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Lab Members

Postdoctoral Scholars

Madhubanti BasuMadhubanti Basu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Madhubanti received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Utkal University (Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India). Her work was focused on the molecular characterization of toll-like receptors in Indian major carp, mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) in response to bacterial PAMPs. She was a Research Associate in Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India) and worked in the field of immunology for the characterization of immunoglobulins in the Indian major carps. Currently she is working on the origin and fate of HIV-specific plasma cells following vaccination through single cell and deep sequencing based immunoglobulin repertoire analysis.

Sanghita SarkarSanghita Sarkar, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate

Sanghita completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology and M.Sc. in Genetics with 1st class honours from University of Calcutta, India. She completed her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Dakota under the supervision of Dr. David Bradley. During her PhD, she studied the mechanism of resistance and susceptibility to Yersinia pestis pathogenesis. As a postdoc in Dr. Kobie’s lab, she is developing immunization strategies to induce robust Env-specific IgM memory responses that will enhance protection from HIV infection. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and paint.

Technicians and Staff

Michael PiepenbrinkMichael Piepenbrink, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Since 2012, I have been working in the Kobie Lab on molecular aspects of the B cell repertoire. This includes characterizing antibodies from humans, mice, and rhesus macaques as they relate to HIV, hepatitis and influenza immunity. This has been accomplished through either single cell RT-PCR or MiSeq repertoire analysis. I regularly clone identified single cell and mouse hybridoma antibodies into immunoglobulin expression vectors that are transfected into HEK 293 cells to make competent antibodies that are then harvested and purified. Antibodies are tested for polyreactivity and specific reactivity to antigens including HIV Env protein, endogenous retrovirus Env protein, hepatitis B and influenza. Previously, I have worked in the field of molecular and viral immunology including studies on a corona virus and an alpha herpes virus that infect poultry. For two years I also researched the topic of developmental immunotoxicology. In these studies, we examined the effects of in utero/in ovo toxin insult on the balance of the Th1 and Th2 immune responses that potentially could be impacted long term after insult.

At each change of focus, it has been a challenge, but my background allows me to ask questions that perhaps a person immersed in the field may not consider. Being that my undergraduate and graduate training was to prepare me for animal nutrition research, I do have a very unique perspective of viral immunology.

Undergraduate Research Students

Inho ChaInho Cha
Undergraduate Student

I am a senior at University of Rochester, majoring microbiology and minoring epidemiology. I had an interest in diseases in general since I was little so I joined the Kobie Lab in the summer of 2015. My main research focus is to develop an application of microbubble well array technology. Currently, I am working on to find a way to inhibit the RANKL pathway, which induces osteoclast to cause the bone loss, while using microbubble technology.

Noah ChernoskyNoah Chernosky
Undergraduate Student

I am a junior at the University of Rochester studying molecular genetics with a minor in chemistry. I am also a participant in the biotechnology program, which places an emphasis on microbiology and computer science. My interests lie in genetic engineering specifically for therapeutic purposes. I hope to one-day work for a biotechnology company, designing biologics for diseases that currently leave patients with little to no treatment options.