ASV 2024 Election Candidate Guide

 Candidates for President-Elect

Emory University School of Medicine
Department of Microbiology and Immunology 

Associate Professor

Degree: University of California San Diego, 2009

Description of my research
My research focuses on emergence and transmission of respiratory pandemic viruses.

I trained as a molecular virologist at the Salk Institute in San Diego, CA. At the NIH in 2009 I began studying airborne transmission of emerging influenza viruses. During this time, I studied the presence of influenza viruses in aerosols of varying sizes and defined the soft palate as an important site for viral adaptation and transmission. My lab, which started in 2015 at University of Pittsburgh and moved to Emory University in 2022, uses sophisticated microscopy and biochemistry to examine viral replication within infected cells, animal models to study barriers to airborne transmission of influenza viruses, and environmental engineering to examine persistence of viruses in the air. We are now expanding into public health-based studies on the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce transmission (see our dashboard and establishing a human transmission model. I am also the co-director of the Emory University Center for Transmission of Airborne Pathogens.

Reason for Running
I am honored to be nominated to join many of my scientific role models as ASV President and to be in the esteemed company of the other nominee. My goal as ASV president is to continue to build on our Society’s activities and expand their scope to engage more with the next generation of virologists. As Chair of the ASV Communications Committee, we developed an expanded role for the committee both within ASV and to the general public. During the pandemic, our committee was centrally involved in engaging the public in Virology Town Halls and through Virologist in the Classroom. Within ASV, I recognized that the majority of our conference attendees are trainees and helped spearhead our effort to have an ASV booth to engage in science communication by making ‘virus trading cards’, educate attendees about the mission of ASV, and interact deeply with conference attendees. It was an enriching and fulfilling experience, and I love all the creativity and talent showcased in the virus trading cards - who knew there were so many amazing artists and comedians in our ranks! Notably, under my tenure, ASV Communications committee was one of the first to allow PhD and postdoctoral fellows to join our committee, which has been a huge success. I have attended ASV conferences since I was a trainee (all the way back in 2009!). I have grown up in this community and it feels like an extended family; a place where everyone knows your name. I want to cultivate that beauty of ASV and strengthen it for everyone coming to our annual meetings whether it is their 1st meeting or their 50th. By investing in our community to grow programs with more active engagement at Universities, States, and National/International conferences, I hope to strengthen our society by increasing our diversity and connecting virologists together. In the past 4 years I have realized how important it is to engage the public on topics around virology research. As a discipline, virology and virologists have been thrown into the spotlight. Given my research on transmission of airborne viruses, I have been able to help inform policies nationally around public health interventions by talking to congressmen, Governors, and community leaders. I will bring all these experiences to the role of ASV president.

Past ASV Service

Chair of the Communications Committee: 2020-2023
Member of the Communications Committee: 2017 - 2020
Symposium Speaker: 2023
Ann Palmenberg Junior Investigator Awardee: 2020
Workshop Convener: 2018, 2019, 2020 *virtual

The Ohio State University
Infectious Diseases Institute and Center for Retrovirus Research

Degree: University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2003

Description of my research
My research interest is virus-host interaction, particularly viral entry, evolution, host restriction factors, innate and adaptive immunity, and viral cell-to-cell transmission. We study IFN-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) that inhibit viral entry (PLoS Pathogens, 2013) and cell-to-cell transmission (Cell Reports, 2015). We also investigate T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-family proteins that block viral release (PNAS, 2014) yet are counteracted by viral proteins (PNAS, 2019). In addition, we elucidate how SERINC proteins diminish viral infectivity as well as potentiate type I IFN production and the NF-kB signaling pathway (Science Signaling, 2021). During the COVID-19 pandemic, we showed the cell-to-cell transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (PNAS, 2021), viral immune escape from neutralizing antibodies induced by mRNA vaccine and natural infection, as well as spike-mediated virus-cell fusion (Cell, 2024; Cell Rep, 2023; NEJM, 2022; Science Transl Med, 2022; Cell Host & Microbe, 2022; Cancer Cell, 2022). I am an Editor of Journal of Virology and Guest Editor of mBio, PNAS and PLoS Pathogens. I am an elected follow of American Academy of Microbiology and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science.

Reason for Running
I have the passion and experience to lead the ASV. In the past, I have been involved in the program, membership, and travel award committees for the ASV. I have a clear understanding of the commitment to the ASV mission and values needed by the president, as well as how the position of ASV president supports the broader goals of ASV.  In addition, I have served in leadership positions of several other national and international organizations. I have demonstrated the ability to contribute meaningfully to scientific communities, with strong leadership and organizational skills; this includes in expertise in decision-making, planning, and executing objectives. I have also learned how to work collaboratively with committee members and communicate effectively. Importantly, I hold high standards for ethical conduct and integrity, which are critical for decision-making and ensuring fair and transparent organizational management. If elected, I will continue to promote the inclusivity and diversity policy of ASV by supporting underrepresented groups and ensuring that the ASV's leadership and activities reflect a diverse community.

