Adiza Abass, PhD, MPhil, completed her graduate studies in biomedical science at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. Her doctoral work focused on evaluating the effect of low-oxygen conditions on the activation of the inflammasome by the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. She made new discoveries about how H. pylori’s low-oxygen niche strengthens the host immune response against the pathogen. Before joining the doctoral program, she received her master’s in molecular cell biology of infectious diseases from the University of Ghana, where she investigated the potential of a probiotic fermented tea as an adjunct treatment for mycobacterial infections. Abass has expertise in microbiology, molecular biology, and relevant cellular and molecular techniques. In the Heung Laboratory, she is evaluating the mechanisms by which the adapter protein DAP12 regulates the host immune response to the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.
Sreemoyee Acharya, PhD, MSc, MS, joined the Heung Laboratory in March 2020. She obtained her doctorate in biomedical sciences from Iowa State University and completed her initial postdoctoral research at Tufts University in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Global Health. Her previous research was focused on how Schistosoma mansoni, a neglected tropical parasite, is capable of modulating the host immune system so that it can survive undetected in the host for decades. In the Heung Laboratory, Acharya is studying the role of immune cells in the response to Cryptococcus gattii, an emerging fungal pathogen that causes invasive infections in immuno-suppressed and immuno-competent patients after entry via the lungs. When not in the lab, she enjoys exploring her relatively new home in California by going on hikes and visiting museums, exhibitions, theaters and historical places of interest.