Meet the Members of MTTG

Meet the Members of MTTG

MTTG is SLB's Members in Transition and Training committee.  This group is lead by trainee members and the efforts are focused on society resources and services for SLB trainee members; a true grassroots effort! Meet the dedicated individuals who volunteer their time in providing this valuable service to the society and the community.


Name: Leah M. Cook

Job title and lab/institute: Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Country of origin: USA

Country of residence: USA

One sentence describing your research: I’m focused on defining the roles of neutrophils and myeloid-derived cells in metastatic cancer, with a major focus on bone metastatic prostate cancer

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: There are so many “members-only” resources, and I especially love being able to access the society journal and presentations from seminars, the annual meeting, etc. I also appreciate the resources available for trainees

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I’m proud of becoming an independent PI and being able to manage a scientific team for 4 years now

One interesting fact about you: I love kayaking and traveling and like to kayak wherever I visit.


Name: Katherine Martin

Job title and lab/institute:Research Officer at the Walter and Elisa Hall Research Institute

Country of origin:  I was born in Australia, worked as a postdoc in London and Paris

Country of residence: Now I live back in Melbourne, Australia.

One sentence describing your research: I work on understanding the role of neutrophils in inflammatory diseases and finding ways to limit the damage they can cause.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Through my various roles at the SLB, I have been able to get to know some of the world leaders in leukocyte biology and have formed really great networks all over the world.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I am really proud every time one of my students completes their thesis and graduates.

One interesting fact about you: I grew up on a sheep farm in rural Australia and spent most of my youth chasing sheep around the paddocks with my dad and the sheep dogs.


Name: Archana Gopalakrishnan

Job title and lab/institute: Senior Postdoctoral Fellow. Laboratory of Dr. Stefanie Vogel, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA

Country of origin: India

Country of residence: United States of America

One sentence describing your research: To understand the role of Toll-Like Receptors (TLR), such as TLR4 in regulating host immune response to viral pathogens.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Networking, SLB gives trainees, like me, an opportunity to hone leadership and other skills by being a part of focus groups- such as MTTG and DEI.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I was recognized for my leadership roles in representing Postdoctoral fellows at my University by being awarded the Excellence in Service Award.

One interesting fact about you: I enjoy swimming, and playing board games. I explore my creative side in planning and executing events.


Name: George S. Karagiannis

Job title and lab/institute: Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Country of origin: Originally from Greece

Country of residence: Currently residing in New York, USA

One sentence describing your research: We study the response of the tumor and immune microenvironments to cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Besides networking, which is the most obvious thing, it helped me understand and gain a good perspective on the structure and administrative elements behind running a small society, focus groups, seminars, etc.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I am a recipient of the highly competitive NCI K99/R00 transition to independence award.

One interesting fact about you: I am an avid Bridge player and aspiring author of the science fiction and fantasy genres (I only have a few stories published so far, though!)


Name: Caitlin Gillis

Job title and lab/institute: Postdoctoral Researcher, VIB-UGent Inflammation Research Center, Ghent, Belgium and UTS/Centenary Institute Centre for Inflammation, Sydney, Australia

Country of origin: Australia

Country of residence: Belgium

One sentence describing your research: I’m fascinated by myeloid cells and their role in driving inflammatory pathologies - and cleaning up afterwards: macrophages, neutrophils, cell clearance and phagocytosis.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: The opportunities to be engaged with the society, to have a say in the events and programming throughout the year.The networking opportunities at conferences. As a young(er) researcher, I appreciate the visibility offered by dedicated avenues to showcase our science at the annual SLB meeting.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date:   I’m very proud of my PhD in its entirety, together with my international experiences.

One interesting fact about you: I’m a water baby: I love to swim and catch waves. When I was a kid, my underwater record was 50m in apnoea.


Name: Ramya Ganesan

Job title and lab/institute: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine, USA

Country of origin: I was born and raised in India

Country of residence: I currently reside in the United States of America.

One sentence describing your research: My research focuses on cancer dormancy and factors that invoke cancer metastasis, recurrence, and relapse. I also study the effects of repurposed drugs in oncology by altering immune mechanisms, cancer metabolism and adaptation responses in the tumor microenvironment.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Being part of an amazing society of world-renowned scientists in leukocyte biology with a lot of networking opportunities and forums for career development

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I published the last work from my late PhD mentor’s lab (my dissertation project) after his passing, who also was a beloved member of the SLB family.

One interesting fact about you: I love traveling around the world and am an adrenaline junkie who loves adventure sports.


Name: Samson Oluwapelumi Kosemani

Job title and lab/institute: PhD student at the Molecular Cellular Biology Lab, Department of Immunology, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Country of origin: Nigeria

Country of residence: Brazil

One sentence describing your research: My research focus is on the role of RAS effector protein in the development of melanoma.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: One of the benefits of being an SLB member is ability to network with other scientists all over the world.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: My first publication

One interesting fact about you: I love to tell story through pictures.


Name: M. Giulia Doglio

Job title and lab/institute: Doctoral graduate at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research, Belgium.

Country of origin: Originally from Italy

Country of residence: I’m living in Belgium at the moment.

One sentence describing your research: I study the role of linear ubiquitin in inflammasome biology.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Learning how to organize events, networking.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: I have helped with the organization of a PhD symposium, with great success.

One interesting fact about you: I am a big fan of inline skating, and I feel it is my role to convince anybody to try this sport.


Name: Nathaniel L. Lartey

Job title and lab/institute: PhD Candidate in the Lab of Dr. Michael Schnoor, Department of Molecular Biomedicine, CINVESTAV del IPN- Mexico City.

Country of origin: Originally from Ghana

Country of residence: Currently residing in Mexico City, Mexico.

One sentence describing your research: I study the role of the actin-binding protein cortactin in the onset and development of sepsis.

Name one benefit of being an SLB member: Exposure to the broader leukocyte biology community of researchers and opportunity to network. SLB has provided trainee members like me the opportunity to present our research, and this has boosted my confidence.

An achievement you are proud of in your career to date: SLB Presidential Student Award for 2021 annual meeting.

One interesting fact about you: Growing up, I wanted to be an Engineer until it switched to medical doctor. After I did not gain admission to the Medical School, I read Biochemistry and I am now a Scientist