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Meet the Lab


Gary C. Chan, PhD

Principal Investigator

Gary is an Associate Professor in the Microbiology & Immunology Department. He is from Alberta, Canada and obtained his PhD from Univeristy of Alberta. Gary continued his career at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center until coming to SUNY Upstate in 2010. His research interests include Human cytomegalovirus pathogenesis and persistence.



Christine Burrer

Research Support Technician

Chris has been a technician for the Microbiology & Immunology department for more than 30yrs. She has helped several labs set-up and get running, including our very own. She hails from Massena, NY and obtained her B.S. at SUNY Plattsburg. In her free time Chris often visits her children, Leah and Alex, or can be found cuddling her cute cats, Manny & Chandler.


Dilruba Akter obtained her BS and MS degree in Microbiology from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. In her PhD project, she is investigating the role of heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) in expression and replication of viral genes during HCMV lytic infection. Dilruba loves

K-drama, to read and listen to music.


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Dilruba Akter

PhD Candidate
PhD Candidate

Juthi Biswas received her B.Sc (Hons.) and M.Sc in Microbiology from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. After her graduation, she joined Jagannath University as a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology. Currently, she is investigating transcriptional regulation of HCMV immediate early gene expression. In her spare time, Juthi loves to paint and listen folk music.



Juthi Biswas

Shima obtained her BS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Tehran, Iran. Shima’s project investigates how HCMV’s entry process rewires host stress responses to drive gene expression of prosurvival factors which are critical in promoting the survival and dissemination of infected monocytes. Shima is from a small city in the south of Iran. She enjoys cooking, hiking, hanging out with her cat, May, and her friends.



Shima Moradpour

PhD Candidate
Graduate Student

Monir obtained his BS and MS degrees in Microbiology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He then pursued another MS degree from Soonchunhyang University, South Korea. In the Chan lab he is investigating monocyte subclass switching/differentiation in response to HCMV infection. During his free time, he enjoys watching TV shows and taking walks.



Monir Hossain

Olivia Laniak

MD/PhD Student

Olivia is from Rochester, NY. She graduated with her BA degree in Chemical Biology and Music in 2022 from Case Western Reserve University. In the Chan Lab, Olivia investigates how HCMV reshapes protein expression in HCMV-infected peripheral blood monocytes. In her free time Olivia enjoys knitting.

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Hue Bui

Graduate Student

Hue earned her B.Sc. in Biology from the Vietnam National University of Science and her M.Sc. in Biomedical Science from the University of Central Florida, USA. In the Chan lab, she is exploring the role of CRKL in promoting HCMV entry and viral dissemination. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and traveling.



Lab Alumni

Megan Peppenelli, PhD

Senior US Clinical Specialist, Cell & Gene Therapy at Miltenyi Biotec

Nicholas Smith, PhD

Senior Scientist at Taconic Biosciences

Ben Chauder

Post-Baccalaureate Research Intern

Olesea Cojohari, PhD

Postdoctorate in the Kowalik Lab at UMass

Jamil Mahmud, PhD

Postdoctorate with Dr. Derek Walsh at Northwestern University - Finberg School of Medicine

Jennifer Cheung, MD, PhD

Residency for General Surgery at Mount Sinai

Aaron Altman, MD, PhD​

Residency for Pediatric Research Track at UPMC

Michael Miller, PhD

Postdoctorate with Dr. David Butler at the Neural Stem Cell Institute

Brittany Geiler, PhD

Freelance Science Writer

Lab Shenanigans

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