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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 postdoctoral researcher 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. Now, working under Dr. Apple, she aims to determine the early immune events during viral infection that shape the ability of the host to respond to subsequent pathogen encounters.

Email: kelly.shepardson@montana.edu

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


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Kyle Larson | Lab Manager

Kyle began his microbiology career as an undergrad studying and characterizing bacteria in and around vineyards and wineries.  As a graduate student, he attempted to use bacteriophages as a natural remedy for bacteria that commonly cause spoilage in fermenting and finished wine.  In 2013 he accepted a position working under Dr. Apple, handling the lab’s microbiology needs and gradually taking over as lab manager.  Today he handles all aspects of lab management in the Apple lab as well as work on the development/improvement of vaccines for common human and livestock infections.

LinkedIn: Kyle Larson


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Elizabeth Fones | Rotation Graduate Student

Elizabeth is a first year graduate student in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. She did her first rotation in September 2016 in the Apple Laboratory. Her project involved trying to determine what receptors are involved in VLP-P22-mediated protection to bacterial infection.

Email: elizabeth.fones@student.montana.edu


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Hanbyul (Hannah) Cho | Undergraduate INBRE Scholar

Hannah is senior majoring in Biotechnology and minoring in Computer Science at Montana State University. She joined the Apple lab as an Undergraduate INBRE Scholar and is investigating whether changes in lung microbiota contribute to type I interferon signaling-dependent alteration of host susceptibility to post-influenza bacterial super-infections.

Email: hannah.hanbyul@gmail.com


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Kayla Stanek | Undergraduate Student

Kayla is currently majoring in animal sciences at MSU as a freshman. She joined the lab in September of 2016 and works as a lab aid and helps with experiments in the lab.

Email: kaylaNstanek@gmail.com


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Lilianna Bento | Undergraduate Student

Lilianna is a freshman at Montana State University majoring in plant science. She joined the Apple lab in September of 2016 and works as a lab aide.

Email: lilianna.bento@student.montana.edu


Lab Alumni

Coy Harwood | Undergraduate INBRE Scholar