Bunnik lab

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Bunnik lab 2021
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION | The Bunnik lab is committed to maintaining and promoting an inclusive working and learning environment where people feel safe, supported, and comfortable to be themselves, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, etc. Of our past and current lab members, 40% are members of groups underrepresented in STEM, 40% are born outside the USA, and 70% identify as women. We try to lead by example to improve diversity and inclusion in our own lab, but also in the department and institution:
Evelien M. Bunnik, Ph.D.
Assistant professor

I am fascinated by host-pathogen interactions, in particular the interplay between host immune responses and immune evasion strategies of the infectious agent. In addition, I am passionate about making this world a better place to live for the poorest and most vulnerable people. For these reasons, my research has focused on the major infectious diseases in the world, in particular those that affect developing countries.

In my spare time, I like to clear my mind by being active outdoors. I love to run and will race any distance between a mile and a marathon. When at home, I enjoy cuddling my cats, solving puzzles, Zwifting and listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

Sebastiaan Bol, Ph.D.
Senior research scientist & lab manager

Originally from The Netherlands, I moved to the USA in 2011 and lived in beautiful California for 5 years prior to moving to the Hill Country in Texas. In my free time, I enjoy running, cycling, wildlife habitat restoration and conservation, and doing cat research (Cowboy Cat Ranch). I care a lot about animal welfare and strive to make this world a better place for every living being. In the Bunnik lab we do our best to minimize our footprint: we recycle, avoid wasting energy, and use non-toxic alternatives for harmful chemicals.

Jake Gonzales
Graduate student, Ph.D. candidate

I am a Ph.D. graduate student who loves learning about the immune system. I was born and raised in Texas, and I graduated from Angelo State University with a BS in Biology. When I am not studying or doing research, I am either at home playing video games or I’m watching either football, baseball or hockey, depending on the season. I also enjoy listening to music, watching movies, reading comic books, and just chilling out and relaxing (with our cats).

gonzalessj@uthscsa.edu   |   Curriculum vitae
Raphael Reyes
Graduate student, Ph.D. candidate

I am a native Californian from Los Angeles and completed my undergrad at the University of California Riverside. I continued my career in research at the University of Missouri-Columbia and I am now a second year graduate student. As an undergrad I studied the molecular biology of the malaria parasite and as a post-bacc student I was introduced to research in immune cell development. In my graduate studies I wish to integrate both experiences to explore host-pathogen interactions. In my spare time I love to watch films; my all-time favorite is Donnie Darko.

reyesr11@uthscsa.edu   |   Curriculum vitae
Ashley Braddom
Graduate student, Ph.D. candidate

I earned a BS in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University where I began my research career by studying the role of microRNAs in skin cancer development. As a graduate student, I am excited to continue building my research skills while learning about malaria and its interactions with the immune system. After graduate school, I hope to study emerging infectious diseases and their treatment in developing, resource-poor areas. In my free time, I enjoy running on the trails around San Antonio.

braddom@uthscsa.edu   |   Curriculum vitae
Katie Clarke, MS
Research assistant

I completed my undergraduate degree at UT Austin in 2019. I moved back to my home city to pursue a master’s degree in Immunology and Infection at UT Health San Antonio. In May 2021, I successfully defended my thesis and will stay on as a Research Assistant in the Bunnik lab. My research interests lie in host defenses and survival strategies against pathogens and I’m looking forward to exploring these areas further. In between conducting research in the lab and working part-time at a vet clinic, I like to spend my free time reading, watching scary movies, and playing with my dog, Riley.

Elizabeth Martinez-Scholze
Master student

Native San Antonian and happy to be here! My undergrad is in anthropology, I studied archaeology and different cultures to try and better understand what it means to be human. Since graduating, I have worked for a non-profit to promote health equity in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly with those living with HIV. I care about infectious disease and am fascinated with the host immune response. I‘m excited to study this further as I begin my research. On the weekends you will find me tending to my plants. I also love the outdoors and like to hike every chance I get.

martinezscho@uthscsa.edu   |   Curriculum vitae
Bunnik laboratory alumni

Gayani Batugedara   |   Postdoc   |   2019-2020   |   Continued as senior associate scientist at 23andMe

Cambrey Gallardo   |   Student volunteer   |   2019   |   Continued at Texas A&M Veterinary School

Melissa Nunez   |   Master student   |   2018-2019

Bayan Fallatah   |   Master student   |   2017-2018   |   Continued as a Ph.D. student at the University of Liverpool

Mawjuda Abdulrashid   |   Master student   |   2018

Hannah Hall   |   Undergraduate student   |   2017

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San Antonio, Texas, 2021