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Current Lab members

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Norbert Pardi, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

 

Dr. Norbert Pardi holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics. He has been working at the University of Pennsylvania since 2011 and currently holds an Assistant Professor position at the Department of Microbiology of the Perelman School of Medicine. His research interest is the development of mRNA-based therapeutics with particular focus on new generation infectious disease vaccines. He explored the development of a novel vaccine platform using nucleoside-modified mRNA in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and used it to generate highly effective vaccines targeting various pathogens (influenza virus, coronaviruses, malaria and others). Dr. Pardi is a pioneer of the nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine technology and published milestone papers in the field. His work was recognized by prestigious national and international awards such as the Young Investigator Award of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), the Dennis Gabor Inventor Award or the BIAL Award in Biomedicine.

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Hiromi Muramatsu, Ph.D.

Senior Research Investigator

Dr. Hiromi Muramatsu received his B.S. from the Tokyo University of Science in Tokyo, Japan in Chemistry in 1989. He earned his doctorate in Veterinary Science from the Nippon Veterinary and Life Sciences University in Tokyo, Japan in 2004 under the tutelage of Professor Kazuaki Takahashi. His thesis work focused on the role of superoxide anions during experimental cerebral ischemia using an MCA technique in rats. Dr. Muramatsu was a researcher at the Nippon Medical School in the laboratory of Professor Katayama from 1983-2001. In this role he became an expert in generating and characterizing focal ischemia in rats. He joined the laboratory of Dr. Frank Welsh in 2001 to continue his research in ischemia. He was an NRSA Post doc from 2004-2005 and trained under Dr. Katalin Kariko in molecular biology techniques focusing on RNA therapies. He worked with Drs. Kariko and Weissman through 2013, studying the effect of non-immunogenic mRNA on erythropoietin levels in mice. He joined BioNTech SE in 2013 with Dr. Katalin Kariko to start up the mRNA Division, where they continued the work initiated at the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Dr. Drew Weissman in 2016. He joined the Pardi lab in 2021 and is involved in multiple projects focusing on mRNA vaccine development.

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Andras Sarkozy, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

András graduated from the University of Szeged as a pharmacist, earning the Pharm. D. title after finishing an undivided, 5-year program in 2016. He continued his research and received his doctorate from the Faculty of Pharmacy for describing pharmacologically active ingredients from poroid mushrooms in 2021. He joined the Pardi lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2022, and he is pushing research projects that develop mRNA-LNP vaccines for infectious diseases and passive immunotherapy approaches against SARS-CoV-2.

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Mate Vadovics, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Máté Vadovics received his diploma and doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Szeged, Hungary. He worked under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Attila Gácser. His thesis work focused on the effects of Candida albicans infections on the progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Máté joined the Pardi lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2022. His main projects focus on the development of novel mRNA vaccines against influenza virus and the evaluation of new delivery methods for mRNA vaccines.

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Thandiswa Mdluli

Research Technician

Thandiswa obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from The College of Idaho where she majored in Biomedical Sciences. Under the supervision of Dr. Luke Daniels, she performed research that saw her gaining cellular and molecular biology techniques. Thandiswa joined Dr. Norbert Pardi’s lab as a research technician in July 2022. Here, she is responsible for producing IVT mRNA for vaccine studies as well as checking the quality of mRNA produced by different methods. She intends on pursuing her graduate studies, ultimately contributing to developing personalized therapies.  

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Emily Daley
Graduate Student

Emily received her B.S. from the University of Kentucky in 2017 where she majored in Chemical Engineering. Upon graduation she entered the pharmaceutical industry and joined a leadership development program, where she gained experience working at oral solid dose, drug substance, and fill-finish manufacturing sites. Later, she worked as a manufacturing supervisor and subsequently a manufacturing manager, overseeing aseptic fill-finish of commercial and clinical biologics and vaccines.  In 2022, Emily returned to school to pursue her PhD at Penn, where she studies Cell and Molecular Biology and is a part of the Gene Therapy and Vaccines program. Emily joined the Pardi Lab in 2023 and her projects study the role of lipid nanoparticles as vaccine adjuvants.

Emily
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Rodolfo Ferreira Marques, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Rodolfo Ferreira Marques received his received his PhD degree in Science from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2020. As a PhD student, he mainly worked on the immunological characterization of a virus like particles as a platform to develop a vaccine to Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax. Rodolfo joined the Pardi lab for one year as a visiting postdoctoral fellow in 2023 working on mRNA vaccine development, also against Plasmodium vivax malaria, exploring new antigens from pre-erythrocytic and blood stage forms.

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Sachchidanand Tiwari, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Sachchidanand Tiwari received his M.Tech. in Biomedical Engineering from Delhi Technological University, India in 2015. He earned his Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India in 2023. His thesis work was focused on the development of novel polymeric nanoformulations for drug delivery. He joined the Pardi Lab as Postdoctoral Fellow in 2023. His research project is focused on development of novel mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses.

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Past Lab members

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Matthew Pine

2018-2023 Graduate Student

Matthew Pine received his B.S. in 2018 from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he double majored in Biology and Theology.  For his doctoral studies, Matthew is co-mentored by Drs. Norbert Pardi and Drew Weissman. His thesis work focuses on developing a universal, prophylactic vaccine for Lyme disease utilizing the nucleoside-modified mRNA-LNP platform. Matthew is also involved in vaccine projects for SARS-CoV2 and universal influenza as well as studying immune responses to lipid nanoparticles. He joined the Pardi/Weissman labs to pursue his passion for vaccine development that was fostered through his internship experiences with Merck and Co.

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Csaba Bajusz, Ph.D.

2021-22 Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Csaba Bajusz received his PhD degree in Genetics from the University of Szeged, Hungary in 2020. As a PhD student, he mainly worked on the characterization of nuclear import and function of moesin (membrane-organizing extension spike protein) in the Drosophila melanogaster model. In 2021, Csaba joined the Pardi lab for one year as a visiting postdoctoral fellow. During his time as a postdoc, he participated in several mRNA vaccine studies including the development of broadly protective mRNA vaccines against influenza A group 2 and influenza B viruses and the evaluation of lyophilized mRNA vaccines in mice. Currently, Csaba continues his work in the National Biotechnology Laboratory in Szeged, Hungary in close collaboration with the Pardi lab.

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Jamile Ramos da Silva

2019-20 Visiting Graduate Student

 

Jamile Ramos da Silva spent a year in Dr. Pardi’s Lab in 2019-2020. Her thesis work focuses on the development of therapeutic vaccine strategies for the control of human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced tumors. In her doctoral work, she developed mRNA-based vaccination strategies to control HPV-related tumors in various mouse models. Although her research has been focusing on cancer vaccines, she is also interested in the development of vaccine candidates against infectious diseases.

Group photo archive

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2022

2022

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