I currently lead the independent junior research group “RNA Biology of Fungal Infections” at the Leibniz-HKI in Jena, Germany. The group is focused on harnessing our knowledge of extracellular vesicles and non-coding RNA for the development of RNA-based therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of fungal infections. You can learn more about our work, here. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow and small group leader at the Leibniz-HKI with Prof. Axel Brakhage studying fungal biology and pathogenesis. My work was centered on the conidial (spore) surface proteome, the extracellular vesicle biology of host-pathogenesis, and the importance of non-coding RNA in fungi.

I earned my PhD in Microbiology and Immunology studying the pathogenesis and biochemistry of uropathogenic Escherichia coli with Prof. Matt Mulvey at the University of Utah. I followed my PhD with a postdoctoral fellowship also at the University of Utah defining the endogenous pool of double-stranded RNA in mammalian immune cells with Prof. Brenda Bass.


  • Fungal pathogenesis
  • RNA biology
  • Extracellular vesicles


  • PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, 2012

    University of Utah

  • BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2006

    Boston University



Independent Junior Group Leader

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI)

Nov 2020 – Present Jena, Germany

Areas of Interest:

  • Mechanisms of regulation involving RNA
  • The trafficking of extracellular vesicles during infection
  • RNA-based therapeutics

Postdoctoral Fellow

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI)

May 2016 – Oct 2020 Jena, Germany
In this position I served as a postdoctoral fellow and small group leader in the group of Prof. Axel Brakhage, focused on proteomics of fungal conidia (spores), extracellular vesicle biology during fungal infection, and noncoding RNA biology in A. fumigatus.

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Utah

Jun 2012 – Apr 2016 Utah, USA
In this position as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Brenda Bass, I worked to define the endogenous pool of host double-stranded RNA during activation of mammalian monocytes and macrophages.

Graduate Research Associate

University of Utah

Aug 2006 – Jun 2012 Utah, USA
As PhD student, I studied the host-pathogensis of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. We were particularly interested in antibiotic susceptibility and the contribution of non-coding RNA to pathogenesis.

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Science Writing

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Recent Publications