Principal Investigator

Shirit Einav

 

I received a M.D. from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. I did residency in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School) followed by fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford. I then pursued a research postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford (mentors: Dr. Jeffrey Glenn and Dr. Stephen Quake). I joined the faculty at Stanford in Sept 2011. 

Current Members

(alphabetical order by last name)

Siavash Azari - Postdoctoral Fellow

My master’s thesis at Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in Qazvin, Iran, was on a modified derivative of rotavirus toxin NSP4 as a candidate for vaccine production. My PhD dissertation at The Ohio State University was focused on the role of fetal placental macrophages in mother-to-fetus transmission of listeriosis. I joined the Einav lab in September 2021. The focus of my research is on developing novel, selective inhibitors of the Numb-Associated Kinases (NAK) as broad-spectrum antivirals. These inhibitors are potent against multiple unrelated viruses which our lab has shown rely on members of the NAK family for effective replication, including dengue virus (DENV), Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV) and SARS-CoV2. I am also interested in discovering novel substrates of NAKs and better characterizing the signaling pathways they regulate in cell biology and viral infection.  I enjoy doing translational research that can be used as a stepping stone toward development of therapeutics to battle human diseases. My hobbies are: Learning foreign languages, cooking, traveling, exploring food from different cultures, and inventing new cocktails with tequila!

Fun fact: To do research at Stanford, I moved by driving 2,500 miles across the country from Columbus, Ohio to San Jose, California, and had the greatest road trip of my life!

Verónica Durán - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I obtained my Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology at the Hannover Medical School, Germany, where I studied innovative drug delivery systems targeting human immune cells. I hold an M.Sc in Molecular Bioengineering from the Technical University Dresden, Germany and a B.Sc in Microbiology from the University of The Andes, Colombia. My research at the Einav lab focuses on understanding host factors involved in the immune response to Dengue virus (DENV) and how they determine disease presentation and severity. The work relies on PBMC and serum samples derived from a large (>500 patients) cohort of dengue patients that the Einav lab has established in Colombia. Veronica’s longer-term goal is to validate candidate biomarkers to predict progression to severe dengue for the development of molecular prognostic assays as well as new preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Luca Ghita - Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my PhD in immunology from Hannover Medical School in Germany, while being enrolled in the “infection biology and dynamics of host pathogens interaction” international program. During my PhD at the Twincore Center for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, I studied the mechanisms regulating innate and adaptive immunity within central nervous system (CNS) resident cells upon infection with neurotropic viruses. I joined the Einav lab in November 2020, and I have been investigating antiviral mechanism and viral-host interactions during the course of infection with arboviruses, including DENV and ZIKV. My work involves the use of single cells transcriptomic tools as well as functional and immunological tools to characterize the roles of specific alterations in immune functions and their impact in disease pathogenesis. I am also involved in developing and studying broad-spectrum antiviral molecules and their molecular mechanisms to fight against emerging viral infections.

Marwah Karim - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I received my PhD in virology from Institut Pasteur, Paris after being awarded an “INSPIRE” and “Marie Curie Sklodowska Horizon 2020” Fellowship. During my PhD, I studied the interplay between the human ubiquitin proteasome system and influenza A virus. I was particularly interested in studying how ubiquitination of a viral protein by multi-complex E3 ubiquitin ligases affects the influenza virus life cycle using both molecular virology approaches and advanced proteomics. My current major interest lies in understanding how cellular kinases regulate RNA viral infections. Specifically, I am studying how members of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases mediate critical stages in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle and disease pathogenesis. The work also involves efforts to translate our discovery into a repurposed approach for combating SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviral infections. The work involves using both pseudovirus and wild type (virulent) SARS-CoV-2 under BSL3 conditions and makes use of various unique human lung organoid models. I was awarded the 2021 PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Translational Medicine award.

