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Current Lab Members

  • Read Pukkila-Worley

    Read Pukkila-Worley, MD, FIDSA

    Read is an infectious diseases physician and PI of the lab. He received his MD from the UNC- Chapel Hill and completed his clincial training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Read was a postdoc with Fred Ausubel, PhD at MGH before joining the UMass faculty in 2015. He is an avid cyclist, runner and hiker, and he plays the cello. He spends most of his spare time though chasing his two kids, Eli and Vivian, with his wife, Anya.

  • Nick Peterson

    Nick Peterson

    Nick is an M.D., Ph.D. candidate who has joined the lab for his thesis research. Nick graduated from St. John's University in Minnesota, where he ran track at the Division III level. He is a 2:40 marathoner (that's wicked fast), a former TB microbiologist and loves all things related to Minnesota.

  • Mohamad Nasrallah

    Mohamad Nasrallah

    Mo is an M.D., Ph.D. candidate doing his thesis research in the Pukkila-Worley lab.  He grew up in Queens and graduated from SUNY-Albany.  Mo is a salsa dancer, guitarist, proud New Yorker, and die-hard Knicks fan.

  • Samantha Tse

    Samantha Tse

    Sammy is an M.D., Ph.D. candidate who joined the lab in 2019. She is a proud Massachusetts native and graduate of Boston College. She loves roller coasters, rock climbing, snowboarding, adventurous foods, and anything related to intestinal immunity.

  • Amanda Page

    Amanda Page

    Amanda is a research technician/ lab manager. She joined the lab in 2021 after graduating from Gordon College in Massachusetts. Amanda was a two varsity sport athelete at the Division III level (track and field, and cross country) and is in the lab for post-bach research training prior to applying to graduate or medical school.

  • Amit Kumar, Ph.D.

    Amit Kumar, Ph.D.

    Amit is a post doctoral research fellow in the Pukkila-Worley laboratory.  He completed his PhD training at the CSIR-CDRI in Uttar Pradesh, India where he did important work on metabolic pathways in macrophages that drive foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. Amit enjoys traveling, camping, and cooking. 


  • Sarah Anderson

    Sarah Anderson

    Sarah was the second Ph.D. student to join the lab and second to sucessfully defend her thesis.  Sarah graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2021.

  • Hilary Cheesman

    Hilary Cheesman, M.S.

    Hilary was our lab manager from 2014 to 2020. She was the first person to join the lab. She helped Read unpack boxes and become an excellent C. elegans geneticist. She now works as the in vitro lab manager at Biomere Biomedical Research Models, Inc.

  • Richa Chhaya

    Richa Chhaya

    Richa is an alumna of the lab.  She worked with us for three summers while an undergrad at UConn. She is now a UMASS medical student. 

  • Kyle Foster, Ph.D.

    Kyle Foster, Ph.D.

    Kyle did his thesis research in the Pukkila-Worley lab. He successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in September 2020. He is now working as a Scientific Consultant for Recruitomics Consulting in Boston, MA.

  • Elizabeth Salisbury

    Elizabeth Salisbury

    Elizabeth is an alumna of the lab. She worked with us for one year as a reserach technician and is now a medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.