Current Lab Members
- Harry P. Schenk Endowed Chair Professor
- Vice-Chair, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (with tenure)
- Professor (tenure), Department of Microbiology
- Professor (secondary), Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
- Director, Tumor Virology Training Program
- Associate Director, Global Cancer Research, Abramson Cancer Center
- B.S. in Microbiology, Howard University
- Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Wayne State University
- M.S. Honorary Masters, University of Pennsylvania
- Post-Doctoral Training: Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Ph.D. in Biotechnology from CSIR — Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, University of Calcutta, India
I joined the lab of Dr. Erle Robertson on 24th September 2018. In my PhD I have worked on biotherapy against cancer and the immunological aspects associated with it. After my PhD I was eager to shift field to infectious disease and that is why I applied for position at Dr. Robertson’s Lab. I was always fascinated to work in oncogenic viruses and here I got the chance. My project deals with replication initiation of Kaposi Sarcoma associated virus (KSHV) and the 3D landscape of the replication origin. Apart from this I am also involved in the microbiome project where I am looking at the altered metabolic pathways in tumors and the probable involvement of the microbiome. This is a great opportunity for me here to get accustomed with the latest molecular biology techniques. Here I am experiencing a very friendly lab environment with all the other members willing to help. I am especially thankful to Dr. Robertson for all the support and his valuable suggestions regarding the experimental designing, troubleshooting and protocol standardization. To fulfill my long term future goals, I feel the experiences I am gathering from here will be in valuable.
Ph.D. in Molecular Cancer Genetics form Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpes virus (KSHV) maintains a lifelong establishment with host and remain in latent phase. In immune-compromised individuals, the KSHV infection has been observed to be associated with several malignancies like Kaposi’s sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman disease. KSHV and hypoxia interaction has been known to affect key physiological pathways of both host as well as pathogen. These changes include LANA/vGPCR mediated tumorigenesis as well as RTA mediated induction of lytic replication of KSHV genome. Independent of chosen physiological pathway(s), the KSHV infected cell reprogram its metabolism to meet the required metabolite pool, though the mechanism and the pathways involved in these changes are poorly known. Using high throughput genomic and proteomic approach, we are working to decipher the mechanism behind metabolic reprogramming of KSHV infected cells in hypoxic conditions. Also, KSHV genome behaves very differently with the host genome in several manners especially in hypoxic condition. Hypoxia induces arrest of cell cycle and DNA replication in host DNA while KSHV genome is known to be fired for productive replication. The factors involved in this differential behavior of host and pathogen DNA is not known. Our goal is to understand mechanism and pathways involved in this differential behavior of host and pathogen genome. We are also working to understand if KSHV infection also helps in host DNA replication especially in hypoxic conditions.
Ph.D. in Pathogenic Microorganisms in 2019, from Wuhan University School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wuhan, China
After graduating from Wuhan University, I joined the lab of Dr. Robertson in 2020. My PhD program was focused on the inhibitory effect of the drugs on HSV and the related mechanisms of immune regulation. HSV and EBV are both belong to the herpesviridae family. I have a deep interest in investigating the underlying mechanisms of EBV-mediated oncogenesis, as well as host defense in adaptive immunity. Thank Dr. Robertson very much for his support and mentor, I can continue my research at the forefront of field of herpes viruses.
Ph.D. in Microbiology from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, India
I joined Dr. Erle Robertson's laboratory on 23rd June 2023 as a Post Doctoral Fellow. In my Doctoral study, I worked on the Association of genetic mutations with injectable drug resistance and Infectious diseases. So, I want to continue my career in the field of virology and viral-related disease research, which led to getting the chance in Dr. Robertson's laboratory. Here I am working on Viral oncogenesis, especially EBV and KSHV-related oncogenesis. I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Robertson for all his help and guidance. I believe the experiences I am gaining from this will be helpful in achieving my long-term goals.
MSci in Biotechnology Graduated from The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
I joined the Robertson Lab in August 2023 after receiving an integrated Master of Science (Hons.) degree in Biotechnology from The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. My Master’s research involved combining biochemical assays and live-cell imaging to understand how the knockout of ubiquitin proteases affected the ability of yeast to form proteinaceous assemblies under oxidative stress. I have since pivoted to molecular virology and hope to understand the relationship between the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and transcription factors from the Krüppel-like factor (KLFs) family.
B.A. in Fine Arts from Benkoff Art College, Tashkent
Post-Graduate, Certificate in Administrative Office Assistant, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell
I’ve changed my career and graduated from Montgomery County Community College as a Modern Office Assistant. I have joined the Robertson Lab in September 2017 and I'm happy to be here. The lab has produced important work on Tumor virology in recent years. I'm attracted to the exciting environment at the University of Pennsylvania, and proud to be a part of that. As Staff Assistant I handle everything from administrative support in the lab.