Ilham Osman - Sue Merigan Student Scholar

I received my Bachelor of Science in Human Biology with a concentration in Infectious Disease and Global Health from Stanford University. Since joining the Einav lab I have had the opportunity to be involved in understanding Zika virus induced apoptosis and analyzing glycosylation motifs in the antibody sequences of patients from our dengue cohort. I was awarded the Bio-X Summer Research grant in 2018 and 2020 as well as the Sue Merigan Student Scholar in Infectious Disease award in 2020 and 2021. In the future, I hope to attend a medical school that will allow me to gain clinical training in infectious diseases and continue to expand my training in infectious disease research in the realm of flaviviruses. My long-term goal is to pursue a career in academic medicine where I can engage in projects focused on studying the pathogenesis of viral infections via innovative single cell approaches.

Makeda Robinson - Postdoctoral Fellow

I joined the Einav lab in Oct 2016 as a graduate student in Microbiology and Immunology (ARTS program) and as an infectious diseases fellow, and transitioned into a postdoctoral fellow upon graduating my PhD in 2020.  My work focuses on monitoring immune responses in the course of natural dengue infection and on investigating the pathogenesis of Zika virus induced apoptosis. I was awarded both the 2021 A.P Giannini Fellowship Award and the 2021 Harold Amos Career Development Award.

Sirle Saul - Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my PhD in biomedical engineering from University of Tartu in Estonia, where I studied the viral factors involved in the neurovirulence caused by alphaviruses using molecular virology methods. I joined Shirit’s lab in August 2018. I am interested in the complex interactions between RNA viruses and their host. My work entails discovering already approved or novel small molecule inhibitors, targeting cellular kinases (particularly lipid kinases) or other proteins, to be used as broad-spectrum antivirals against dengue virus, encephalitic viruses and other emerging viral infections and deciphering the molecular mechanisms responsible for the inhibitory action of these compounds. I am also interested in understanding the determinants of severe dengue. My overarching goal is to gain knowledge and expertise in translational medicine to be involved in studying human health and to be able to use scientific findings to improve people's lives.

Do Tran - Lab Technician

I earned my MSc in Microbiology at the University of Natural Science, Vietnam. Before joining to Einav lab, I worked as Research Assistant in Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. I had been involved in a number of projects investigating the etiology and epidemiology of various Gram-negative pathogens causing diarrheal disease as well as hospital-acquired infections. I joined the Einav lab in Sept 2021, where I am responsible for ordering and maintaining lab equipment and supplies, monitoring lab inventory, and conducting standard experimental procedures.

Zhiyuan Yao - Postdoctoral Fellow

I earned my Ph.D. in University of Michigan-Ann Arbor focusing on autophagy. The goal of my work at the Einav lab is to better characterize the virus-host interplay during the course of viral infection and identify candidate biomarkers of disease progression and targets for host-targeted antiviral strategies via single cell transcriptomic approach. My research involves the development of single cell transcriptomic tools and utilizing them to analyze viral infection in cultured cells as well as in clinical samples derived from dengue and Zika patients. I was awarded both the Stanford MCHRI (maternal and child health research institute) postdoctoral fellowship award and an Early Career Award from the Thrasher research fund.

Former Members

  • Ivy (Pei-Tzu) Huang
  • Sathish Kumar - postdoctoral fellow - 2016-2020. Current position: Postdoctoral fellow.
  • Stanford Schor - Graduate (MSTP) student - 2016 - 2020. Current position: MD (Stanford) 
  • Rina Barouch-Bentov - 2011-2020 - Research Scientist. Current position: Consultant and Scientist at Rimon Research.
  • Szuyuan Pu - 2014-2019 - Postdoctoral fellow. Current position: Scientist, Takara Bio USA. 
  • Fei Xiao - PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, 02/2015-05/2018, Current position: Faculty position at Sun Yat-Sen University, China
  • Rina Barouch-Bentov – PhD, Research associate – 09/2011-07/2019
  • Gregory Neveu, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, 03/2011-06/2015, Current position: senior virologist in the Virology Unit at Sanofi Pasteur
  • Elena Bekerman, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, 08/2013-10/2016, Current position: Research Scientist, Department of Clinical Virology, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Stanley Wang, MD/PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, 07/2012-01/2014. Current position: HCV Antivirals Development Department, ABBvie. 
  • Amotz Ziv-Av, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, 09/2011-09/2012, Current position: Research Associate, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  • Yuan Jin Tan, Undergraduate student (Honor Thesis), 04/2014-08/2016, currently a PhD candidate at Stanford Micrpobiology and Immunology

Lab Photos