Our Team

Principal Investigator

Jonathan Schneck, M.D. Ph.D.

Jonathan Schneck (Professor of Pathology, Medicine and Oncology) received his M.D. Ph.D. in Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After completing his degree, Dr. Schneck trained in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington DC. From there he went to the National Institute of Allergy and Immunology at the NIH in Bethesda and did his postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Immunology. He joined the faculty at JHMI in 1990 as a junior faculty and is currently a Professor in Pathology, Medicine and Oncology. His lab is focused on T cell immunology in the Department of Pathology. When not in lab, Dr. Schneck is a family man with 5 children. Dr. Schneck enjoys skiing and photography.


Research Associates

Joan Glick Bieler, Ph.D.

Joanie received her Ph.D. in hematology from the City University of NY. Next, she did a post-doc in viral oncology investigating early onco-genes at Memorial Sloan Kettering. After a career detour which included teaching, child rearing and baking, Joanie joined the Schneck lab where she concentrated on mechanisms of TCR/MHC/peptide interaction and the dynamics of the immune response and helped develop the protocols used in enrichment and expansion by aAPC. After a short hiatus, Joanie has returned to apply some of the lab’s methodologies to clinical problems of transplant rejection and infection following immune-suppression. Joanie spends most of her time outside of lab either with family or baking. Sometimes the lab benefits from her baked goods production.

Graduate Students

Ami Bessell

Ami Bessell is an 8th year Immunology Ph.D. student. She received her B.S. in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps!).  Along with working in lab, Ami likes to bake, is an avid yogi, and spends time with her husband Eduard and daughter Elizabeth.

Ariel Isser

Ariel Isser is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student. He has a B.S. in bioengineering from University of Maryland College Park. His research focuses on developing nanoparticle platforms for expanding antigen specific helper (CD4+) T cells for cancer immunotherapy and understanding the relevance of antigen-driven responses in checkpoint blockade. Outside of lab, his passions include making cringeworthy puns, helping fellow PhD students prepare for their future careers through BME EDGE, and spending time with his wife, Elana.

Pan-am Chaisawangwong

Worarat (Pan-am) Chaisawangwong is a Pathobiology Ph.D. candidate. She got B.Sc. in Biotechnology from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand. She received her M.Sc. in Phytochemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Mahidol University, Thailand. After that she worked in Research and Development department at DIRC Thailand for 5 years. She values a career where she can combine her passion for science with the opportunity to improve human health. In 2015, she started her journey in USA and she got her second M.Sc. in Biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University. She is interested in cancer research and aims to help tackle healthcare challenges. Her research focuses on immunoswich nanoparticle platform and microbiome project. In her free time, she loves cooking and traveling. She enjoys meeting new people and spending time with friends.

Natalie Livingston

Natalie Livingston is a second year Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student. She obtained her B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland College Park. She is interested in developing biomaterials-based systems for the activation of T cells. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, reading, listening to podcasts, and watching classic movies

Mary Omotoso

Mary Omotoso is a second year Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student. For her undergraduate studies she attended North Carolina A&T State University, where she received a B.S. in Bioengineering. Her research focuses on studying nanoparticles and T cell activation. When she is not in lab or spending time with her family, she enjoys watching stand-up comedy, writing music, and trying new outdoor activities.

Research Coordinators

Sebastian Salathe

Sebastian Salathe is in his 1st year as a Research Specialist. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a second major of History of Science, Medicine and Technology. His research focuses on T-cell activation through biomaterial engineering. Outside of lab, he enjoys cooking, playing soccer and is an outdoor enthusiast.

Nkay Uzoukwu

Nkay is a Research Specialist in the Schneck Lab. She received her BS in Biology from The George Washington University and her Master’s from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her projects involve utilizing the enrichment and expansion techniques to facilitate expansion of specific human T-cells using artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPCs). Outside of lab, Nkay enjoys binging tv shows, going out to brunch and working out.

Joby Matthew, DPT

With an ardent desire in clinical research, Joby Mathew proactively manages and directs various prospective and retrospective Lung & Heart transplant  & Cystic Fibrosis projects. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, Joby worked for a pharmaceutical company in Delaware. Joby graduated from Towson University with a Master of Gerontology and a Doctor of  Physical Therapy. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, travelling and reading.

Undergraduate Students

Anna Chen

Emma Elias

Kayla Gee

Lab Alumni

Past Graduate Students

John Hickey, Ph.D. -Stanford University
Yen-Ling Chiu, M.D. Ph.D. – Far Eastern Memorial Hospital
Tarek Fahmy, Ph.D. – Yale University
Alyssa Kosmides, Ph.D. – FDA
Jessica Lee, Ph.D. – Syneos Health Consulting
Yu “Matt” Li, Ph.D. – Beckman Coulter
Karlo Perica, M.D. Ph.D. – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Bo-Yi Sung, M.D. Ph.D. – National Defense University (Taiwan)
Tonya Webb, Ph.D. – University of Maryland School of Medicine

Past Post-Doctoral Students

Bracha Erlanger Avigdor Ph.D. -Johns Hopkins University
Malarvizhi Durai, Ph.D. – Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Christian Shuetz, Ph.D. – Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

Past Fellows

Joseph Sabatino Jr, M.D. Ph.D. – University of California, San Francisco
Juan Varela, M.D. Ph.D. – NexImmune

Past Research Associates

Kristy Chu – Miltenyi Biotec
Carl Haupt – The University of Queensland-Ochsner School of Medicine
Aaron Selya – Philadelphia Distillers

Past Assistant Professors

Mathias Oelke, Ph.D. – NexImmune

Past Undergraduate Students

Kevin Necochea – Johns Hopkins University
Leah Sibener – 3T Biosciences
Andy Tu – MIT
Fernando Vicente – Johns Hopkins University
Jae Wook Chung – Johns Hopkins University