Silvia Arredondo, PhD

Research scientist III

Dr. Silvia Arredondo is a staff scientist with a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was formally trained as a chemical engineer with emphasis on protein engineering and disulfide bond formation. Her interest in applying her skills to the fight against malaria led her to a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. During her time at the NIH, she focused on the structural and functional characterization of P. falciparum blood stage 6-cys proteins. Her work yielded the first molecular structure for this protein family. Arredondo remains intrigued by the 6-cys proteins and she is interested in elucidating the roles of the members of this family in the pre-erythrocytic stages.

Will Betz, MS

Research technician II

Will Betz is a research technician with a MS degree from the University of Southampton. He has worked at the center since 2008. Previously, he worked as a field biologist/wildlife conservationist in New Guinea. It was there that he witnessed the pervasive and debilitating impact that malaria has on human health and economic development, and he himself contracted Vivax malaria on two occasions. His primary work responsibility is maintaining stocks of rodent malaria–infected mosquitoes, as well as supplying researchers with rodent and human malaria parasites via mosquito dissection. Outside of work, Betz enjoys photography, hiking and travelling with his wife, Debbie.

Nelly Camargo, BSc

Research associate II

Nelly Camargo joined Dr. Stefan Kappe’s program at NYU in 2002. She decided to move to Seattle with the lab in 2003 where she was instrumental in setting up the lab and ensuring it ran smoothly. She is originally from Colombia and received her BSc from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During her time in the Kappe Lab she has played an integral part of the many research programs. She successfully initiated and spearheaded the transfection technology of the rodent and human malaria parasites in the lab, a key technology that has led to a deeper understanding of the biology of the parasite which she finds fascinating. She believes that excellent, honest, persistent and truly cooperative work will eventually lead to control of the damage inflicted to so many people by the malaria pathogen. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family.

Debashree Goswami, PhD


Dr. Debashree Goswami received her PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and University of Münster, Germany, in 2016. During her PhD, she investigated the role of a receptor-ligand pair involved in the process of leukocyte transendothelial migration using gene-deficient mice. For her postdoc, she wanted to transition into a lab involved in applied research, which brought her to the Kappe Lab. In the Kappe Lab, she is currently working on the malaria vaccine project that requires generating genetically attenuated parasites (GAP) that arrest late in the liver stage. These late-arresting GAPs would serve as the next potential vaccine candidate. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis and volleyball and going on hikes.

Nina Hertoghs, PhD


Dr. Nina Hertoghs is working as a post-doctoral researcher who shares her time between the labs of Drs. Stefan Kappe and Ken Stuart. She received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam, where she investigated the initial interactions between enveloped viruses like HIV-1 and Ebolavirus with mucosal dendritic cell-subsets. Here she will be involved in the HIPC2 project in which she will aim to characterize the immune responses that are elicited in several malaria-vaccine trials, and hopefully identify correlates of protection. In addition, she will utilize in vitro and ex vivo assays in order to get a more mechanistic understanding of antimalarial immunity.

Outside the lab, she enjoys discovering Seattle, especially the culinary highlights the city has to offer.

Charlie Jennison, PhD


Dr. Charlie Jennison did his master’s degree in medical parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he researched bovine schistosomiasis in Uganda. After a stint researching sexually transmitted infections in Cambridge, UK, he undertook a PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, where he focused on the gametocyte and sporozoite biology of P. falciparum. In the Kappe Lab he is continuing his research interests in sporozoite biology, taking advantage of the labs unique ability to perform genetic crosses of P. falciparum. Using the progeny of genetic crosses, his research focuses on investigating parasite genes important for P. falciparum infection of the human liver. Outside of the lab he enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing and local breweries.

Sudhir Kumar, PhD


Dr. Sudhir Kumar is a postdoctoral scientist in the Kappe Lab. He obtained his PhD from the National Institute of Immunology/Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, working on calcium and cyclic nucleotide mediated signaling in Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic stages. His current project focuses on experimental genetic crosses between different artemisinin-resistant and -sensitive parasites to discover the mechanism of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. Outside of the lab he likes to travel, read, play badminton and watch cricket.

Nana Minkah, PhD


Dr. Nana Minkah joined the Kappe Lab in October 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow. He received his PhD from Stony Brook University, where he utilized a murine model of herpesvirus infection to identify virus and host factors critical for the establishment and maintenance of chronic herpesvirus disease. In the Kappe Lab, he is studying how the early immune response to a genetically attenuated parasite influences its use as a vaccine candidate. Outside of the lab, he spends most of his time watching soccer and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Carola Schaefer, DVM, PhD


Amina Sheikh

Research technician I

Kristian Swearingen, PhD

Visiting scientist

Dr. Kristian Swearingen is a visiting scientist at CGIDR and a research scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology in the lab of Dr. Rob Moritz. He received his PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Washington. Swearingen specializes in the development of mass spectrometry instrumentation and techniques for identifying and quantifying proteins. His work in collaboration with the Kappe and Moritz Labs has resulted in characterization of protein expression in Plasmodium salivary gland sporozoites, including identifying proteins exposed on the parasite surface that may serve as new targets for vaccines against malaria. He is currently investigating the role of post-translational protein modifications as chemical signals in the development of infectivity in mosquito stage Plasmodium as well as in transmission of the parasite from the human host to the mosquito vector. When not in the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, playing music and brewing beer.

Thao Nguyen, BS

Research technician I

Thao Nguyen received her BS in biochemistry from Seattle Pacific University. During her undergraduate work, she and her partner revised the published dopamine quantification technique to devise procedures quantifying the amount of dopamine released from Ulvaria obscura, the only known alga so far that releases this compound under stress. At the Kappe Lab, Nguyen works with the team to produce Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites to support research and GAP3KO vaccine trial purposes. She enjoys hiking, traveling and eating yummy food.

Shawna Stonum

Senior administrative assistant 

Ashley Vaughan, PhD

Research assistant professor

Dr. Ashley Vaughan is a senior scientist and received his PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During his tenure in the Kappe Lab, he has shown the importance of the parasite’s fatty acid synthetic pathway for sporozoite and liver stage maturation. He also researches how to elicit the best immune response after vaccination with genetically attenuated parasites. Vaughan’s collaboration with Dr. Sebastian Mikolajczak in the lab has led to significant advances in the use of human-liver chimeric mouse models in studying malaria. This includes complete liver stage development and transition to blood stage malaria in the mouse for the human malarias Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Vaughan has used this mouse model for the creation of experimental P. falciparum genetic crosses, a significant advance that should aid in our understanding of P. falciparum drug resistance. He continues to be fascinated by basic parasite pre-erythrocytic biology and uses rodent malaria and parasite transgenesis to understand how the parasite interacts with its vector and host during sporozoite and liver stage development. Outside of the lab he is a keen hiker, traveler and scuba diver, pastimes he enjoys with his husband, Rafael.

Gigliola Zanghi, PhD