E. Ashley Moseman, PhD
While Ashley was born in North Carolina, he grew up in the Midwest- spending his formative years in Indiana. His love of Immunology was instilled while earning his BA from Carleton College, Northfield, MN in 2002. He received his PhD in immunology from Harvard in 2011. As a graduate student in Uli von Andrian’s lab, he identified mechanisms by which lymph node resident subcapsular sinus macrophages are specialized to facilitate both innate and adaptive antiviral responses. His soft-spot for lymph nodes has never waned. As a postdoc in Dorian McGavern’s lab at the NINDS, NIH, he addressed the long standing observation that many non-cytopathic viruses fail to generate robust neutralizing antibody responses, demonstrating that IFN-I signaling drives CD8 T cells to engage and kill virally infected LCMV-glycoprotein specific B cells shortly after infection. While in the McGavern lab, he undertook studies to understand the regulation of non-cytopathic viral clearance during central nervous system (CNS) infection via the olfactory route. By observing in vivo interactions he was able to show that T cells interact with microglia to prevent fatal viral neuroninvasion of the CNS. This finding is particularly intriguing because microglia are not infected, but acquire antigen and indirectly orchestrate viral clearance from infected cells.
This project was the impetus for the current lab focus on host-pathogen interactions at the olfactory barrier. We are interested in how the olfactory barrier coordinates innate and adaptive immunity to prevent CNS infections, and how these defenses fail.
Outside of lab, Ashley enjoys all sorts of gardening and recently installed a small apple orchard in his backyard. He can be a colorful character, as his tendency toward making and wearing tie dye would suggest. While a fan of almost all college sports, he is a very serious Indiana University basketball & soccer fan.
Annie was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana home of Indiana University, Go Hoosiers! Despite her love of Bloomington she ventured up north to attend Carleton College and graduated in 2003 with a BA in Biology. After graduation she moved back to Bloomington and worked as a research technician at Indiana University in the laboratory of Ken Nephew working on cancer epigenetics. In 2005 she moved to Boston and worked in the validation lab of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program under the supervision of Isaac Kohane at Harvard Medical School. In 2007 she started her PhD in Immunology at Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Annie completed her thesis work in Alexander Poltorak’s lab working on the genetics of innate immune TLR9 signaling in wild-derived MOLF/Ei mice in 2012. Annie went on to do her post-doctoral training in the RNA viruses section in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. While working under Lab Chief, Peter Collins, Annie developed and evaluated pre-clinical pediatric RSV vaccine candidates by characterizing their level of attenuation and immunogenicity using both in-vitro and in-vivo models, including the use of human air-liquid interphase respiratory cultures to model RSV infection of the upper respiratory tract.
Annie joined the Moseman lab at Duke in 2018.
Sr. Research Associate
Annie Park Moseman, PhD
Sebastian Wellford, BS
Graduate Student (PhD candidate)
Sebastian grew up in the mountain town of Roanoke, Virginia. A lifelong Hokie fan, he attended Virginia Tech (a vastly superior school to Carleton College) to study Biochemistry. While there, he worked in the lab of Xiaofeng Wang studying viral replication complexes in yeast models. He later did research under the mentorship of Christopher Lawrence to discover novel fungal molecules with anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. After completing his BS in 2018, he began his PhD in the Department of Immunology at Duke University, joining the Moseman lab in the spring of 2019.
Kristen joined the Moseman Lab in July 2021. Although a new addition to the team, Kristen has been at Duke since 2010 when she began her research studies in brain tumor immunotherapy. When Kristen first arrived to Duke, some compelling observations were surfacing from a small randomized clinical trial in the lab of John Sampson, where patients had been given different vaccine site pre-treatments prior to a dendritic cell vaccine for one of the most aggressive and fatal cancers, glioblastoma. Kristen sought to understand the biologic mechanisms of how this was working and modeled the clinical trial in her mouse studies. Through her work, it was uncovered that the vaccine site pre-treatment allowed the dendritic cell vaccine to better migrate to draining lymph nodes. As a result, the dendritic cell vaccine protocols for glioblastoma at Duke have adopted this vaccine site pre-treatment. Apart from such exciting translational science, Kristen notes that it was through her PhD where she became emotionally driven and compelled to do better for her brain tumor patients. Kristen now is studying how glioblastoma affects endogenous dendritic cell migration to draining lymph nodes of the central nervous system.
