Lab Members

Stacey Kolar, PhD

Project Scientist Email: stacey.kolar@cshs.org

Learn More

Stacey Kolar, PhD, obtained her doctorate from the University of South Florida in the lab of Lindsey Shaw, PhD. For her thesis project, Kolar studied the two-component system, nsaRS, in Staphylococcus aureus and the post-translational regulation of S. aureus virulence factors by secreted proteases. Her current research focuses on the role of bacterial hyaluronidases in immune evasion.

Sabrina Mueller, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist Email: sabrina.mueller@cshs.org

Learn More

Sabrina Mueller, PhD, completed her doctoral studies in the laboratory of Thomas Reinheckel, PhD, at the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research, at the University of Freiburg (Germany). In her graduate work, she focused on the role of endolysosomal cysteine proteases in the macrophage-mediated response to Staphylococcus aureus. As a postdoctoral fellow in both the Liu Laboratory and Underhill Laboratory, she currently investigates the impact of antibiotic treatment of methicillin-resistant S. aureus on the onset of inflammation.

Berenice Aguilar, PhD

Berenice Aguilar, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist Email: berenice.aguilar@cshs.org

Learn More

Berenice Aguilar, PhD, completed her doctoral studies in the laboratory of Young-Kwon Hong, PhD, at the University of Southern California. Her graduate work focused on determining the molecular mechanism by which Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus induces infection and oncogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Victor Nizet, MD, at the University of California, San Diego, she focused on exploring the molecular mechanisms by which cholera toxin inhibits Rab11/Sec15-mediated endocytic recycling, which has an important implication in cell barrier maintenance. In addition, she investigated the role of HIF-1 in modulating mouse innate immune responses when challenged with pneumococcus and MRSA. Her current research in the Liu Laboratory focuses on the adaptation of a humanized mouse model to determine the role of MRSA virulence factors in human disease.

Chih-Ming Tsai

Chih-Ming Tsai, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist Email: chih-ming.tsai@cshs.org

Learn More

Chih-Ming Tsai, PhD, completed his undergraduate studies at National Chaiyi University, majoring in ecology while studying frogs and insects. He then earned a master's degree at National Yang-Ming University under the supervision of Shie-Liang (Edmond) Hsieh, MD, PhD, examining the galectin-1 in plasma cell biology and immune responses. Subsequently, Tsai joined the doctoral program at Academia Sinica in Taipei, working with Kuo-I Lin, PhD, on several projects in the field of glycoimmunology, including further analysis of galectin function in plasma cells, functional expression of a unique regulatory disialyl motif and Siglec receptors in plasma cell differentiation, as well as the molecular mechanisms of the recognition of galectins by Candida albicans, with Tsai’s research extending into a first postdoctoral fellowship.

In 2014, Tsai became a postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, in the lab of Victor Nizet, MD, with the Program of Excellence in Glycosciences and has launched projects on how bacterial sialic acid mimicry and sialidase production influence innate and adaptive immune responses, including inflammasome activation in macrophages, antigen presentation and B cell differentiation and antibody responses. Many studies were conducted in full reciprocal collaboration with the laboratory of Ajit Varki, MD. Currently, Tsai is a researcher at Cedars-Sinai in the pediatric department working on Staph aureus vaccination development.