2008 Lab Members
Current Members  |  Alumni
Vincent A. Fischetti
Professor and Head
E-mail: vincent.fischetti@rockefeller.edu
Vince received his B.A. degree in Bacteriology and Public Health from Wagner College in 1962, his M.S in Microbiology from Long Island University in 1967, and his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from New York University School of Medicine in 1970. He conducted postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University with John Zabriskie and Emil Gotschlich and at Albert Einstein College of Medicine with Dr. Barry Bloom. He returned to Rockefeller in 1973 as an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, was appointed Associate Professor in 1978 and Professor in 1990.
Emil C. Gotschlich
Professor Emeritus
E-mail: emil.gotschlich@rockefeller.edu
Emil received his MD from NYU School of Medicine in 1959 and completed one year of clinical training in medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York . He conducted postdoctoral research at the Rockefeller with Dr. Maclyn McCarty at the Rockefeller University. During the years 1966 to 1968 he served as Captain in the US Army Medical Corps and was stationed at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research in Washington DC. He returned to Rockefeller in 1968 as an Assistant Professor and was appointed to Professor in 1978. He was named Vice President for Medical Sciences in 1996, a position he held until retirement to Emeritus in 2005.
John Zabriskie
Emeritus Associate Professor
E-mail: john.zabriskie@rockefeller.edu
John was born in Switzerland and completed his B.A. at Princeton University in 1951. He received his M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1955. From 1955 to 1957, he was an intern and assistant resident in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital before serving in the U.S. Air Force in France from 1957 to 1959. After a year as senior resident at the Babies Hospital, Dr. Zabriskie came to Rockefeller University in 1960 as guest investigator and assistant physician. He became assistant professor in 1962, associate professor with tenure in 1968, head of the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology in 1993 and professor emeritus in 2000.
Jesse Afriye
Research Assistant
E-mail: jesse.afriye@rockefeller.edu
Jesse majored in biological sciences and received his BA degree from Binghamton University. He helps to keep us organized.

Manu Capoor
Visiting Scientist
E-mail: manu.capoor@mail.rockefeller.edu
Manu received his B.A. degree with a major in Chemistry from New York University in 1990, his M.D. degree from Albany Medical School in 1995, and completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in1996. Manu then joined Credit Suisse First Boston as an M&A Investment Banker specializing in Health Care and in 2000 co-founded a firm specializing in surgical support healthcare informatics. He joined the Lab in February 2008 and focuses his research efforts on applying the Lab's lysin technology on clinical and translational projects. He is currently working to actualize an informatics system that identifies patients at high risk for surgical site infections ("SSI") as a basis for a cost-effective and statistically significant clinical trial to gauge the significance of utilizing "Lysin Technology" in reducing SSI infections caused by staphylococcus.

Peter Chahales
Research Assistant
E-mail: peter.chahales@rockefeller.edu
Peter received a B.S. in General Biology from Clark University in 2005. He joined the Fischetti Lab as an undergraduate in the summer of 2003 as a Rockefeller SURF student. His research is in expression, purification and characterization of bacteriophage lysins.

Clara A. Eastby
Research Assistant
E-mail: clara.eastby@mail.rockefeller.edu
Clara graduated from Wagner College, May 1969 with a B.S. She majored in Bacteriology. Clara joined the Maclyn McCarty Laboratory June 9, 1969 to work with Emil C. Gotschlich and John B. Zabriskie. Clara has assisted in the Neiserria and Streptococcal studies and has been the laboratory tissue culture technician since 1981, maintaining all stock tissue culture lines, setting up tissue culture for lab members and producing polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.

Chad Euler
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail: chad.euler@mail.rockefeller.edu
Chad received his B.S. from University of Vermont in 1998, where he majored in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. In 2005, Chad was named the David Rockefeller Graduate Fellow for scientific excellence, leadership, and service to the University. He is currently working on lysogenic bacteriophage involvement in the pathogenesis of Streptococcus pyogenes infections.

