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 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, the International Takeda Innovator in Science Award, the NIH Directors New Innovator Award, the Packard Fellowship, and the Pew-Stewart Scholar Fellowship.

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. Daniel Rosenblum, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Rosenblum received his B.Sc in Biology from Tel-Aviv University. After which, he obtained his Ph.D. in the prestigious direct Ph.D. program at Tel-Aviv University. During his doctoral studies, he developed novel genome editing-based nanomedicine to treat highly aggressive cancers.

Dr. Rosenblum is broadly interested in the cross-talk between stem cells and their niche in health and disease. He is currently studying the evolution of epithelial stem cell niches in inflammatory diseases. In his spare time, Daniel loves baking, traveling and is a part-time foodie.

Dr. Piotr Konieczny, NPF Supported-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 in wound repair and cancer. His work in the Naik lab is supported by the National Psoriasis Foundation Early Career Research Grant. 

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

Dr. Rochelle Castillo, Rheumatology T32 Fellow

Dually trained in rheumatology and dermatology, Rochelle is a clinician-investigator focusing on the cutaneous aspects of rheumatologic diseases. Prior to graduating from NYU’s rheumatology clinical fellowship program, she completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Connecticut and a dermatology residency at the University of the Philippines, where she also went to medical school.

She has received funding from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) to support her cutting-edge study involving transcriptomics of psoriatic skin, for which she is co-mentored by Dr. Jose Scher and Dr. Naik. In the midst of doing research and seeing patients, she is also completing a Master’s in Clinical Investigation with a focus on Translational Studies at NYU’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

A proud mom to five house plants, Rochelle enjoys walking aimlessly around the city, binge-watching true crime shows, and trying out questionable hacks on their air fryer.

Dr. Yue Xing, AAI Intersect Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Xing is studying the impact of environmental stimuli on epidermal barrier fitness and function. She is also examining how immune cells specify tissue stem cell fate early in life. Her work in the Naik lab is supported by the AAI Intersect Fellowship.

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 understanding 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 computational pipelines, and statistical analysis. He also oversees data organization and storage in his role as the lab data manager.  His longterm 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.

Ipsita Subudhi, MSTP Student

Ipsita is a MD-PhD student in the NYU Medical Scientist Training Program. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a B.A. in Biochemistry and South Asia Studies and a M.S. in Chemistry through the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences Program.  Her master’s thesis focused on the molecular mechanism of ubiquitin ligases in macrophage and T cell activation. Prior to entering graduate school, she also studied molecular chaperones and protein misfolding in the context of neurodegeneration.

Ipsita is broadly interested in the intersection of immunology and regeneration. She is also passionate about understanding and dismantling health care disparities. When Ipsita is not in lab, she enjoys writing fiction, learning new dance styles, and baking birthday cakes.

Jill Wisnewski, Undergraduate DURF 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 (DURF). 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, HHMI Gilliam Fellow

Kody is a PhD candidate in the Immunology and Inflammation training program at  NYU’s Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. He is the President of the Sackler Graduate Student Council and is passionate about science activism and outreach. He work in the Naik lab is supported by the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship.

Kody received a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi. During his undergraduate studies, he studied RNA biology in development, neurodegeneration, and the control of transposable elements in 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  skin organoids to study 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.