Team

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Dr. Agnieszka Apple | Principal Investigator

Agnieszka (Aga) was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology in 2016. Her research unravels complex links between viruses, bacteria and the host immune environment. As part of her scientific accomplishments, she received the prestigious Parker B. Francis Fellowship for Pulmonary Research that supports her research. Aga is also actively involved in science mentoring and outreach, through partnership with the Blackfeet Community College in Browning, MT.

Email: agnieszka.rynda@montana.edu


Kelly Shepardson | Postdoctoral Researcher

Kelly is a research scientist that joined the Apple laboratory in July of 2014. Her career in science began with a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2009 from Wells College in NY. She then continued on to graduate school at Dartmouth College, NH for a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology where she worked on determining the role of hypoxia in the pathogenesis of a human fungal pathogen. During her postdoc, working under Dr. Apple, she worked on determining the early immune events during viral infection that shape the ability of the host to respond to subsequent pathogen encounters. Now, developing her independent research program, she aims to understand how anti-viral immune responses and damage during viral infection allow for subsequent fungal infections to occur (funded by a Parker B. Francis Fellowship). With her award of a NIH/NIAID K22 career transition grant, she is currently applying to tenure-track assistant professor positions to start her own laboratory.

Email: kelly.shepardson@montana.edu

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-shepardson


Monica_Hall1.JPG (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Monica Hall | Research Associate

Monica joined the Apple Lab March of 2020. She has a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Louisville. At the University of Colorado, her postdoctoral work uncovered defects in muscle stem cell proliferation in aged mice by combining cellular barcoding with high-throughput sequencing to quantify cell divisions in vivo during muscle repair. Monica has many research interests, but her overarching philosophy is to “follow the science.” Outside the lab, she enjoys skiing and hanging out with her 60 lb Asian Water Monitor, the second largest lizard by weight after the Komodo Dragon.

Email: monica.hall@montana.edu

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/monicanicolehall


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Evelyn Benson | Research Associate

Evelyn is a Research Associate who joined the Apple Lab in November of 2018.  She has an AAS in Animal Health Technology from Colorado Mountain College and a B.A. in Environmental Biology from University of Colorado Boulder.  She has worked in various environments including as a certified Veterinary Technician, certified Laboratory Animal Technician, Research Assistant for biotech companies, and Research Associate for pharmaceutical companies.  Her most recent work has been at the bench performing various assays including ELISA’s, qRT-PCR and Bacterial Killing Assays.

Currently, she is working with the Apple Lab team on optimizing and validating several types of immune assays for bat samples.

Email: evelyn.benson1@montana.edu


Alexis Hatton. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

Alexis Hatton | Graduate Student

Alexis is a graduate student who joined the Apple Lab in February of 2019. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from Montana State University in 2018. She aims to understand the role of early immune recognition of viral and non-viral repeating protein subunit patterns (RPSPs) and how these RPSPs alter the host immune environment leading to changes in the host response to subsequent bacterial infections.

Email: alexishatton@montana.edu


Abby Luu

Abby Luu | Graduate Student

Abby is a graduate student who joined the Apple Laboratory in August of 2019. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University in 2015. Prior to joining the Apple Lab, she worked in the AgriGenomics industry performing SNP analysis. She aims to understand the role that cellular metabolism plays in viral infection and subsequent regulation of Type I Interferons.

Email: abby.luu@student.montana.edu


Ema Robinson

Ema Robinson | Graduate Student

Ema is a graduate student who joined the Apple Laboratory in March 2020. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in 2012 from Reed College in Portland, OR. She remained in Portland for many years where she worked as a metal ion analysis technician, as an assay development associate for an emerging biotechnology startup, and as a cystic fibrosis researcher. She intends to investigate the effects of Influenza D infection on subsequent Influenza A and bacterial infections. When she is not in lab, Ema is rock climbing or thinking about rock climbing.

Email: ema.f.robinson@gmail.com


Emiliano Hernandez

Emiliano Hernandez | Undergraduate Student

Emiliano is an undergraduate student assisting with research involving the generation of immune assays for bat samples.


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Clyde Schulein | Undergraduate Student

Clyde is an undergraduate student working with Ema and is studying how virus-like particles (VLPs) can act as antimicrobial agents against bacterial respiratory infections in sheep.


Julia Roemer | Undergraduate Student

Julia is an undergraduate student working with Kelly studying how anti-viral immune responses and damage during viral infection allow for subsequent fungal infections to occur.


Sophia Springfield | Undergraduate Student

Sophia is an undergraduate student working with Alexis in studying role of early immune recognition of viral and non-viral repeating protein subunit patterns (RPSPs).


Erika Anderson | Undergraduate Student

Erika is an undergraduate student working with Evelyn and is assisting with research involving the generation of immune assays for bat samples.


Gabby

Gabrielle Rizzo | Undergraduate Student

Gabrielle is an undergraduate student studying Cell Biology & Neuroscience at MSU. In the Apple Lab, she works in collaboration with Ema and Clyde to study how virus-like particles (VLPs) can act as antimicrobial agents against bacterial respiratory infections in sheep. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar in her local bands, snowboarding, mountain biking, and baking focaccia bread. 
 
 

Lab Alumni

Julia Wellham | Undergraduate Student

Logan Johns | Research Associate

Kyle Larson | Research Associate

Libby Fones | Graduate Rotation Student

Rebecca Orlando| Graduate Rotation Student (Spring 2018)

Gary Dunn | Graduate Rotation Student (Spring 2019)

Lillie Watson | Undergraduate Student

Hanbyul (Hannah) Cho | Undergraduate INBRE Scholar

Coy Harwood | Undergraduate INBRE Scholar

Kayla Stanek | Undergraduate Student

Lilianna Bento | Undergraduate Student

Kendra Bertrand | Undergraduate Student