Lab Alumni

In Memoriam


Maria Birukova – 2014 -2016.  Maria was a MSTP and Immunology PhD student.  Maria did a summer rotation in the Bollyky lab in 2014 working on wound healing and diabetes.  In 2015, Maria officially joined the lab and began work on the role of Pseudomonas and phage in chronic wounds.  Maria’s research focused on developing tools to disrupt biofilm formation in hopes to treat chronic infections.  On the weekends, Maria was typically out on an adventure.  She passed away on September 18th during a mountain climbing accident.   Maria will be greatly missed by the  Bollyky lab and the Stanford community.

“I think that she was intellectually as well as physically an explorer,” said Dr. Paul Bollyky.  “Just like she was out there climbing mountains, I think she was willing to take on some of the harder, more interesting questions and challenges. I think that’s a strand that runs through most of everything she did.” -excerpt taken from the Mercury News.

Alumni – Postdocs and Staff

Xiou Cao – 2018

While Xiou was in the Bollyky lab he studied bacteriophages in airway and wound infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Hedwich Kuipers2014
Hedwich was a member of both the Bollyky and Steinman labs at Stanford. She investigates autoimmunity from a neuronal background with a research focus in Multiple Sclerosis.    Hedwich is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary with her own lab.  Go Hedwich!

Heather Ishak – 2014-2017. Heather was the lab manager for the Bollyky lab for over 3 years.  She was the go-to person to handle questions about protocols and all lab related business.   Heather was an essential part of the diabetes and bacterial biofilm research in the lab.  She moved on to take a lab manager’s position at the Palo Alto VA.

Vivekananda Sunkari 2013-2017.  Vivek headed the wound healing team/research in the Bollyky lab.   He is interested in autoimmune disorders, especially Type 2 diabetes.   Vivek has moved on to work at LakePharma.

Koshika Yadava–  2015-2017.  Koshika investigated the role of Tregs and other immune cells in allergic responses in the Bollyky lab.   She  received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and Masters in Immunology from the University of Oxford.  She is enthusiastic , brilliant, and addicted to popping bubble wrap.  Koshika has moved back to Oxford.

Robert Manasherob -2016.  Robert was our resident molecular biology expert. He has over 20 years of experience.  Robert  spent a year enhancing the microbiology aspects of our Pseudomonas and phage research.  He is now working on phage projects with our collaborator Derek Amantullah in Orthopedics.

Ben Danielson– 2015 -2016.  Ben worked as a post-doc for the Bollyky Lab for a year and a half.  During his stay, he earned a T32 Immunology Training Grant and worked on the role of CD44 variants.   Ben moved on to a start-up company to be an Immunology Scientist at CERo Pharmaceuticals.

Shannon Ruppert2013-2015.  Shannon Ruppert was a postdoctoral fellow focused on characterizing the molecular mechanisms behind the activities of dendritic cells and regulatory T cells in inflammation.  Shannon has moved on to become a Senior Research Scientist at Genentech working on cancer immunotherapy.

Ben Falk – Researcher, Staff  2013-2014.  Ben moved from Seattle with Paul to start-up the Stanford Bollyky lab.  We are what we are today because of Ben and Mary’s efforts.    Sadly for us, Ben moved to LA and manages a lab at City of Hope Hospital.

Mary Rieck –  Lab Manager 2013-2014.  Mary was the original lab manager for the Bollyky and Blish Labs at Stanford.  She is currently the lab manager at the Bluestone lab at UCSF.


Alumni – Summer Students and Undergraduates

Ethan Katznelson – 2013-2016. Ethan was a Bollyky lab regular; he worked in the lab for 3 years while he was an undergratuate student at Stanford.  He worked closely with Jolien Sweere on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm research.  Ethan is now attending Harvard Medical School.

Jason Yang – 2013-2015.  Jason is an undergraduate who spent 2013 working as a lab aid in the Bollyky lab.   Jason worked on wound healing projects as well as diabetes drug treatment studies. He is currently a graduate student in bioinformatics at Stanford.

Omar Garcia – 2014-2015. Omar  started as a lab assistant with tasks essential to maintaining the lab and the vivarium.  A year later and he received a BioX summer funding and worked on iron sequestration in Pseudomonas aeruginosa with Jolien Sweere.

Aadyot Bhatnagar- 2015 SIMR student.  Aadyot spent the summer working closely with Dr. Gernot Kaber on developing a Hyaluronan ELISA. Aadyot is currently an undergraduate at Caltech.

Jasmine Edwards–  2015 SSRP student.  Jazzy was part of the Stanford Summer Research Program (SSRP) and joined us all the way from New York!  She spent the summer working with Dr. Vivek Sunkari on diabetes research. She is now an Immunology PhD candidate in Miami.

Daniel Lazzareschi  – 2014-2015. Danny is a med student, who is also interested in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, especially in sinusitis patients.  Danny is now a medical intern at Stanford.

Jonathan Melamed–  Lab Experience-  Summer 2014.  Jonathan shadowed Dr. Hedwich Kuipers to gain laboratory experience.  He is currently an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley.

Mina Iskarous–  Student Research Assistant – Summer 2014.  Mina was a recent high school graduate, who came to help during the summer.    Currently, Mina is obtaining his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University.

Colin Lester – Student Research Assistant – Summer 2014  (not pictured). Colin was a high school student who joined the lab for some summer lab experience.   Colin is currently a bioengineering student at the University of Washington.


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