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        Keenan Lacey

        Postdoctoral Fellow

        Hometown: Dublin, Ireland

         

        Education:

        B.A. - Microbiology - Trinity College Dublin.

        Ph.D. - Immunology - Trinity College Dublin.

        Project: I work on the host-pathogen interactions occurring during nosocomial MRSA pneumonia infections.

         

        Fun Fact: My grandfather was also a microbiologist and worked at the Guinness factory.

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        Anna O'Keeffe

        Research Associate

        Hometown: Dublin, Ireland

         

        Education:

        B.S. - Pharmacology - University College Dublin

        Project: I am working on developing new vaccines against S. aureus infections.

        Fun Fact: I love open-water swimming. 

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        Andrew Perault

        Postdoctoral Fellow

        Hometown: Big Sur, CA / Ann Arbor, MI

         

        Education:

        B.S. - Microbiology - University of Michigan

        MPH - Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology - University of Michigan

        Ph.D. - Microbiology and Immunology - University of North Carolina

        Project: I am studying virulence mechanisms used by the multi-drug resistant pathogen Enterobacter cloacae.

         

        Fun Fact: When I was a kid, the Dalai Lama gave me a stress ball as a gift (should I read into that?). 

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        Rachel Prescott

        Graduate Student

        Hometown: Hampden, ME

         

        Education:

        B.S. - Biochemistry - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

         

        Project: I study the interactions between Staphylococcus bacteria and Influenza viruses in a co-infection model.

        Fun Fact: I played the tuba in the WPI Marching Band! Go Tech! 

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          Francesca Serraino

          Research Associate

          Hometown: Yonkers, NY

           

          Education:

          B.S. - Biology - Stony Brook University  

           

          Project: : I am working on developing new vaccines against S. aureus infections.

          Fun Fact: I love to play the piano, and I was in an acapella group called the Pipettes!

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            Amelia St John

            Research Associate 

            Hometown: Scarborough, ME

             

            Education:

            B.S. - Microbiology - University of Maine

             

            Project: I am studying virulence mechanisms used by the multi-drug resistant pathogen Enterobacter cloacae.

            Fun Fact: I was on an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos.

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              Chunyi Zhou

              Postdoctoral Fellow

              Hometown:  Xinyang, Henan, China

               

              Education:

              M.D. - Clinical Medicine - Xinxiang Medical University

              Ph.D. - Microbiology - University of Nebraska Medical Center

              Project: I am working on the study of gastrointestinal tract colonization of CA-MRSA.

               

              Fun Fact: My hometown is famous for Xinyang Maojian tea.

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                Daiane Boff

                Postdoctoral Fellow

                Hometown: Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

                 

                Education:

                B.S. - Biomedicine - IESA

                M.S. - Biochemistry and immunology - Federal university of Minas Gerais

                PhD - Immunology - Federal University of Minas Gerais

                PhD - Microbiology and immunology - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

                Project: I am studying how S. aureus leukotoxins can target endothelial cells during infection.

                 

                Fun Fact: I love American football

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                  Sophie Dyzenhaus

                  Postdoctoral Fellow

                  Hometown: Toronto, Canada

                   

                  Education:

                  B.S. - Immunology - University of Toronto

                  Ph.D. - Microbiology - New York University

                   

                  Project: I work on virulence mechanisms of contemporary S. aureus clinical isolates from bloodstream infections.

                   

                  Fun Fact: My family moved a lot when I was younger, and by the time I was 8 I had lived on 4 different continents.

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                    Krystal Ching

                    Graduate Student

                    Hometown: Alameda, CA

                    Education:

                    B.A. - Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology - University of California, Berkeley

                    Project: Mechanisms of exosome secretion in response to infection.

                    Fun Fact: I love playing ultimate frisbee!

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                      Juliana Ilmain

                      Graduate Student

                      Hometown: San Ramon, CA

                       

                      Education:

                      B.S. - Biology - Purdue University

                      Project: I am studying the structure-function relationship of LukAB toxin diversity.

                      Fun Fact: My nails are always painted.

