Current lab members
JULIET MORRISON, PHD
Juliet Morrison is an Assistant Professor in the Microbiology and Plant Pathology department at UC Riverside. There she researches host-pathogen interactions and teaches on topics pertaining to host responses to human viruses. Her research combines immunological and virological methods with computational analysis to address questions at the host-pathogen interface. After completing her BA in Biology at Bard College, she earned her PhD in Microbiology at Columbia University. After graduate school, she completed postdoctoral fellowships at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and University of Washington.
Since 2018, the Morrison lab has been investigating how different immune cell populations work together to promote or resolve viral infections. The Morrison group has also used transcriptional profiling to understand how inhibitory drugs against dengue disease can reverse pathogenic gene expression signatures induced by dengue virus infection. Another interest of the lab is understanding how viruses antagonize innate immune pathways to promote their replication. Dr. Morrison is also using virus-encoded interferon antagonists as tools to define previously unknown aspects of interferon signaling regulation. Her goal is to translate her findings into host-targeted virus therapeutics.
Juliet is from the beautiful island of Jamaica, and speaks English and Jamaican Patois. Her hobbies are urban farming and travel.
MAFALDA A FARELO, PHD
Mafalda obtained a BSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology, from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. Then, she completed an MSc in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal. During this time, she also did an internship at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, where she studied the impacts of an anti-cancer drug on mitochondrial metabolism. She then moved to the UK where she completed a PhD in virus-host interactions at the University of Surrey, studying how dengue and Zika viruses affect peroxisome homeostasis.
Mafalda joined the Morrison lab in 2021 and her research focuses on virus-host protein interactions in influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Mafalda speaks Portuguese and English. She spends her free time volunteering in associations, communicating science, hiking, , watching movies, listening to podcasts, and reading at the beach.
James Stumpff is a student in the PhD program for Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Riverside. After graduating with a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Cal State San Marcos, he worked as a Diagnostic Systems Engineer at Hologic Inc. Afterwards he started his PhD in 2018 and entered Dr. Morrison’s lab in the department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology where his work focuses on host responses to influenza infections. His work incorporates immunological and virological techniques to understand host-cellular responses and dynamics during and after influenza to potentially find therapeutic targets.
XUEYAN (SHARON) XU
Xueyan obtained her B.S. in biotechnology from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. Then she completed a MSc in Cell Biology from Osaka University, Japan, where she studied the mechanism of mitochondrial autophagy. Xueyan started her PhD in Cell, molecular and developmental biology in 2018. Her research focuses on understanding how dengue virus interacts with host proteins and evade host innate immunity.
Xueyan speaks Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and English. She has a lot of hobbies, but the things that really make her happy are dancing, reading outdoor, and playing video games after a long day. She also tries to do strength training regularly to fight the aging body. She is very into learning how to code nowadays
Roksana started her undergraduate degree at Irvine Valley College and graduated from UCLA with a BS in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. During her time at UCLA, Roksana worked in Dr. Sherie L. Morrison’s, Dr. Thomas Graeber’s, and Dr. Kris Reddi's laboratories. After graduation, she worked as a Staff Research Associate II in Dr. Robert L. Modlin laboratory for three years. Now, Roksana is a PhD student in the Morrison lab. She looks forward to facing new challenges to achieve her goal of becoming a PhD scientist. Her work at the Morrison lab focuses on studying the mechanisms leading to macrophage differentiation related to mitochondria, which have the potential to lead to novel therapies for controlling inflammatory diseases.
Roksana enjoys playing jigsaw puzzles and hiking in nature. Also, she loves to spend time in her garden: "I get such a thrill out of watching my plants grow, especially when I have planted them as a tiny seed". Roksana speaks Farsi and English.
Thida is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Riverside majoring in Microbiology. In the Morrison Lab, she has worked with Influenza virus, learning to propagate viruses and determine viral titers. She is currently involved in a SARS-CoV-2 project, developing tools through molecular cloning to study virus-host interactions. She hopes to expand her knowledge of general immunology.
Thida's hobbies include drawing, painting, playing video games, and snowboarding. She speaks Khmer and English.
Vanessa Viveros is a Mexican-American first-generation community college transfer student attending UC Riverside as a fourth-year Microbiology major. In the Morrison Lab, she has assisted in research associated with understanding STAT2 degradation when in contact with DENV1 NS5 protein. Currently, she works on a SARS-CoV-2 project that aims to make a new plasmid that expresses our protein of interest, Non-structural protein-3 (Nsp3). Vanessa speaks English and Spanish. In her free time she loves to cook, dance, travel, and explore new places.