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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!

Sophie Spector Headshot.jpg

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

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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