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Our People

Jillian Richmond, PhD: Dr. Richmond earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University, and her doctoral degree in Pathology & Immunology from Boston University School of Medicine. She performed a postdoctoral fellowship in chemokine biology at Massachusetts General Hospital before moving to the Harris Lab at UMass to study chemokines in vitiligo, an autoimmune disease characterized by CD8+ T cell-mediated destruction of melanocytes. She has also studied formation of autoreactive resident memory T cells that make vitiligo refractory to treatment. Her laboratory now focuses on T cell migration and function in other autoimmune skin diseases including Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus and Morphea.

Colton Garelli, BS: Colton majored in Biochemistry and minored in Computer Science at Ithica College. He performed research on disordered protein constructs that have functional consequences on transcription factor activity in Dr. Jamie Ellis' lab. His independent project in the Richmond lab focuses on gene expression analysis on skin from autoimmune patients and model organisms.

Jadesola (Jadé) Temitope Olayinka, BSc: Jadé is a medical student at State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences Center aspiring to become a dermatologist. She earned her Bachelor of Sciences in Natural Sciences from the University of Calgary, with concentrations in biology and chemistry. She is performing a year of research in our lab studying cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Jadé is committed to improving health disparities in marginalized communities, with a particular focus on advocacy for skin of color representation and education. She works to address the skin cancer prognosis disparity by facilitating free community skin screenings and educational sessions. Jadé enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and graphic design.

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Haya Raef, MS: Haya majored in Biology at New York University Abu Dhabi and earned her MS in Biomedical Sciences at Tufts School of Medicine. She is currently a medical student at Tufts, and is performing a year of research in our lab studying cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Haya is also actively involved in community outreach efforts, and has been creating COVID care packages for the homeless at Preble Street in Portland, ME and Boston Health Care for the Homeless in Boston, MA.

Neil Wong: Neil is a rising junior at Shrewsbury High School. He is very interested in the application of computer programs to biomedical research. He is currently working with Colton on the canine comparative immunology studies.

Visiting Scholars/Fellows (co-mentored with Dr. Mehdi Rashighi):

Nazgol Haddadi, MD: Nazgol earned her medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2017. She has been worked on the neuropharmacology of itch sensation and alternative immune modulation and immunosuppression in treating diseases occur due to impaired immune system activation. Nazgol is studying cutaneous lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune skin disorders and their response to the UV light.

Khashayar Afshari, MD: Khashayar Afshari MD-MPH is a physician and researcher graduated from Tehran University of Medical sciences. He is interested in inflammation, autoimmunity and neuroscience. He has been studying neuroinflammation in pruritus, spinal cord injury, seizure and social isolation syndrome and has worked on models for increasing skin flap survival. He is currently studying immune system phenotypes and transcriptomics in autoimmune disorders.

 

Alumni:

Summer 2020 Research Students:

Ista A Egbeto, BS: Ista graduated from Stony Brook University with a major in Cell Biology and a minor in Business Administration. She is currently a 4th-year medical student who aspires to become a dermatologist. She has research experience in oncology and worked on various oncology research projects at Dana Farber and MGH during her second and third of year of medical school. In the Richmond lab, she is studying vitiligo and Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus. She is performing remote data analysis for our gene expression and flow cytometry studies.

Morgan Groover: Morgan is a rising MS2 at UMass, and she is participating in the Summer Research & Curriculum Exploration (RCE) Program. Morgan is interested in dermatology as a specialty. Her project in the lab focuses on links between inflammation and fibrosis as they pertain to morphea/localized scleroderma. She is performing remote data analysis for our gene expression and flow cytometry studies.

Grace Ryan: Grace is a rising MS2 at UMass, and she is participating in the Summer Research & Curriculum Exploration (RCE) Program. Grace is interested in immunology, as the immune system interacts with all of our body's other tissues to keep us healthy. Her project in the lab focuses on how the immune system goes awry in cutaneous lupus erythematosus. She is performing remote data analysis for our gene expression and flow cytometry studies.

Lance Wong - former research intern, currently an undergraduate at Columbia University

Dhrumil Patel - former medical student researcher, capstone project, currently a Dermatology Resident at Dartmouth

Senegal Carty - former Master's student researcher, currently a PhD student at Boston University School of Medicine