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Catherine Blish, Principal Investigator

I received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and a M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Washington. I performed postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Julie Overbaugh before moving to Stanford in late 2011.

Lisa Kronstad, Postdoctoral Scholar

I received my bachelors at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before moving to U.C. Berkeley for a Ph.D. in Microbiology.  I am currently studying the role of NK and T cells in combatting influenza.

Laura Simpson, Postdoctoral Scholar

I received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Georgia, and then moved to UC San Francisco for my Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Immunology. I joined the Blish lab in 2015, and I am currently studying the human NK response to influenza infection and vaccination.

Mathieu Le Gars, Postdoctoral Scholar

I received a B.S. in Immunology from the Université de Nantes, earned my Ph.D. in Infectiology (Microbiology, Virology and Immunology) at Université Denis Diderot in 2011. Following a 2-year appointment at the Insitut Pasteur, I joined the Blish lab in 2015. I am currently studying the human NK response to viral infections.

Elena Vendrame, Clinical Fellow

I received my M.D. at University of Padova in Italy and I joined the lab in 2015 as a post-doc after completing my first year of clinical fellowship in Infectious Diseases. I am currently working on better understanding the relationship of NK cells to HIV progression to disease.

Susan Canny, Clinical Fellow

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Nancy Zhao, Graduate Student

I am a graduate student in the Immunology programme, and joined the lab in 2014. I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a B.A. (Hons) in Natural Sciences, and I am currently working on the NK cell response to HIV.

Julia McKechnie, Graduate Student

I received my B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from the University of California - Berkeley in 2015 and joined the Blish Lab in the summer of 2016. I am investigating the role of natural killer cells during acute dengue virus infection, particularly focusing on the differences between primary and secondary exposure in humans.

Geoff Ivison, Graduate Student

I received my bachelors in the biochemistry of human health from Hampshire College in 2012, and joined the Blish lab as a PhD student in summer 2016, co-mentored by Sean Bendall. I'm currently studying mechanisms regulating NK cell activation.

Rosemary Vergara, Life Science Research Associate

I just graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. In the Blish Lab, I am working on characterizing the natural killer cell response to influenza virus, using molecular cloning and a recombinant virus approach.

Thanmayi Ranganath, Lab Manager

I got my MS in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA and worked for a year at Nemours Hospital for Children before joining the lab in 2015. I manage lab budgets and supplies and work on various projects.


  • Nicholas Bayless, currently a Research Scientist at Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Dara Strauss-Albee, currently a Data Scientist at Collective Health
  • Jacob Shahidi, currently an optometry student at the New England College of Optometry
  • Olivia Hatton, currently an Assistant Professor at Colorado College
  • Alexander Kay, currently a Medical Officer for the TB Control Branch, California Department of Public Health
  • Emily Liang, currently a medical student at UCLA
  • Chin Chen, laboratory manager
  • Camille Roque, currently a medical student at UC Davis
  • Lindsay Sceats, currently a surgical resident at Stanford School of Medicine
  • Mary Rieck, currently the lab manager for the Bluestone Lab at UCSF
  • Ozge Dogan, currently a medical student at St. George's University School of Medicine


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