Kaech Lab group
Principal Investigator

Susan Kaech

Professor and Director
Nomis Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis
Nomis Foundation Chair

B.S. Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Washington
Ph.D. Developmental Biology, Stanford University

The West coast is the best coast. I love spending time outside under the California sun, whether on a hike or while enjoying the sunset with a nice glass of wine. It is even better when I can do it with my loving family and friends. I also enjoy multicolor flow cytometry and cooking.
Research Associates

Dan Chen

Research Associate

B.S. Biology, Nanjing Normal University
Ph.D. Biology, Nanjing University

Dan’s study is focused on the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy in PDX and glioblastoma models. Her goal is to bolster the immune system against tumors. Outside the lab, she enjoys swimming and travel.

Hokyung “Kay” Chung

Research Associate

B.S. Pharmacy, Seoul National University Ph.D. Biology, Stanford University

Kay focuses on how CD8+ T cell states are determined by their internal (transcription factors) and external (environmental cues) programmers to design “smarter” T cells. Outside of the lab, she enjoys walking her dog Oli and exploring the best coffee roasters in San Diego.


Victor Du

Research Associate

B.S. Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S. Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Victor’s research focuses on the majestic natural killer (NK) cells and how to fine tune these immune cells to effectively target tumors that are resistant to T cells. In his free time, he likes hiking, reading, and grabbing good beers with friends.

Yagmur Farsakoglu

Research Associate

B.S. Biotechnology and Cell Biology (hons), La Trobe University (Burnet Institute)
Ph.D. Immunology, Bern University & Institute for Research in Biomedicine

Yagmur is interested in elucidating the effects of pro-/anti-inflammatory mediators on regulating the spatiotemporal dynamics of CD8+ T cell fate determination in secondary lymphoid organs. She enjoys reading books, drinking good wine and watching movies.

Anna-Maria Globig

Research Associate

MD University of Freiburg

Anna aims to understand how the function of T cells can be metabolically manipulated in the context of different autoimmune diseases and in T cell exhaustion. Outside of lab, she enjoys exploring the Californian outdoors.

Shixin Ma

Research Associate

B.S. Bioscience and Technology, Yangzhou University
Ph.D. Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai

Shixin is focusing on the metabolic influence on the epigenetic landscape of CD8+ T cells within the tumor microenvironment. She enjoys traveling during her free time.

Tom Mann

Research Associate

B.S. Chemistry, Bucknell University
Ph.D. Biochemistry, Stanford University

Tom is studying the dynamics of intracellular calcium signaling in T cell exhaustion. Outside of lab, he enjoys board games, juggling, and tennis.

Annelise Snyder

Research Associate

B.A. Biology, B.A. Chemistry, Williams College
Ph.D. Immunology, University of Washington

Annelise is interested in examining how immunometabolism influences the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Outside of lab, she enjoys rooting for the Patriots and exploring the outdoors with her dog.

Karthik Varanasi

Research Associate

B.Sc. Biotechnology, Osmania University
M.Sc. Biotechnology, Vellore Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee

“Change brings faster results than chance.” My research focuses on how immune cells change their metabolism within different tissues to fit the local environment to stay functional.

Shihao Xu

Research Associate

B.S. Medicine, Southern Medical University Guangzhou
Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Rochester

I am interested in metabolic regulation of anti-tumor immunity, CD8+ T cell function in particular. By harnessing transgenic mouse models and in vitro immunological tools, we hope to gain a better understanding of how deregulated lipid metabolism contributes to CD8+ T cell dysfunction.

Steven Zhao

Research Associate

B.A. Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Rutgers University
Ph.D. Cell & Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania

Steve is interested in how the nutrient environment of cells affects cellular metabolism and function. The goal of his research is to understand how altered metabolic states in diseases such as obesity and cancer influence the immune compartment. Outside of the lab, he enjoys anything food related, tennis, and photography.
Staff Researcher

Hubert Tseng

Senior Staff Researcher

B.S. Engineering Mechanics, Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D. Bioengineering, Rice University

Hubert is currently focused on single cell cytokine analysis to profile the functional diversity of immune cells in tumor microenvironments. Outside of lab, he really likes to eat.

Josh Clanton

Senior Staff Researcher

Research Assistants

Eduardo Casillas

Research Assistant


Filipe Araujo Hoffmann

Research Assistant


Patricia Rodriguez Morales

Research Assistant

B.S. Biology, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey

Patricia’s research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of increased cancer incidence among patients with chronic viral infections (e.g. HIV). Her goal is to better understand how the chronic viral setting affects anti-tumor immunity. Outside of lab she likes to take long walks, try new places to eat, and spend time with family and friends.

Kacie Traina

Research Assistant

B.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

Kacie is focused on generating PDX mouse models to uncover molecular mechanisms that control the generation of memory T cells and immunological memory. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and going to the beach.
Graduate Students

Jessica Roginsky

Graduate Student


Brian Stack

Graduate Student


Ali Kuhlmann

Graduate Student, Yale University

B.A.S. in Biology and English, Stanford University

Ali is currently studying how resident macrophage homeostatic programs can be co-opted during tumorigenesis to aid in the formation of a tolerant immune response. She is specifically focusing on alveolar macrophage lipid and surfactant homeostasis in lung adenocarcinoma.

Bryan McDonald

Graduate Student

B.S. University of California, San Diego

Bryan is interested in understanding how extracellular cues influence the cell fate decisions made by CD8 T cells during acute viral infections and in cancer. Outside of lab, he enjoys drinking coffee, eating pastries, and rock climbing.

Ziyan Xu

Graduate Student, University of California, San Diego

B.S. Fudan University

Zoe’s interested in understanding the tumor microenvironment, especially the correlation between metabolic changes and functionality in immune cells. She enjoys spending time with her dog Tinkerbell in her spare time.
Lab Technicians

Matthew Morgan

Lab Technician I


Bianca Parisi

Lab Technician I


Natalia Avina Ochoa

Lab Technician


Sam Marcus

Lab Technician

Lab Coordinator

Victoria Tripple

Lab Coordinator

B.S. Human Biology, University of California, San Diego
B.A. Psychology, University of California, San Diego

Victoria currently manages the Kaech Lab and also works on in vivo cancer models and infiltrating immune cells. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her son to the zoo and the beach.