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                        Katerine Le

                        Research Fellow, Infectious Diseases

                        Hometown: Long Beach, CA

                         

                        Education:

                        B.A. - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – University of California, Berkeley

                        M.D. – Wake Forest University School of Medicine

                        Residency – Internal Medicine, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education

                        Fellowship – Infectious Diseases, New York University Grossman School of Medicine

                        Project: I am studying S. aureus infections of the spine

                         

                        Fun Fact: I enjoy collecting and caring for orchids

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                          Janet Olivas

                          Graduate Student

                          Hometown:  Cd Juárez, Mexico / El Paso, Texas

                           

                          Education:

                          B.S. - Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, University of Texas at El Paso

                          Project: I am working to understand the role of LukAB in S. aureus infection.

                          Fun Fact: I have a cosmetology license

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                          Adam Pickrum

                          Postdoctoral Fellow

                          Hometown: Chicago, IL

                           

                          Education:

                          B.S. - Microbiology - Grand Valley State University

                          Ph.D. - Microbiology and Immunology - Medical College of Wisconsin

                          Project: I am studying virulence mechanisms utilized by MRSA isolates during nosocomial infections.

                          Fun Fact: As a midwesterner, I enjoy the challenge of running in frigid cold temperatures.

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                            Avital Savin

                            Master's Student

                            Hometown: Athens, OH

                             

                            Education:

                            B.S. - Biological Sciences - Ohio University

                             

                            Project: : I am studying regulation of virulence factors, specifically leukotoxins, in S. aureus. 

                            Fun Fact: I really love to travel. So far I have visited 17 countries and I can't wait to visit more.

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                              Julia Sproch

                              Graduate Student

                              Hometown: Carlisle, PA

                               

                              Education:

                              B.S. - Biology - La Salle University 

                               

                              Project: : I am working on leukotoxin-receptor during S. aureus infection.

                              Fun Fact: My family owns a microbrewery so I know a lot about beer!

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                              Robert Ulrich

                              Instructor, Department of Medicine

                              Hometown: Commerce Twp, MI

                               

                              Education:

                              B.S. - Human Biology, Health and Society - Cornell University

                              M.D. - Medicine - NYU School of Medicine

                              Project: I am studying the mechanisms of prophage-mediated virulence driving community-acquired MRSA contagion.

                               

                              Fun Fact: I briefly toured as a drummer in an indie rock band. 

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                                Erin Zwack

                                Postdoctoral Fellow

                                Hometown: Oxford, CT

                                 

                                Education:

                                B.S. - Biology with a concentration in Genomics - Davidson College 

                                Ph.D. - Cellular and Molecular Biology - University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 

                                 

                                Project: Defining the toxin-dependent and toxin-independent S. aureus response of primary human phagocytes.

                                 

                                Fun Fact: Completed an 8-day, 100-mile hike in the Adirondacks.

                                Past Lab Members

                                Miranda Pawline - Research Associate (2020-2022)

                                Sofya Perelman, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2021)

                                Xuhui Zheng, PhD - Graduate Student (2016-2021)

                                Joseph Cooper Devlin, PhD - Graduate Student (2018-2021)

                                Matthew Keller, PhD - Graduate Student (2014-2020)

                                Will Sause, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2020)

                                Leena Kader - Research Associate (2018-2020)

                                Christa Emanuel - Administrative Assistant (2017-2020)

                                Kayan Tam, PhD - Graduate Student (2013-2020)

                                Kristina Boguslawski, PhD - MSTP student (2015-2019)

                                Irnov Irnov, PhD - Associate Research Scientist (2017-2019)

                                Rita Chan - Research Associate (2013-2019)

                                Marilyn Vasquez - SURP 2015, Research Associate (2016-2019)

                                Bianca Dunn - Research Associate (2017-2019)

                                Michael Lesser, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018)

                                Ashira Lubkin, PhD - MSTP student (2014-2019); Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2021)

                                Alexis Sommerfield - Research Associate (2015-2018)

                                Evelien Berends, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2018)

                                Lamia Harper, PhD - Graduate Student (2014-2018)

                                Aidan O'Malley - Research Associate (2013-2017)

                                David James, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2017)

                                Divya Balasubramanian, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2017)

                                Pauline Yoong, PhD - Associate Research Scientist (2011- 2015)

                                Elizabeth Ohneck, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015)

                                Tamara Reyes-Robles, PhD - Graduate Student (2011-2015)

                                Francis Alonzo, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2014)

                                Ashley DuMont, PhD - Graduate Student (2009-2013)

                                Meredith Benson, PhD - Graduate Student (2009-2013)

                                Amanda Smith - Research Associate (2009-2011)

                                Sarit Lilo, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2010)

                                Kevin Fabrizio, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2010)