Monica Fazzini
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail: monica.fazzini@mail.rockefeller.edu
Monica earned her Licenciatura en Ciencias Biologicas (BS/MS) with honors from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2003. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in physiology of reproduction. Now, she is working in the characterization of exosporial proteins from B. cereus and B. anthracis spores.

Christopher Fields
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: christopher.fields@rockefeller.edu
Chris earned his BA from Washington University in 2004, where he majored in biochemistry and East Asian studies. His undergraduate research involved studying the neurophysiology of GABA receptors for the development of new psychiatric drugs. He is currently probing the genomic replication mechanisms of group C streptococcal bacteriophage.

Jennifer Groves
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: jennifer.groves@rockefeller.edu
Jennifer received her B.A. in Studio Art, with an emphasis in painting, from the University of South Florida in 1992. She then proceeded to earn an M.A. in the Art Dealership and Collecting program from New York University in 1996. As well as working at Rockefeller University, Jennifer curates emerging artist's exhibitions for Cornell Medical Associates, and other alternative spaces in New York City.
Barbara Juncosa
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: barbara.juncosa@mail.rockefeller.edu
Barbara graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami in 2004 where she received a B.S. degree in Marine Biology and Microbiology. She joined the laboratory in 2005, and is currently investigating gene expression patterns in the pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. Barbara was awarded the 2008 Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology.

Sherry Kan
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: sherry.kan@rockefeller.edu
Sherry earned her B.S. in biology in 2004 from MIT. In the Fischetti lab, she is studying a novel phage that's highly specific against B. anthracis, the bacterial agent that causes anthrax.

Sung G. Lee
Senior Research Associate
E-mail: sung.lee@mail.rockefeller.edu
Sung received his PhD in biochemistry at Iowa State University in 1968. He was a Research Associate then promoted to Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller University in 1971. In 1979 he moved to Korea at the Korea Institute of Science Technology and Cell Biology where he was Laboratory Head until 1982. In 1983 he became Head of the LG Biotechnology Group. In 1983 he was an Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming. He was Adjunct Professor at City College of New York from 1988-1993 and is currently Senior Research Associate in the Fischetti Laboratory since 1997.
Curtis O'Neal
Biomedical Fellow
E-mail: curtiss.oneal@rockefeller.edu
Curtis received a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University in 2004, where he concentrated on cell-molecular biology, and a M.P.H. from the George Washington University in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2006. Currently a third year student in the Weill Cornell/Sloan-Kettering/Rockefeller Tri-Institutional M.D./Ph.D. program, he joined the Fischetti Lab to study methods of mixed-biofilm development and dissolution.

Mina Pastagia
Instructor in Clinical Investigation
E-mail: mina.pastagia@mail.rockefeller.edu
Mina received her medical degree at SUNY Downstate, New York in 2002. She then completed her residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center, and went on to sub specialize in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC. She joined Rockefeller University in 2008 as a clinical scholar under the mentorship of Vincent A. Fischetti and James C. Krueger. Her focus of study is the development of a topical lysin that specifically targets Staphylococcus aureus. It will be studied for its efficacy in patients with psoriasis.

Adam J. Pelzek
Research Assistant
E-mail: adam.pelzek@rockefeller.edu
Adam J. Pelzek earned his B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, completing a senior thesis on a protein involved in apoptosis in the lab of Dr. James Franklin. He returned home to Milwaukee and began working as a lab technician in Dr. Brian Volkman's Lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin, developing assays for the binding of human chemokines to their receptors. He moved to NYC and began work in 2004 as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Vincent Fischetti, where he works primarily in three areas: 1) phage that infect B. anthracis and closely related strains, including characterization of phage lysins such as plyG and plyB, 2) the in-vitro effects of interfering with the function of bacterial epimerase genes, and 3) a search for genomic cellulase molecules from cellulose-degrading environmental microorganisms.

