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Who We Are

Dr. Mark Siracusa, PhD
Principle Investigator

Dr. Siracusa began his training when he joining the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology graduate program at Johns Hopkins University. During his time at Johns Hopkins Dr. Siracusa's work focused on understanding how acute pulmonary inflammation in response to hookworm infection is initiated and ultimately resolved. Following his doctoral work, Dr. Siracusa continued his training at the University of Pennsylvania where he examined the initiation and regulation of innate immune responses in the gastrointestinal tract following Trichinella or Trichuris infection. Dr. Siracusa developed new in vitro and in vivo systems that allowed him to interrogate how epithelial cell-derived cytokines regulate innate immune cells and mediate protective immunity to helminth parasites by promoting alterations in hematopoiesis. Dr. Siracusa's long-term research interests are to better understand how progenitor cell development can be therapeutically manipulated to promote protective immunity to gastrointestinal helminths.


Everett Henry
PhD Candidate

Everett received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology at Drew University where he was exposed to working in a medical as well as a research setting. Based on these experiences, he wanted to focus on developing the skills needed to become a scientist and decided to work in Dr. Katsunori Sugimoto’s laboratory at Rutgers University after graduating from Drew University. There he was involved in studying DNA damage response pathways using the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Everett later applied and got accepted into the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers University where he joined Dr. Mark Siracusa’s laboratory studying the innate immune mechanisms that promote the T Helper Type 2 response. He finds the ability of this response to be protective against helminths but also associated with allergies to be particularly intriguing. The dual nature of this response and the potential applications of the lab’s research influenced his decision to join the lab. After completing the PhD program, Everett hopes to work in industry. 

Chandler Sy
PhD Candidate

As an undergraduate student at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Chandler had the privilege of working with Dr. Lizhao Wu at the Cancer Center of Rutgers NJMS and investigated the mechanisms underlying the interaction between E2f8 and retinoblastoma (Rb) in promoting normal erythropoiesis. These early experiences contributed to his interest in biomedical research and resulted in his acceptance to the MD/PhD dual degree program at Rutgers NJMS. Throughout his first two years of medical school, Chandler became very interested in the ability of the mammalian immune system to regulate inflammation at mucosal sites in the context of both health and disease. These interests played a role in his decision to join the lab of Dr. Siracusa whose research program studies the innate immune mechanisms that promote intestinal inflammation and protective immunity to helminth parasites. After completion of the MD/PhD program, Chandler plans to apply for a pathology residency and then do further research afterwards.

Juan Manuel Inclan Rico
PhD Candidate

Juan was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on Chemistry, Pharmacology and Biology. He became interested in biomedical research by working on two summer research programs during his third year of college at UNAM. His first research projects were focused on analyzing the molecular mechanisms that mediate antibiotic resistance on bacterial pathogens. On his last year of college, Juan met the director of the Medical Research Unit on Immunochemistry, Dr. Armando Isibasi at the Mexican Institute for Social Security. While working with Dr. Isibasi, he studied the role of invariant Natural Killer T cells against the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica. After graduating from college, Juan worked as a visiting researcher at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School with Dr. Luis Ulloa studying the dopaminergic regulation of the immune system in the context of sepsis. Juan later applied and got accepted in the Multidisciplinary PhD program at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and joined the laboratory of Dr. Mark Siracusa. Currently, he is deeply interested on the interactions of innate immune cells to initiate protective immunity to helminths. After completing his PhD training, Juan plans to do a postdoc and continue doing research on anti-helminthic immunity. In addition, Juan loves running, listening to music, reading comic books as well as watching horror movies and TV shows.


Emily Baron
MS Thesis Student

Emily Baron completed her bachelor's degree in Genetics at Clemson University, and is currently working on her MS thesis on the implementation of RNA-seq data in order to analyze various disease states during allergic response and helminth infection. She plans to enter the tech industry, combining her love for science and computers.