Research to Improve Women's Reproductive Health
Past Lab Members
Jenna Ratcliffe, BA - Research Coordinator
Dr. Fangming Xiu - Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Uladzimir (Vova) Karniychuk - Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Matthew William Woods - Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Jocelyn Wessels - Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Allison Felker - Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Kristy Roth, PhD
Dr. Jessica Kafka, PhD
Dr. Victor Ferreira, PhD
Dr. Varun Anipindi, PhD
Dr. Puja Bagri, PhD
Sudha Bhavanam, MSc
Sameer Kassim, MSc
Sherie Fernandez, MSc
Erin MacDonald, MSc
Sara Dizzell, MSc
Danielle Vitali, MSc
Jeffrey Lam, MSc
Haley Dupont, MSc
Ramtin Ghasemi, MSc
Andrew Rempel, MSc
Philip Nguyen, MSc, Research Assistant
Sidney Pa, MSc
Tushar Dhawan, MSc
Amy Gillgrass, Lab Technician
Jillian Wong, Lab Technician
Dr. Hong Jiang, Lab Technician
Erin Walters, Research Assistant
Maeve Cooper, Research Assistant
Kristen Mueller, Lab Technician and Lab Manager
Sussan Kianpour, Research Lab Technician IV
Yung Lee, Project Student
Padmaja Sreeram, Project Student
Lianna Braham, Co-op Student
Alexia Kim, Project Student
Oscar Chan, Project Student
Ghaznia Khan, Project Student
Chris Gunst, Project Student
Olivia Chan, Project Student
Karen Ho, Project Student
Nishant Heryani, Project Student
Emma Yu, Project Student
Ryan Chow, Undergraduate Thesis Student
Sidney Pa, MSc Graduate
Sidney completed her MSc in 2022 in which she explored the effects of hormonal contraceptives DMPA and NET on the immune system and its influence on HSV-2 susceptibility in vivo. Prior to joining the Kaushic lab, Sidney graduated from McMaster University in the Honours Life Sciences Co-op program. During her undergraduate degree she completed a co-op work term in Dr. Martin Kolb’s lab, in which she helped with ongoing projects in the lab related to the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Jenna Ratcliffe, BA
Jenna has been working with vulnerable and marginalized populations through the coordination of social-health research and clinical trials at McMaster University since 2006.
Jenna coordinated Dr. Kaushic's randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of estrogen and probiotics in the prevention of HIV among African Canadian women. She has also previously coordinated studies ranging from evaluating the effectiveness of school bullying prevention programs to understanding the supportive needs of young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Jenna has an undergraduate degree (BA) from the Faculty of Social Sciences and an associate degree in Certified Clinical Research (CCRA), both from McMaster University.
Tushar Dhawan, MSc Graduate
Tushar was a project student in the Kaushic lab, and decided to stay on to continue his project as a Masters student. His project investigates the influence of TRIM26, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, in negatively regulating the antiviral responses and HSV-2 infection in the vaginal epithelium through innate immunity. Research in our lab has shown that TRIM26 inhibits IRF3 activation, consequently resulting in negative regulation of IFN-β production, and thus increased viral replication. It is hypothesized that over-expression of the TRIM26 gene will increase HSV-2 infectivity and knockout of the TRIM26 gene will reduce HSV-2 infectivity. Tushar completed his MSc in September 2021.
Puja Bagri, PhD Graduate
In 2014, Puja enrolled in the Medical Science Graduate Program at McMaster University to complete her Masters degree under the supervision of Dr. Kaushic and transferred into the PhD stream in 2016.
Puja's graduate project involved working with the mouse model of herpes-simplex type-2 (HSV-2) infection. Puja's project aimed at underlying mechanism behind enhanced protection observed in estradiol-treated mice, more specifically, by investigating the role of IL-17 and the establishment of tissue-resident memory cells in anti-viral immune responses to HSV-2. Puja completed her Honors PhD in 2020.
Haley Dupont, MSc Graduate
Haley joined the Kaushic lab in 2017 under the Medical Sciences Graduate program. Here she was looking at the microbiome and sex hormones in relation to HIV susceptibility in the female reproductive tract. Haley completed her Honours Master of Science at McMaster University in 2020.
Ramtin Ghasemi, MSc Graduate
Ramtin joined the Kaushic lab in 2017 in the Medical Sciences Graduate Program. His research examined humoral immune responses against HSV-2 in the female genital tract of mice under the influence of estradiol. Ramtin completed his Master of Science at McMaster University in 2020.