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.


Rachel M. Temple, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Rachel graduated with her Bachelors of Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT in 2007. Subsequently, she earned her Ph.D. from Dr. Clare Sample's laboratory in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA in July 2014 where she developed a novel three dimensional tissue culture system used to study EBV replication in stratified epithelium. Her project focuses on understanding how influenza A virus can activate mast cells and ascertaining the outcome of mast cell stimuli given simultaneously or in rapid succession which will have important implication in understanding chronic mast cell dependent diseases.

Major Publications

Graham A, Temple R, Obar J. 2015. Mast cells and influenza A virus: association with allergic responses and beyond. Front. Immunol, 6:238. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00238.

Temple R, Zhu J, Budgeon L, Christensen N, Meyers C, Sample C. 2014. Efficient Replication of Epstein-Barr Virus in Stratified Epithelium In Vitro. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 111(46): 16544-16549.


Xi (Dylan) Wangy

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 Kirkland

PhD Student

Marina graduated with her Bachelors of Science from the University of California – San Diego in 2013. She joined the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College in September 2015. Her project focuses on the cellular mechanisms behind how different strains of Aspergillus fumigatus induce drastically stronger ‘cytotoxic’ cell response.


McKenzie Stannard

Research Technician

Mac graduated with his Bachelors of Science from University of Vermont in Burlington, VT in 2015. Mac joined the Obar Laboratory in March 2017. His project focuses on understanding how Aspergillus fumigatus germination is regulated and which lung components may regulate this in a strain specific manner.