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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.


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!


Nicole Rondeau

Graduate Student

I am a proud graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University where I received a dual BA in Biology and Dance with honors. After studying herpesvirus reactivation postgrad in Dr. JJ Miranda’s lab at Barnard College, I matriculated into NYU’s Vilcek Graduate School in 2022 and joined the Stapleford Lab in the fall of 2023! My thesis work focuses on La Crosse virus biology, specifically what happens when we swap genomic segments between different strains. When not counting virus plaques or singing to Taylor Swift in the tissue culture room, I can be found taking dance class or cuddled up on the couch reading.


Sara Thannickal

Research Technician

After researching Streptococcus mutans at THE Ohio State University, I graduated with a BS in Microbiology and came to the Stapleford Lab in October 2020. As a Research Technician, I am studying the pathogenesis and evolution of different emerging arboviruses. You can catch me in the lab wearing a Harry Styles sweatshirt and convincing NYC people that my hometown Rockland County is not upstate! Aside from my love of RNA viruses, I love rewatching sitcoms, putting too much sriracha on everything I eat, and planning fun shenanigans for my lab. 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!

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)

Gaby Noval - Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2023)

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