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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. 

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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

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.

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