A local native of the Jersey Shore, Kristen is the youngest of four children and hails from Polish and Irish descent. As an avid “espresso-file”, Kristen keeps a manual espresso machine in the lab, which she believes is “a must” in any office or home. She is a daughter of a small animal veterinarian and currently has two black Labrador retrievers, one of which is pet therapy-certified.
Kristen Anne Batich, MD, PhD
Fellow, Neuro-Oncology and Medical Oncology
Chen is from Taiwan and plays rugby (prop). He received his Immunology Ph.D. at Emory University in 2019. His PhD research focused on T cell dysfunction in sepsis and identified 2B4, a co-inhibitory molecule, as a contributer to sepsis pathogenesis. After graduating, he joined the Neuroscience program at the University of Virginia to start his new journey in the neuro-immunology field. He is interested in immune responses in CNS after acute injuries or infections. Chen joined the Moseman lab at Duke in Oct 2021.
Ching Wen Chen, PhD
Skye is from Chapel Hill, NC but has always been a blue devil. She graduated from Duke University in 2019 with a degree in Biology and concentration in Neurobiology. During undergrad, she worked in the lab of Jeremy Kay studying cell-cell recognition in the retina. She then stayed at Duke to pursue an MD-PhD, and completed two years of medical school before joining the Immunology PhD program and Moseman lab in January 2022.
Skye Tracey, BS
Graduate Student (MD, PhD candidate)
A. Justin Rucker, MD, MPH
Graduate Student (PhD candidate)
Resident, Department of Surgery
Justin Rucker is from Columbia, Maryland. He originally came to North Carolina for his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. After graduating in 2011, Justin eventually came over to the right side of The Tobacco Road when he went on to attend Duke for medical school. There he developed an interest in lung cancer and tumor immunotherapy. Upon completion of medical school in 2018, Justin stayed at Duke to join the General Surgery residency program and completed two years of clinical training before joining the Immunology PhD program as part of his residency’s research fellowship. Justin is primarily interested in the innate response to tumor cell death and its potential therapeutic implications in thoracic malignancies. He joined the Moseman lab in August 2022.
Alex Merder, BS
Graduate Student (PhD candidate)
Alex grew up and went to college in California (west coast, best coast) before beginning his travels eastward. He was born and raised in Carlsbad, a sunny suburb of San Diego, and then moved a few hours up the coast to attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, earning a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. After graduating in 2019, he ventured to Indianapolis, where he spent a year as a Research Technician in a lab developing novel mouse models for Alzheimer’s Disease. He then moved to Durham in 2020, spending two years in the lab of Douglas Bell at the NIEHS studying the impact of smoking on T cell function and the TCR repertoire in human subjects. He began his PhD in Immunology at Duke University in the Fall of 2022, before joining the Moseman lab in May 2023.
Former Lab Members
Kianna Dao hails from Kerrville, Texas. Kianna graduated from Duke in 2021 with a Bachelor's of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology with concentrations in Human Biology and Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics, as well as minor in Chemistry in May of 2021. She joined the Moseman lab May of 2021. After two years in the lab as a research technician, Kianna moved down the Tobacco Road to attend Dental School at UNC in 2023. We will miss Kianna and all that she did for the lab.
Anna Tornatore is a Duke undergraduate student in the class of 2025 from Yorktown, Virginia. She plans on double-majoring in Chemistry and Evolutionary Anthropology on the pre-med track. She joined the Moseman lab in May 2022 and loves learning about brain-eating ameba infections! Anna will graduate in 2025 and we wish her the best of luck!
Katherine Wright is a Duke undergraduate in the class of 2024 from Nashville, Tennessee. She is hoping to double major in Global Health and Biology and is on the pre-med track, at least for now.
She joined the Moseman lab May of 2021 and is excited to learn about pathogens attacking the olfactory barrier! Katherine will graduate is 2024 and we wish her the best of luck!
Allison Chen is a Duke undergraduate in the class of 2024 from Westchester, New York. She joined the Moseman lab in May 2021 and helped Sebastian Wellford with his thesis research. She is a Visual Media Studies major and we wish her the best in her new pursuits!
After joining the Moseman lab during the summer of 2019, Jona Plevin moved back to her hometown of San Diego, California in 2021. As the lab's very first technician she was integral in helping us set-up the lab and establish and manage the mouse colony. She endured moving to a new state, new lab hiccups and a pandemic! We wish Jona the best of luck as she pursues her next adventures.