Stuart Lab

Lab Team

Alicia Annamalay, PhD

Scientific project manager I

Alicia AnnamalayDr. Alicia Annamalay manages the Stuart Lab’s multi-institutional U19 research program on human immune responses to malaria infection and immunization, which is part of the NIH Human Immunology Project Consortium. She completed her PhD in pediatric respiratory infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Western Australia. 

Jason Carnes, PhD

Senior research scientist  IV

Jason CarnesDr. Jason Carnes’ research focuses on aspects of RNA biology, with a particular interest in the multiprotein complexes that perform RNA editing in the mitochondria of trypanosomes. He continues to investigate the endonucleases required for RNA editing, trying to understand how they distinguish between thousands of in vivo substrates with distinct cleavage specificities.

Brittney Davidge, PhD


Brittney DavidgeDr. Brittney Davidge received her PhD from Portland State University where she studied the role of Cul3-based ubiquitin ligase complexes in cell biology. In the Stuart Lab, she investigates the structure and function of the 20S editosome complexes that are required for RNA editing within the kinetoplasts of Trypanosome parasites.

Ying Du, PhD

Research scientist IV 

Ying DuDr. Ying Du’s research focuses on employing systems biology approaches to study high-throughput “omics” and immunological data in malaria clinical trials to understand the immune responses to vaccination and to identify signatures that could predict vaccine efficacy.

Fergal Duffy, PhD


Dr. Fergal Duffy is a computational biologist specializing in machine learning and structural modelling. He applies these approaches to help predict, diagnose and understand the human immune response to infectious diseases, especially TB and malaria. Along with this work, he is integrating different experimental approaches to determine the structure of protein complexes involved in fundamental transcriptional processes.

Nina Hertoghs, PhD


Nina HertoghsDr. 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.

Suzanne McDermott, PhD

Research scientist IV

Suzanne McDermottDr. Suzanne McDermott received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh where she studied RNA-binding proteins that regulate development and synaptic plasticity in Drosophila. In the Stuart Lab, she uses a variety of techniques including RNA-CLIP, deep mutagenesis screens, cross-linking/mass spectrometry, and integrative modeling to study the physical and functional interactions between proteins and RNAs within the essential complexes responsible for RNA editing in kinetoplastid pathogens.

Nana Minkah, PhD


Nana MinkahDr. Nana Minkah 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.

Rahwa Osman, PhD


Rahwa OsmanDr. Rahwa Osman received her PhD from the University of Saskatchewan, where she studied mucosal innate and adaptive immune responses involved in the clearance of a primary alphaherpesvirus infection. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the HIPC2 project and a member of the Stuart Lab, in which she will characterize the humoral adaptive immune responses induced by human malaria immunization and aim to identify immune correlates to protection.

Damian Oyong, PhD


Damian OyongDr. Damian Oyong received his PhD from Charles Darwin University, where he investigated protective and pathogenic roles of human complement-fixing antibodies during malarial infection. In the Stuart Lab, he is involved in the HIPC2 project, in which his interests revolves around characterizing the function of antigen-specific T-cells and its role in mediating malaria protection. Outside of work, he enjoys going on hiking and camping trips around the Washington State.

Vy Pham, BS

Research technician

Vy PhamVy Pham earned her BS in microbiology and biology at the University of Washington in 2019. She is most excited about human pathogenesis and immunology research, and that’s how she found her place in the Stuart Lab. In the lab, Pham works on both HIPC2 and RNA editing projects with a focus on displaying different malaria parasite antigens on the surface of yeast, as well as the antibodies that potentially recognize those antigens.

Pat Pookun

Student helper

Pat PookunPat Pookun is a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in biology with a double minor in chemistry and neuroscience. In the Stuart Lab, her work focuses on performing quality control on media and reagents and supporting ongoing projects. She is interested in immunology, particularly how the immune system fights against infectious diseases and responds to vaccinations. After her undergraduate studies, she hopes to continue this passion either through medicine or biomedical research.