Current Lab Members

Katya Heldwein, PhD

Principal Investigator

Katya received her PhD from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR where she studied ligand recognition by bacterial transcription regulators using x-ray crystallography in the laboratory of Richard Brennan. She then did her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Stephen Harrison where she initially worked on clathrin adaptor complexes and later delved into herpesvirus cell entry. She opened her own laboratory at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Fall of 2006.

Elizabeth Draganova, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Elizabeth received her PhD in Chemistry from Georgia State University after completing her BS in Biochemistry from Kennesaw State University. She is interested in understanding the structural and mechanistic features of the HSV-1 nuclear egress complex by utilizing a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques.

Ellen White, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ellen  received her PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University after completing her BS in Chemistry at James Madison University. Ellen is working on isolating and characterizing the prefusion form of viral fusogen glycoprotein B (gB) from HCMV and HSV-1.

Adam Hilterbrand, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Adam received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Texas, Austin after receiving a BS in Molecular Biology from Loyola University Chicago.  His research focuses on identifying specific herpesviral glycoprotein contributions to entry using a recently developed vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudotyping system.

Nathalie Lavoie

Phd Student, Molecular Microbiology Program


Nathalie received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston College and a Masters in Spatial Analysis for Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. 

Jose Martin Ramirez

MD/PhD Student, Molecular Microbiology Program


Martin received his BS in Biochemistry & Biology from California State University - San Bernadino in San Bernadino, CA. He is using single particle tracking (SPT) and total internal reflection microscopy in conjunction with the pseudo type VSV to study the intermediate mechanisms of viral entry and the specific roles of gB, gH, gL and gD. 

Mike Thorsen

PhD Student, CMDB Program

Mike graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is studying the mechanism of nuclear egress by the nuclear egress complex (NEC) from HSV-1 and EBV.

Zemplen Pataki

MD/PhD Student, Molecular Microbiology Program


Zemplen graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor's degree in Health and Human Biology. He is using genetic, biochemical, and cellular approaches to elucidate how HSV glycoproteins cooperate to trigger membrane fusion at the appropriate time.

Bing Dai

PhD Student, CMDB Program


Bing received a Bachelors in Medicinal Chemistry from China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing, China and a Masters Pharmacology and Drug Development from Tufts. His project focuses on identifying host proteins that facilitate HSV nuclear egress and determining the mechanisms by which they do so.

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