Assaf Raz
Postdoctoral Associate
E-mail: assaf.raz@mail.rockefeller.edu
Assaf received a B.A. from Tel Aviv University in 2004. His current work is focused on understanding the way surface virulence factors are anchored to the cell wall of Streptococcus pyogenes.

Patricia Ryan
Adjunct Faculty
E-mail: patricia.ryan@rockefeller.edu
Patti earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Rutgers University in 1996 and joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 1998 and continued as a research associate until she became an Assistant Professor at Hunter College in 2008. Patti continues now as adjunct faculty in the lab, where her studies focus on the pathogenesis of group A streptococci and the specific human factors that influence susceptibility to streptococcal pharyngeal infections.

Jonathan Schmitz
Biomedical Fellow
E-mail: jonathan.schmitz@mail.rockefeller.edu
Jonathan obtained his A.B. in chemistry from Princeton University in 2002, after which he received an M.Phil in biochemistry from Cambridge University (England) while studying on a Churchill Scholarship. He is currently in his third year as a member of the Fischetti Laboratry and fifth year overall in the Cornell/Rockeller/Sloan-Kettering MD-PhD Program. Jonathan's research involves the development of novel methods for cloning antibacterial enzymes. Following completion of graduate and medical school, he plans on beginning residency training in pathology with a focus on medical microbiology.

Raymond Schuch
Research Assistant Professor
E-mail: raymond.schuch@rockefeller.edu
Raymond received his B.S. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Temple University where he worked on the genetics of bacterial spore formation. He next conducted post-doctoral research on the molecular mechanisms of virulence protein secretion by the intracellular human pathogen Shigella flexneri working in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Maurelli at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Raymond then came to work at Rockefeller University where his studies have focused on the development of bacteriophage lysins as therapeutic and diagnostic tools. Additionally, he is also studying how stable infection with environmental viruses can dramatically alter the environmental survival phenotypes of Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax agent.
Dennis J Spencer
Biomedical Fellow
E-mail: dennis.spencer@med.cornell.edu
Dennis is a fellow in the Weill-Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He joined the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis in the fall of 2007. Dennis' research uses a translational approach to understand the mechanism of Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcal-induced tonsillitis in a collaborative effort with the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Upon completion of his studies, Dennis plans to complete a residency training program in ENT surgery while maintaining a research interest in pediatric infectious diseases.

Mary Windels
Research Assistant
E-mail: mary.windel@rockefeller.edu
Mary received her B.A. from Fordham University in 1982, with a major in the Natural Sciences. She continued her studies in Microbiology at the New York University College of Dentistry under Dr. Harald Linke, studying the effects of artificial sweeteners on the metabolism of Streptococcus mutans, earning an M.S. in Microbiology in 1984. Upon joining Rockefeller University in 1984, she has been working with Dr. Vincent Fischetti on Streptococcus pyogenes.
Shiwei Zhu
Research Assistant
E-mail: shiwei.zhu@mail.rockefeller.edu
Graduated with an M.D. from China in 1970. Moved to U.S.A in 1989 and initially joined the division of Hemotology and Oncology at University of Alabama. In 1991, joined the lab of Division of Infection Disease, North Shore University Hospital, New York. In 1993, followed Dr. William Hall to the Rockefeller University. During the time, she mastered all major techniques in molecular biology that required deep understanding and characterization of HTLV-type II. From 2001 till now, she has been working with Dr. Fischetti that involved studying bacteriophage lytic enzyme.
Daniel Gilmer
Graduate Fellow
Daniel earned his International Baccalaureate diploma in 2004. He graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2008. He immediately began conducting research as a Postbaccalaureate Fellow at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Daniel joined the laboratory in 2010. His work focuses on a novel bacteriophage lysin targeting Streptococcus suis, and the effects of targeted species reduction on microbiome composition. Daniel is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellow.