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Lab Members

  • Kelly Cavallo

    Kelly Cavallo

    Research Technician

    Kelly joined the lab in March 2020. She graduated from University of Massachusetts Lowell with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences. Kelly has experience managing mouse colonies and assisting on projects in Tuberculosis research. The newest member to the Behar lab, she is excited to begin working with everyone. Outside of the lab Kelly enjoys reading a good book and spending time with family.
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  • Evelyn Chang

    Evelyn Chang

    Graduate Student

    Evelyn is a graduate student in the Behar Lab pursuing a PhD in biomedical sciences. Her current project involves using mouse models to study the CD4+ T-cell response during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. More specifically, she’s interested in CD4+ T-cell exhaustion, and her project involves using flow cytometry and RNAseq to answer questions about the regulatory mechanisms mediating T-cell function (or dysfunction) during Tuberculosis, and how T-cell dysfunction may contribute to the development of disease.

    Evelyn is originally from California, where she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry. In her free time, she likes to read crime novels/psychological thrillers, practice yoga, cook, and bake, and she finds joy in experimenting with new recipes.
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  • Danny Mott

    Graduate Student

    Danny is a Ph.D student in Dr. Behar’s lab. His research mainly focuses on MHC class I antigen presentation during Mtb infection. We have found that CD8 T-cells inefficiently recognize Mtb – infected host cells, and Danny is working to understand the biology behind this phenomenon. He is currently investigating the role of different antigen presenting cell types, cell death, and antigen sources in CD8 T-cell control. Outside of the lab he is a big sci-fi nerd and cat dad. He enjoys to spend his downtime playing video games, watching TV, reading and spending time outdoors and camping.
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  • Rocky Lai

    Rocky Lai, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dr. Rocky Lai obtained his Ph.D. from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada where he sought to identify the mechanism in delayed T cell priming following pulmonary Mtb infection. He is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Behar Lab, where he seeks to identify immune correlates of protection against Mtb following BCG vaccination using a genetically diverse mouse model known as the Collaborative Cross. He hopes to be able to use this information to identify viable vaccines that can contribute to the control of the global TB burden.
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  • Swati Jaiswal, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Swati is a postdoc in Behar lab, working on the role of TCRs in the progression of TB granulomas. She is interested in antigen presentation by CD4 and CD8 TCRs isolated from the progressive and restrictive TB granulomas. During her PhD from CSIR-CDRI, India she has explored the role of PtkA in Mtb and its effect on the host. She moved to USA in 2019 and joined Yale School of Medicine as a postdoc working on IBD and subsequently moved to UMMS to pursue her interest in TB research. Swati received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biotechnology from T.M. Bhagalpur University, India. She has a keen interest in teaching and been involved in teaching Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology for two years after her Postgraduation.

    Apart from this she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and travelling.
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  • Yu-Jung Lu

    Graduate Student

    Yu-Jung is a graduate student in the immunology and microbiology program in University of Massachusetts Medical school. In Behar lab, Yu-Jung is interested in understanding the role of CD8+ T cells in tuberculosis. Yu-Jung especially focuses on how CD4+ T cell, another subset of T cells, interacts with CD8+ T cell, and whether CD4 T cell provides help to improve the function of CD8 T cell.

    Yu-Jung grew up in Taiwan. She got her bachelor’s degree from National Cheng Kung University and her master’s degree from National Taiwan University before she moving to the US and joining Behar lab. In National Taiwan University, Yu-Jung worked with Dr. Shi-Chuen Miaw, and studied post-translational modification in CD4+ T cell differentiation. This experience inspires her to learn more in the field of immunology. In her free time, Yu-Jung enjoys cooking and baking.
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  • Abiola Ogunsola

    Graduate Student

    Abiola Ogunsola, a native of Philadelphia, joined the Behar lab in September of 2020. She is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her BS in microbiology, with some sociology on the side. She has always been super interested in exploring host-pathogen interactions, and hopes to now embark on a journey delving deep into the world of immunology and gaining familiarity with the most recent bioinformatics tools. She is excited to have joined the group where she will work on a project focused on identifying genetic correlates of BCG-mediated protection of Tuberculosis infection. In her free time, Abiola enjoys baking, attending Zumba classes, and feeding blueberries to her beloved sun goddess (AKA bearded dragon), Dijon.
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