Shruti received her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park. After which she worked as a research assistant at the Naval Medical Research Center studying traumatic injury and autoimmune onset. Shruti then matriculated into the University of Pennsylvania-National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program and obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology under the mentorship of Dr. Yasmine Belkaid. During her doctoral studies, she discovered that normal bacteria living on our skin, known as commensals, educate the immune system and help protect us from harmful pathogens. Her work unveiled how immune cells in our skin work with our microbial partners to prevent disease and has opened the door for microbiota-based therapies in the skin.
For her postdoctoral studies, Shruti joined the lab of Dr. Elaine Fuchs at the Rockefeller University as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow. There she found that epithelial stem cells can harbor a memory of inflammation which boosts their regenerative abilities. This finding extended the definition of inflammatory memory beyond immune cells introducing a seachange in our current view of how tissues remember inflammatory encounters. Shruti is a strong advocate for increasing diversity in science and promoting the advancement of underrepresented and marginalized groups. For her research and advocacy Shruti has received numerous awards including the NIH Women’s Scholars Award, the Regeneron Award for Creative Innovation, the L’Oréal For Women in Science Award, the Damon Runyon Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientist, and the Sartorius and Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy.
Anastasia is an undergraduate student at Hunter College majoring in Biochemistry. Her work focuses on understanding how immune cells contribute to tissue regeneration. She is a native New Yorker and fluent in Russian and English. She plans on to pursue a career in biomedical research and hopes to hone her skills as an experimentalist in the Naik lab.
Brandon is an alumni of Hofstra University, receiving a B.S. in Biology. He oversees day to day lab operations and maintenance. He is dissecting the spatial organization of microbes in the skin and their interaction with host epithelia. A Long Island native, Brandon enjoys driving and eating. Brandon’s longterm goals are to pursue a doctoral degree in Cellular & Molecular Biology and educate future scientists
Kirill graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hunter College with a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in Mathematics. He is investigating the role of skin Roγrt expressing immune cells in wound repair and is interested in studying host-microbe interactions in health and disease. A native of New York City, Kirill is an avid tennis player and foodie. Kirill’s long term goal is to become a physician scientist and advance medical research.
Sherlock graduated top of this class from the Unleashed Puppy Training program. He supports the team with this uplifting tail wags and hugs. His hobbies include squirrel chasing, stealing treats, and power napping.