Erika Darrah, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Medicine
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Erika Darrah, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. During her doctoral training, she characterized antigen-specific T cell responses in rheumatoid arthritis and implicated granzyme B in the revelation of cryptic autoimmune epitopes. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology studying autoantibodies in RA under the mentorship of Dr. Antony Rosen, she joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology to continue her investigative pursuit of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis.
Pooja Naik, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
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Dr. Naik received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2015. Her doctoral work focused on studying the direct effects of tobacco smoke toxicity on the brain and brain microvasculature such as blood brain barrier (BBB). She mainly utilized in vitro smoke exposure models to study alterations in BBB physiology and function and also investigated major cyto-protective mechanisms based on nrf2 antioxidant response. With an expertise in pharmacology/ toxicology based approaches, her postdoctoral work extends to understand the role of smoking in autoimmune disorders such RA. Her current projects also include studying the pathophysiological mechanisms of PAD4-activating autoantibodies in driving severe erosive form of RA. With an opportunity to work on research projects with translational significance in Dr. Darrah’s lab; Dr. Naik plans to successfully pursue applied research in industry after completion of the postdoctoral training.
Hong Wang, Ph.D.
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Dr. Wang received her Ph.D. in Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University. She is the research specialist in Dr. Darrah’s lab. Her major duty includes conducting experiment for the multiple and concurrent projects. Also, she performs lab routine management and collaborates with other lab personnel to facilitate their research activities.
Arvin is currently pursuing his BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Public Health Studies in the Johns Hopkins University. His past projects included cohort analysis for their Glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene profiles in order to examine the relationship between GST genes, RA severity and smoking history. Arvin was drawn to work in the Darrah Lab in order to learn more about the principles of immunology and he hopes to apply the knowledge and techniques he learned to broader systems-level health issues. In his spare time, Arvin enjoys cooking and yoga, but mostly focuses on finding his footing as he enters professional adulthood.