Balázs Rada Ph.D. – Associate Professor
Balázs completed his PhD at the Semmelweis University Medical School in Budapest Hungary in 2005 in the group of Dr. Erzsebet Ligeti. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH in the Washington DC metro area 2005-2011 in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Leto. He started his own research group at the University of Georgia at the end of 2011 to study innate immunity in respiratory diseases including cystic fibrosis and influenza infections.
Demba Sarr Ph.D. – Associate Research Scientist
Demba received his Bachelor and Master Degrees of Science from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. He also completed his PhD from the same institution with the group of Dr. Ronan Jambou at the Pasteur Institute Network, where he worked on malaria immunology. Demba moved to the United States in 2007 and worked with Dr. Julie Moore in the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases and the Department of Infectious first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as an assistant research scientist with a focus on malaria immunology. Demba joined the laboratory in 2017 and investigates the role of innate immunity in a variety of infectious disease models. His primary focus is to determine the mechanistic role of an oxidative, epithelial antimicrobial immune mechanism in influenza infection and other infectious diseases including malaria.
Samantha Tucker Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow
Samantha received her Bachelors of Science in Biology degree from Allegheny College in 2012. She earned her PhD in Infectious Diseases from the University of Georgia in 2018. For her dissertation work, under the direction of Dr. Russell Karls, she examined metal ion regulation and vitamin synthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Samantha joined the laboratory in June 2018. She uses a mouse model to determine the contribution of neutrophil extracellular traps to chronic airway inflammation and infection in cystic fibrosis.
Edriss Yassine Ph.D. – Postdoctoral fellow
Edriss received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the San Jose State University in 2006. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the San Francisco Bay area for seven years. While pursuing his Master of Public Health Degree (MPH), Edriss worked at the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Boston University Medical Center. After graduating with his MPH in Epidemiology in 2014, Edriss pursued a doctoral degree in infectious disease at the University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Fred Quinn. Edriss’ dissertation focused on the genetics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as characterizing the bacterium’s alpha-crystallin protein. Edriss earned his PhD in 2020 and joined the Rada lab following graduation. His work currently focuses on the innate immune response in in vivo and in vitro infection models of Streptococcus pneumoniae.