Team

Dr. Shruti Naik, Principal Investigator

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,  the Sartorius and Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy, the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists  and the International Takeda Innovator in Science Award

Brandon Hsieh, Research Associate

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

Dr. Piotr Konieczny, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Konieczny obtained his Masters and PhD from Jagiellonian University (Poland). During his PhD Piotr investigated the role of Regnesa-1 in skin homeostasis and inflammation.  In 2018 he received the Polish National Science Center Etiuda Fellowship to join Naik lab. He is currently investigating the crosstalk between immune and epithelial cells during regeneration and carcinogenesis. 

Piotr enjoys traveling, painting and trying new foods from across the world, which makes NYC a great place for his postdoc!

Dr. Yue Xing, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Xing is studying the impact of environmental stimuli on epidermal barrier fitness and functioning neonates. She is also examining the  immune factors that specify tissue stem cell fate early in life.

Yue received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Nankai University. After which, she obtained her Ph.D. from Institute Pasteur of Shanghai. Her dissertation research focused on how NLRP3 inflammasome signaling dynamically regulates commensal bacteria to maintain mucosal immune homeostasis.

Born and raised in a north China plain city, mountains and forests have a unique attraction to Yue. In her spare time she likes to climb mountains and submerge herself in nature.

Ikjot Sidhu, Bioinformatics Analyst

Ikjot obtained his B.Sc. in Bioinformatics from Panjab University and Master’s in Bioinformatics from Boston University (May 2019).

He is a  bioinformatics analyst in Naik and  Feske labs, and an affiliated member of NYU Langone’s Applied Bioinformatics Laboratories. He oversees the Naik lab’s genomic data analysis using custom computation analysis pipelines, and statistical analysis. He also oversees data organization and storage in his role as the lab Data manager.  His long-term plans include pursuing a doctoral degree in Bioinformatics.

In his spare time, Ikjot enjoys reading books, playing video games, traveling, and exercising. He is also an avid Anime fan and Manga reader.

Jill Wisnewski, Undergraduate Student

Jill is an undergraduate student at NYU majoring in Biology and Spanish. Her research internship in the Naik lab is supported by the NYU Deans Undergraduate Research Fund. She is studying the  the crosstalk between microbes and skin cells during epithelial development. She hopes to further develop her skills as a researcher and scientist.

Jill is originally from Connecticut and in her free time she enjoys hiking with her pets, eating chocolate, and doing puzzles.

Kody Mansfield, Graduate Fellow

Kody is a graduate student in the Immunology and Inflammation training program at  NYU’s Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. He serves as the President of the Sackler Graduate Student Council and is passionate about science activism and outreach

Kody obtained his B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Molecular Biology from University of Southern Mississippi. During his undergraduate studies, he studied RNA biology in development, neurodegeneration , and the control of transposable elements in various arthropod species.

Kody is broadly interested in embryonic and neonatal development. His dissertation research is focused on understanding the neonatal immune system and development of atopic skin disease. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and keeping up with the Kardashians.

Nicolas (Nick) Teri, Master’s Student

Nick earned his B.S. in biology at Providence College in 2016. He is currently working on his Master’s in biology at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science. Nick has a background in clinical research and a strong interest in immunology. His master’s thesis project is to develop and study the utility of both mouse- and human-derived skin organoids in immune-stem cell interactions. He hopes to one day earn his PhD in immunology and become a professor so he can continue his research and train aspiring scientists and physicians.

Nick is a Long Island native and spends his free time playing bass guitar, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and fishing. He is also a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and a former Division 1 swimmer.

Sherlock Holmes, Lab Mascot

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.