COVID-19 Information

Lab Members

Photo: Kelly Gorham/Montana State University

Joshua J. Obar, PhD

Principle Investigator

I graduated with my B.A. in Microbiology from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. After 4 years in the mountain-less Midwest, I returned to my hometown to attend the Molecular & Cellular Biology Program at Dartmouth College in 2001. At Dartmouth my interest in the host response to pathogens emerged. I conducted my doctoral thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Edward Usherwood, completing my dissertation entitled "CD8 T cell responses to murine γ-herpesvirus 68: Viral persistence shape the immune response" in May 2006. There after I moved to the University of Connecticut Health Center to work in the laboratory of the late Dr. Leo Lefrançois as an F32-NRSA funded post-doctoral fellow. I worked on the basic biology of memory CD8 T cell formation trying to elucidate the cell intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulation their formation. We were interested in the earliest signal regulating memory CD8 T cell development, ultimately this lead to an emerging interest in how the innate immune response could regulate memory formation as well as regulate immunity versus immunopathology during infections. In August 2010, I moved to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT to start my own laboratory in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Finally, I was lucky enough to be recruitment back to my alma mater and hometown to join the faculty in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. My laboratory's research program now focuses on understand the balance of pulmonary immunity and immunopathology during influenza A virus and Aspergillus fumigatus infections.


Xi (Dylan) Wang

PhD Student

Dylan graduated with his Bachelors of Science from Nankai University in China in 2014, after which he pursued his Master of Science degree in Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and graduated in December 2015. He joined the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College in September 2016. His project focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind how different strains of Aspergillus fumigatus induce different inflammatory responses. Aside from Aspergillus, he also loves to do experiments on culinary creations. You can occasionally find him hiking in the woods, or watching a Quentin Tarantino movie when there's too much snow outside.


Marina

Marina Kirkland

PhD Student

Marina graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of California, San Diego in 2013 and received her Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA in 2015 where she studied translational regulation of HIV replication in phagocytes. She joined the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College in September 2015. After taking time off to work in high containment biosafety at University of California, Los Angeles, she returned to Dartmouth to work with Dr. Obar on immunity against infectious disease research in January 2018. Her project focuses on the cellular mechanisms behind how different strains of Aspergillus fumigatus induce drastically stronger inflammatory cytokine responses and lung pathology.


Madeleine Grau

PhD Student

Madeleine graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2017. Following graduation, she worked as Research Technician in the Jaffer Lab at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College in September 2019. Her project focuses on development of an influenza A virus (IAV)-Aspergillus fumigatus co-infection model and understanding why viral infection makes the host susceptible to secondary infection with fungal pathogens.


Alex

Alex Rapp

PhD Student

Alex graduated with his Bachelor of Science from The University of Connecticut in 2012 and his Master in Biotechnology from Brandeis University in 2019. Alex has previously worked on phase I and II immunotherapy clinical trials at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and James Solove Research Institute for patients with solid tumors of the head and neck. He joined the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College in September 2019. His project focuses on understanding the phagocytosis of the Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and understanding how fungal ligands for cytosolic pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) crucial for antifungal immunity. Outside of the lab, he can be found either kayaking on the Connecticut River or working on character sheets with his local Dungeons & Dragons group.