Lab Members

Principal Investigator
Youngho Lee, PhD
Project Scientist

Youngho Lee, PhD, received his doctorate from Nagoya University School of Medicine in Nagoya, Japan. During his tenure at Nagoya University, he showed that CD8+CD122+ T cells have a regulatory function. As a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA, he found that FoxP3 and MyD88 double mutant resulted in improving symptoms and promote healthy growth. While at Cedars-Sinai, Lee found that Anakinra and IL-1beta play a critical role in pathogenesis of the Kawasaki disease mouse model.

Stefanie Marek-Iannucci, MD
PhD Student

Stefanie Marek-Iannucci, MD, is enrolled in the Cedars-Sinai graduate program and since August 2019 works in the Noval Rivas Lab and Arditi Lab as a PhD student. Prior, Marek-Iannucci began working on a large animal model on swine in the Gottlieb Laboratory, where she performed a myocardia infarction and local hypothermia via pericardial irrigation with cold saline to study the effects of therapeutic hypothermia on remodeling after ischemia/reperfusion injury. For her thesis, Marek-Iannucci is working on the role of autophagy and its interaction with the NLRP3 inflammasome, in the murine model of Kawasaki vasculitis. She wants to learn more about the molecular mechanisms behind the formation of cardiovascular lesions ins this murine model. The final goal being to decipher mechanisms that can be modulated and widen the therapeutic spectrum for Kawasaki disease and eventually prevent the formation of cardiovascular lesions. In her free time, Marek-Iannucci enjoys hiking, biking, classical music and opera.

Santhosh Nadipuram, MD
Assistant Professor

Santhosh Nadipuram, MD, is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist and a physician-scientist. After completing his clinical fellowship in 2013, Nadipuram joined the lab of Peter J. Bradley, PhD, at UCLA, as a postdoctoral fellow. There, Nadipuram studied the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, focusing on the organism's secreted proteins and their roles in pathogenesis. He used genetic and protein purification techniques to identify and characterize several of these secreted proteins and discovered the role of these proteins in the parasite's survival and metabolism. Nadipuram joined Cedars-Sinai in 2018 and studies in the Arditi Lab with the goal of understanding the host response to Toxoplasma infection, specifically in immune-privileged compartments, such as the brain and the eye (chorioretinitis), using experimental mouse models of acute and chronic toxoplasmosis. Nadipuram received the Cedars-Sinai Clinical Scholars Award in July 2019. He also partners with the Koronyo-Hamaoui Lab in the Department of Neurosurgery to study the effects of Toxoplasma infection on Alzheimer's disease. Nadipuram is an active clinician, caring for children in the hospital and outpatient clinic settings. In his spare time, Nadipuram co-publishes a podcast called Travel Medicine Podcast, discussing current medical topics as well as medical trivia and history. He also loves to rock climb with his two daughters.

Asli Beyza Ozdemir
Research Associate I

Asli Beyza Ozdemir joined the Arditi Lab in August 2019 after graduating from UCLA with a bachelor of science in human biology and society. During her undergraduate studies, she worked on a systems biology project to identify candidate genes involving lipid and iron metabolism in fatty liver disease in the lab of Jake Lusis, PhD. She spent a summer interning in a breast cancer laboratory where she studied the prognostic value of the aquaporin protein family in triple-negative breast cancer under Ozgur Sahin, PhD, in Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Currently, Ozdemir maintains transgenic mouse colonies and assists in various experiments as well as computational analyses involving Kawasaki disease and microbiome studies. She is interested in the crosstalk between the immune system and microbiota. In her free time, Ozdemir enjoys cooking, reading and listening to podcasts and 1970s Turkish rock.

Rebecca Porritt, PhD
Research Scientist I

Rebecca Porritt, PhD, received her doctorate at the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia. During this time, her research focused on the innate immune response, specifically mechanisms regulating Type I interferon signaling. Porritt joined the Arditi Laboratory as a postdoctoral scientist in 2016. Porritt's postdoctoral studies focused on the T cell intrinsic role of Rip2 in regulating Th17 responses, and the role of IL-17 in mediating chronic lung inflammation in response to Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. As a project scientist in the Arditi Laboratory, Porritt now investigates the role of innate and adaptive immune responses mediating the pathogenesis of Kawasaki disease vasculitis and how to therapeutically target these responses to prevent cardiovascular lesions associated with Kawasaki disease.

Priya Soni, MD
Assistant Professor

Priya Soni, MD, is a physician-scientist with subspecialty training in pediatric infectious diseases from UCLA. In her early research at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, she studied the expression of Sox9 transcription factors and their effects on the proliferative capacity of intestinal stem cells. Soni's other research contributions include several global health initiatives in infectious diseases. Most recently, she conducted field research measuring long-term outcomes of sustainable vaccination programs through Hands up for Haiti. During her fellowship at UCLA, Soni pursued clinical/translational research in pediatric HIV to better understand the latent viral reservoir, in hopes of developing novel approaches for a sustained HIV cure. She joined the pediatric infectious diseases and immunology division at Cedars-Sinai as a physician-scientist. In addition to her clinical and teaching responsibilities, Soni is an active member of the Arditi Laboratory. She is a clinical translational researcher who studies the role of intestinal permeability, gut microbiome, metabolomics and host immune responses during human Kawasaki disease. She works with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, and Moshe Arditi, MD, in translating basic science research findings obtained with the experimental Kawasaki disease mouse model to children with Kawasaki disease. She is a key leader in the strategic planning and response to the pandemic through the Cedars-Sinai COVID-19 taskforce. Her research focus has now expanded to better understand the complexities of this novel virus through her role as co-investigator for BCG Vaccine for Health Care Workers as Defense Against COVID 19 (BADAS) clinical trial. She is also involved with a collaborative study with UCLA evaluating clinical outcomes in mother-infant pairs affected by COVID-19.

Alumni Lab Members

Contact the Arditi Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Building, Rooms D4024, D4025, D4027
Los Angeles, CA 90048