Mulligan Lab Team | NYU Langone Health

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Mulligan Lab Mulligan Lab Team

Mulligan Lab Team

The Mulligan Lab’s dedicated team of scientists brings a wealth of experience to support the development of effective vaccines, therapeutic products, diagnostics, and predictive markers intended for clinical use.


Mark J. Mulligan, MD

The Thomas S. Murphy Sr. Professor, Department of Medicine
Professor, Department of Microbiology

Dr. Mulligan is the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in the Department of Medicine and director of NYU Langone’s Vaccine Center. An international leader in infectious disease research programs, Dr. Mulligan was among the first to enroll patients in a clinical trial of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic. Before coming to NYU Langone in 2018, Dr. Mulligan held several positions at Emory University, including associate division director for clinical and translational research in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and executive director of the Hope Clinic, the clinical trial arm of the Emory Vaccine Center. In those roles he focused both on vaccine clinical trials and on immune system studies that yielded vaccine candidates for HIV and other viruses.


Marie Samanovic-Golden, PhD

Dr. Samanovic-Golden is an assistant research professor and the program director of the Vaccine Center. She earned a MS from Pierre et Marie Curie University and a PhD in parasitology from NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow for the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore on anti-mycobacterial tuberculosis drug development. She then joined the laboratory of Heran Darwin, PhD, at NYU Langone for a second postdoc, where she continued research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis resulting in the breakthrough discovery of phytohormone production by tuberculosis human pathogen. After her postdoctoral experiences, Dr. Samanovic-Golden joined the New York Academy of Sciences as a manager for Life Sciences Programming before joining the Vaccine Center in July 2019.


Ralf Duerr, MD, PhD

Dr. Duerr is a research associate professor in the Department of Medicine, and co-affiliated with the Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology. He earned his MD in general pharmacology and toxicology from Ulm University, Germany, and his PhD in molecular animal physiology within the graduate school “Antigen-Specific Immune Therapy” from the Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy, associated with the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where he studied retroviral entry, diagnostic and therapeutic peptides, and the HIV reservoir in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, for which he received a Young Investigator Award. He then joined the laboratory of Phillipe Nyambi, PhD, at NYU Langone’s Department of Pathology for a second postdoc/associate research scientist position, studying HIV superinfection and epidemiologically-linked infection in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals in Cameroon, the supposed epicenter of the HIV pandemic. He became an assistant professor in November 2015, and subsequently joined the Departments of Microbiology (2021) and Medicine (2023). He played a critical role in studying the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City and provided early-response, hands-on support in the BSL3 laboratory. His current work involves vaccine and natural infection-mediated immunity in SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 infections and other infectious diseases with public health relevance, viral evolution and genomic surveillance, vaccine breakthrough, and antiviral drug resistance. His hobbies include sports, traveling, and enjoying the city.


Michael Tuen, BSc, BA

Michael Tuen is the laboratory manager for the Vaccine Center. Michael has a BA in biology from NYU and a BS in medical laboratory sciences from Hunter College, School of Health Sciences. His research experience includes evaluating the use of immune complex vaccines to enhance the antibody response to neutralizing epitopes of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope protein, as well as the characterization of antibodies that inhibit the processing and presentation of HIV-1 gp120 antigen. He joined the Vaccine Center in February 2021. Michael is a native New Yorker and his hobbies include traveling, snorkeling, camping, snowboarding, and bowling.


Aaron Oom, PhD

Dr. Aaron Oom is a postdoctoral fellow in the Mulligan Lab. He earned his BS from Michigan State University in 2012 and his PhD from the University of California San Diego in the lab of John Guatelli in 2021 before starting with the Vaccine Center in January 2022. His doctoral work focused on the use of machine learning in analyzing HIV Nef’s effect on cellular processes, as well as explorations of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 basic virology. Dr. Oom’s work in the Vaccine Center currently focuses on the JYNNEOS mpox vaccine and the co-evolution of respiratory viruses. When not in lab, Aaron enjoys exploring NYC, catching a Broadway show, or trying out new recipes.


