COVID-19 Information

Jennifer L. Vella, Ph.D.

JenniferMCB alumna

About Me

After graduating from Nova Southeastern University in 2009, I went on to pursue a Master’s of Science degree at King’s College London in England. For my Master’s research, I studied the involvement of several different Rho GTPases in cancer cell migration. After the completion of my master’s degree in 2010, I worked as a research associate at the University of Miami, where we investigated methods to combat tumor growth by down-regulating MDSCs. I joined the Huang lab in July 2014 following my entry into the MCB program at Dartmouth College. Jennifer's work in the Huang lab focused on understanding the contribution that CXCR6 plays in T-cell migration, effector responses and maintenance of tissue resident memory T cells.

Jennifer is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mary Jo Turk's lab and conducts research on tumor infiltrating and tissue resident T cells from cancer patients. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys playing with her 2 daughters, hiking, kayaking and playing with her dog Einstein Fleming.


Vella JL, Molodtsov A, Angeles CV, Branchini BR, Turk MJ, Huang YH. Dendritic cells maintain anti-tumor immunity by positioning CD8 skin-resident memory T cells. Life Sci Alliance. 2021 4(10):e202101056. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202101056. PMID: 34362825

Malik BT, Byrne KT, Vella JL, Zhang P, Shabaneh TB, Steinberg SM, Molodtsov AK, Bowers JS, Angeles CV, Paulos CM, Huang YH, Turk MJ. Resident memory T cells in the skin mediate durable immunity to melanoma. Sci Immunol. 2017 2(10).

Xu X, Wang X, Todd EM, Jaeger ER, Vella JL, Mooren OL, Feng Y, Hu J, Cooper JA, Morley SC, Huang YH. Mst1 Kinase Regulates the Actin-Bundling Protein L-Plastin To Promote T Cell Migration. J Immunol. 2016 197(5):1683-91.

O'Connor MA, Vella JL, Green WR. Reciprocal relationship of T regulatory cells and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in LP-BM5 murine retrovirus-induced immunodeficiency. J Gen Virol. 2016 97(2):509-22.

Weed DT, Walker G, De La Fuente AC, Nazarian R, Vella JL, Gomez-Fernandez CR, Serafini P. FOXP3 subcellular localization predicts recurrence in oral squamous cell carcinoma. PLoS One. 2013 8(8):e71908

Roth F, De La Fuente AC, Vella JL, Zoso A, Inverardi L, Serafini P. Aptamer-mediated blockade of IL4Rα triggers apoptosis of MDSCs and limits tumor progression. Cancer Res. 2012 72(6):1373-83.