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.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Shuyi Li, Ph.D.

Shuyi Li is a postdoctoral fellow. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the National Center of Nanoscience and Technology of China. Her research mainly focuses on developing nanoparticle and hydrogel platforms for generating and expanding tissue resident memory T cells for cancer immunotherapy. Outside of the lab, Shuyi likes cooking, baking, and watching movies.

Ted Kouo, M.D.

Ted Kouo is a clinical fellow in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He was in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Johns Hopkins from 2006-2015, and completed his Ph.D. in Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee’s lab where he studied the role of galectin-3 modulating tumor specific CD* T cell responses after cancer vaccination. He remained at Hopkins to complete his residency in pediatrics from 2015-2018. Ted’s current research interests are in applying the aAPC platform to investigate the impact of childhood disease and trauma on cellular immunity.

Graduate Students


Ariel Isser

Ariel Isser is a sixth 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 fourth 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 fourth 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 metabolic manipulation of CD8+ T cells for productive expansion. She also studies biomaterial-based platforms for expansion of CD8+ T cells. When she is not in lab or spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, writing music, and trying new outdoor activities.

Joseph Choy

Joseph Choy is a second year Materials Science & Engineering Ph.D. student. He obtained his B.A.Sc. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Toronto with a minor in Bioengineering. He is interested in T cell mechanotransduction and immunometabolism through biomaterial interactions. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and photography.

Sydney Shannon

Sydney Shannon is a second year year Biomedical Engineering PhD student. For her undergraduate studies she attended the University of Rochester, where she received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Chemical Engineering. She is interested in the realm of immunoengineering with a focus on next generation artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPCs). Outside of lab, she enjoys swimming, skiing, and CrossFit!

Si-Sim Kang

Si-Sim Kang is a second year Pathobiology Ph.D. student. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in life science and a Master’s degree in immunology from National Taiwan University. She is interested in T cell-mediated caner immunotherapy. In her free time, Si-Sim enjoys reading, hiking, traveling and playing piano.

Niklas Bachmann

Nik Bachmann is a second year Pathobiology PhD student. Before Hopkins, he graduated from the TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands with a BSc in Nanobiology, and worked as a lab tech in Tokyo and Chicago. Co-mentored by the Schneck and Siliciano labs, he explores possible applications of the nanoparticle platform in the context of HIV infection. Outside of lab, he is usually cooking, hiking or attempting to keep his dog Baloo out of trouble.

Gary Wang

Gary (Hanzhi) Wang is a second year Master’s student in BME Department. He received his B.S.E. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, respectively. His current research interest involves the CD4+ T cell immunoblockade and computational analysis of T cell receptor sequences. In his spare time, he enjoys music composition a lot.

Research Associates


Shannon Storms

Shannon Storms is a research associate and Masters student in the Applied Biomedical Engineering program. She has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from Rowan University.  As a new addition to the lab, she is looking forward to learning about the different research being done and applying what she has learned in her Master’s courses to gain more experience. Outside of the lab she enjoys pole vaulting, backpacking, and skiing.

Undergraduate Students


Gohta Aihara

Sayantika Roy

Hajin Sim

Maya Zhang

Lab Alumni


Past Graduate Students

Ami Bessell, Ph.D.
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 Fellows

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

Sebastian Salathe – University of Kansas Medical Center
Nkay Uzoukwu
Joby Matthew
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

Emma Elias
Anna Chen – Johns Hopkins University
Kayla Gee – UC Irvine
Kevin Necochea – Johns Hopkins University
Leah Sibener – 3T Biosciences
Andy Tu – MIT
Fernando Vicente – Johns Hopkins University
Jae Wook Chung – Johns Hopkins University