Ashley DuMont, PhD

Dr. Ashley DuMont is a senior research scientist for the Vaccine Center. She earned her PhD in Microbiology from NYU Grossman School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Victor J. Torres. She worked as a Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, then as a senior postdoctoral fellow at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. She returned to Dr. Victor J. Torres’ lab at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in September 2018 to work as an associate research scientist. Dr. DuMont served as the project lead for a fruitful collaboration between NYU and Janssen Biotech Inc. (JBI), which stemmed from her doctoral work identifying and characterizing a novel Staphylococcus aureus cytotoxin. As a senior scientist in the Torres Lab, Dr. DuMont ran a team of scientists conducting preclinical studies for S. aureus vaccine development in collaboration with JBI. Dr. DuMont joined the Vaccine Center in July 2023. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, drawing, painting, and enjoying the NYC food scene.


Jimmy Blauser-Wilson, BSc

Jimmy Blauser-Wilson is a senior research technician for the Vaccine Center. Jimmy holds a BS in molecular and cellular biology from Ohio University. His research experience includes investigating virulent factors of human cytomegalovirus and the role of crucial B-cell proteins to the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He joined the Vaccine Center in September 2020. Jimmy's hobbies include playing basketball, reading, general fitness, and travel.


Miilani Yonatan, BSc

Miilani Yonatan is a laboratory assistant for the Vaccine Center. Miilani has a BS in biology with a concentration in biotechnology and a minor in bioengineering from George Mason University. Her research experience includes organizing special education student profiles and transcribing special investigation interviews with the behavioral data of students with learning disabilities. Miilani joined the Vaccine Center in September 2022. Miilani’s hobbies include watching anime, reading short novels, baking, and board games.


Kesi Wilson, BSc

Kesi Wilson is a research technician for the Vaccine Center. Kesi holds a BS in neuroscience with a certificate in Chinese language from Yale University. Her research experience includes investigating neuronal behavior in both the motor cortex and the cerebrospinal tract after traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury using mice as a model organism. She joined the Vaccine Center in January 2023. When she’s out of the laboratory, Kesi’s hobbies include watching movies, baking, dancing, exploring new restaurants, and taking care of her hedgehog, Panko.


Erika Guevarra, BA

Erika Guevarra is an associate research technician for the Vaccine Center. Erika has a BA in human biology with a focus concentrated study in chemistry from Hunter College. Her research experience includes processing biospecimens for bioclinical repository at NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center and investigating bacteria-mediated cancer therapies. Erika joined the Vaccine Center in May 2023. While not in the lab, Erika's hobbies include traveling, running, enjoying New York City, and spending time with her cat, Miso.


Ashley Fisher, BA

Ashley Fisher is a research technician for the Vaccine Center. She is also associated with the Department of Microbiology at NYU Langone, working in the Dittmann Lab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cellular/molecular biology with a double minor in Deaf Studies and Spanish from SUNY New Paltz. Her research experience includes investigating the effect of Atrazine on the cytoskeleton of T cells as well as mouse work and industry level experience in food safety as well as molecular diagnostics. Ashley officially joined the Vaccine Center in March 2023 and her work focuses on pharmaceutical testing of various HIV-1 strains involving acquired and transmitted drug resistant mutations. When out of the lab, Ashley enjoys traveling, drawing/card making, hiking, listening to live music, hanging out with friends and family, teaching ASL, and goofing around with her cat, Truffles.


Ishar Varma
Ishar Varma is currently completing his senior year at New York University for a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (BA).

Shelby Goins, BSc
Shelby Goins has relocated to Georgia.

Trishala Karmacharya, BSc
Trishala is a research assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Meron Tasissa, BSc
Meron will be applying to Physician Assistant programs for the Fall 2023 class.

Abdonnie Holder, MPH
Abdonnie Holder is a clinical research coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Ms. Holder served as a laboratory assistant for the Vaccine Center.

Denise Rogers, MS
Denise Rogers is an associate scientist II at Admera Health.

Amber Cornelius, MA
Amber Cornelius is an associate scientist at Hexagon Bio. Ms. Cornelius served as an associate research scientist for the Vaccine Center.

Laura Frye, MPH
Laura Frye is a laboratory data analyst/SAS programmer at IQVIA, The Human Data Science Company. During her tenure with the Mulligan Lab, Ms. Frye served as a senior research technician for the Vaccine Center.

Lilin Lai, MD
Dr. Lilin Lai is a senior scientist in the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit of the Hope Clinic, the clinical trial arm of the Emory School of Medicine’s Vaccine Center in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Lai was a critical member of the Mulligan Lab and served as a research associate professor during the creation of the Vaccine Center.