Ram Savan, Ph.D. Professor of Immunology Adjunct Professor, Microbiology Savan is a Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington. He received his early education in India before moving to Japan to obtain his doctoral degree from Kagoshima University under the mentorship of Dr. Masahiro Sakai from the University of Miyazaki. During his time in Japan, he was awarded the Monbusho fellowship, which allowed him to study the evolution of the immune system in lower vertebrates. After completing his Ph.D., Savan continued his postdoctoral training with Dr. Howard Young at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, where he studied the influence of non-coding RNA on immune responses. In 2011, he joined the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor, and he was granted tenure in 2017. He was promoted to Professor in 2023. He has received the Monbusho, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, NCI Director's Innovation, and Milstein Young Investigator Awards. He is the Chair of the Immunology DEI committee. Contact
Nandan Gokhale, Ph.D. Senior fellow, NIH Pathway to Independence Awardee Nandan received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in 2019 from Duke University where he studied the role of RNA modifications in viral infection with Dr. Stacy Horner. He is a recipient of Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award and Helen Hay Whitney fellowship. Currently he is supported by NIH pathway to independence award (K99/R00). He joined the Ram lab in the Fall of 2019 and has been studying the role of non-coding RNAs in innate immunity and viral infection. Contact
Kim Somfleth, Ph.D. Senior Fellow - from Adelaide Australia Kim received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2020 from the University of Adelaide, where he worked on lattice quantum chromodynamics. Kim is developing new computational approaches to study the evolution of immune genes. He joined the Ram lab in 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow. Contact
Yo Okamura, Ph.D. Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Fellow - from Miyazaki, Japan Yo received his Ph.D. in 2021 from the University of Miyazaki in Japan, where he studied the innate immune responses in fish and crustaceans. Yoinvestigated the function of interleukin 17 in the gut of medaka. He joined the Ram lab in autumn of 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He is studying comparative innate immune responses.
Julian R. Smith, Ph.D RA - from La Mirada, CA Julian graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2014 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. After graduating he studied blood-brain barrier breakdown and repair in the context of neuroinflammation in the laboratory of Dritan Agalliu at Columbia University. Julian joined the Ram Lab in 2018. Julian is studying the role of alternative splicing in programming innate immunity. Julian was funded by the T32 UW-Immunology Training Grant. Julian graduated in 2023. Contact
Rachel Van Gelder Ph.D. Candidate, Immunology - from Mercer Island, WA Rachel graduated from Dartmouth College in 2018 with an AB in biology with mathematics. She did her undergraduate thesis on heterogeneity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the cystic fibrosis lung in Deborah Hogan's lab. Rachel came home to Seattle and joined the Ram Lab in the summer of 2019. Outside of immune gene regulation and viruses, she enjoys hiking, skiing, climbing, running, and, above all, nachos. Rachel was previously funded by the Institute of Translational Health Sciences - TL1 Training Grant. She is currently funded by Dr. Richard Titus Endowed Fellowship.Contact
Skyler L Niemeyer Ph.D. student, Microbiology Skyler Graduated from the University of Washington in 2022 with a B.S. in microbiology. She did her undergraduate research on the pathogenesis of Zika virus during co-infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) under the mentorship of Megan O’Connor in Deborah Fuller’s lab. Skyler joined the Ram lab in 2023. Her favorite things outside of lab are spending time with her husband, Teagan and her two Dogs, Boba and Luna, miscellaneous crafts and creative endeavors, Taylor Swift, video games, traveling, and trying new foods. Contact
Dylan Omelia Lab Manager Dylangraduated from University of Washington studying Biology. He took over as the lab manager in 2023.
Russell K Sam UW Student Russell is a third-year undergraduate honors student at the University of Washington studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He joined the lab in 2022 is currently studying the role of RNA in the RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway. Russell joined the lab in 2022.