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Our Team


Kenny Stapleford, PhD

Principle Investigator

I'm passionate about all things science, viruses, and probably some other things too. Originally from Delaware, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware and my Ph.D at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!!). After postdocs at Yale University and the Institut Pasteur in Paris, I now spend my days soaking in NYC and doing amazing science with our team.


Gaby Noval, PhD


Big fan of viruses, I love spending hours in the lab discovery new things from those tiny and incredible entities. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Buenos Aires and Ph.D. in Fundacion Instituto Leloir. I decided to come to New York following my passion for viruses. After a postdoc at Columbia University, I joined Stapleford's lab to learn how arboviruses are transmitted, evolve and infect their hosts. Huge fan of hiking, mate, asado, and malbec. I enjoy spending my time with music and friends.


Marie-France Martin PhD


After obtaining my PhD in virology in Montpellier, a beautiful town in the south of France, I crossed the ocean to join the Stapleford lab. I’ve always been interested in arboviruses since I was raised in the biggest wet area in Europe where arbovirosis are a health issue. Passionate about viral emergence and evolution I’m excited to decipher molecular mechanisms taking place in nature or representing a health concern! Outside of the lab I knit a lot and I enjoy travelling, discovering new places, cultures and food. As I can guess, New-York seems to be a perfect place to do so!


Sara Thannickal

Research Technician

After studying Microbiology at The Ohio State University, I came back to my hometown of New City, NY (~45 minutes north of Manhattan) and I’m now working in the Stapleford lab as a Research Technician! I’m excited to study arbovirus pathogenesis, and I’m interested in the immunological aspects as well. Aside from science, I love to read, wait for the next Marvel/Star Wars movie to release, and spread sriracha on almost every food I eat! Go Bucks!

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Sophie Spector

Research Technician

I'm currently a senior at NYU Gallatin designing a major in 'Infectious Disease from an Interdisciplinary Perspective,'  combining biology, public health, and history. My prior research experiences have focused on parasite genomics and vaccine development, so I am thrilled to now be pursuing my lifelong interest in viruses by studying Chikungunya! Outside of the lab, I teach at NYU's peer tutoring center, and I enjoy going to concerts and eating my way around the city

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Nia McCray

Undergraduate Researcher

I’m currently a junior at NYU CAS  majoring in global public health and biology with a minor in chemistry. I am now volunteering in the Stapleford lab as an undergraduate to pursue research in microbiology. I’m thrilled to be studying virus pathogenesis by analyzing the chikungunya virus's morphology and its invasion of host systems. Outside of science, I enjoy reading, drawing, exploring the city, listening to music,  and most of all finding new food spots.


Sedem Apedo

Undergraduate Researcher

I’m currently a junior at NYU CAS majoring in biology and minoring in public health and chemistry. I am now volunteering in the Stapleford lab to partake in virology research studying arboviruses and their impact on different host systems. Outside of the lab, I enjoy exploring NYC, watching Broadway musicals, and baking!

The Team: Team Members

Past Lab Members

Elfie De Jesus - Research Technician (2016-2018)
Petro Leka - SURP Student (2017)
Lucia Carrau - Visiting Ph.D student, Institut Pasteur, Paris (2017)
Angelica Kottkamp - Infectious Disease Fellow (2018)
Catherine Blandon - PostBac (2019)
Karina Flores - SURP Student (2019)
Maryska Kaczmarek - Postdoc (2019-2020)
Bruno Rodriguez-Rodriguez - Graduate Student (2018-2020)
Margarita Rangel - Graduate Student (2016-2022)
Backtash Wallizada - Undergrad (2021-2022)

The Team: List
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