Past ASV Service
2024: Local host, ASV Annual Meeting 2024, June 24-28, 2024, Columbus, OH
2022-2025: Member, ASV Communication Committee
2019-2022: Member, ASV Program Committee
2017-2019: Chair, ASV Travel Award Committee
2015-2017: Member, ASV Travel Award Committee
2012-2015: Member, ASV Program Planning Committee
2008-2012: Member, ASV Membership Committee

 Candidates for Animal Virology Councilor

University of Arizona, Department of Immunobiology
Associate Professor

Degree: Rice University, 2005

Description of my research
My lab has been studying the biology of human papillomaviruses since 2008. Persistent infections by the high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) cause 5% of total cancers worldwide including essentially all of the cervical cancers in women and a rising incidence of oropharyngeal cancers, primarily in men. The overall goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms through which HPVs infect and attain persistence in host epithelium. Currently we are focused on 1) the structure and function of the minor capsid protein L2 during initial cellular uptake and subcellular trafficking of virions and 2) the interplay between HPV and the cGAS/STING pathway during initial establishment and maintenance of HPV infections. Knowledge of these mechanisms will broaden our understanding of viral-host interactions, may unveil new aspects of cell biology, and could identify potential targets for therapeutic or prophylactic intervention to prevent HPV infections and their associated cancers.

Reason for Running
I am truly humbled and grateful to be nominated for this important position. I am running because I think I can be a strong representative for the animal virology community in matters of ASV governance and decision-making. I am a tenured mid-career HPV researcher with broad virology interests outside of my specialized field, a standing member on the MCV (formerly VIRA) NIH study section, and I am an editor at Microbiology Spectrum, ASM’s broad microbiology journal. I am a strong advocate for virology and the merits of virological research in general, and I believe I’d serve the society well in my role as Councilor for Animal Virology.

Although my work has focused on the biology of papillomaviruses, I have a very broad interest in virology and the biology of virus-host interactions. I am also interested in running for the position of councilor to become more networked and involved within the ASV community, and hopefully to help branch the HPV/tumor virology field within the general ASV community as a whole. Traditionally, the HPV/small DNA Tumor Virus Field has held their own summer meeting, but I believe there is opportunity to encourage their increased participation at ASV. Moreover, I have been excited to see so much interesting work on all the other human viruses at ASV. I’d really like to see more interaction between these two broad communities, because we can all learn from each other’s different perspectives and systems.

Past ASV Service
I currently serve on the ASV Program Committee and volunteer in the ASV Mentor Matching Program. I also participated as a panelist and speaker in the Assistant Professor Bootcamp Workshop at the 2023 ASV meeting in Athens, GA.

New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Associate Professor

New York University Langone Vaccine Center
Affiliate Faculty

The Virology Institute of New York, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Affiliate Faculty

Degree: Ulm University, Germany, 2007

Description of my research
Areas of interest: Respiratory viruses, interferon responses, viral maturation, proteases, transmission

Type-I interferons (IFNs) are major innate immune cytokines produced by cells upon viral infection. Our detailed knowledge about IFN induction and downstream signaling sharply contrasts with our relatively scarce knowledge about how IFNs inhibit viruses. Hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) execute the antiviral function of IFN, yet for the vast majority, the molecular mechanisms remain a mystery. Research in my laboratory focuses on three prevailing questions: What is the mechanism of specific antiviral ISGs to confer broad or narrow antiviral protection? How do the events at the virus-host innate immune interface affect pathogenesis and disease outcome? What is the impact of virus-mediated IFN-antagonism in transmission? Our efforts in these areas have unveiled fundamental ISG effector mechanisms and identified new therapeutic targets for the treatment of viral disease.

Reason for Running
I'm enthusiastic about running for Animal Virology Councilor at ASV. My goal is to advocate for virologists at every career stage, amplifying their needs within our community. Additionally, I aim to foster greater public engagement and scientific understanding of viruses. I believe these efforts will contribute significantly to our society's mission and impact.

Past ASV Service
2015-present: Member, American Society for Virology
July 2020: Chair, Session “Innate Effector Functions”, American Society for Virology Annual Meeting, virtual
July 2021: Co-Chair, Session “Innate Effector Functions”, American Society for Virology Annual Meeting, virtual

 Candidates for Invertebrate Virology Councilor


University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Assistant Professor

Degree: University of Edinburgh (Scotland), 2014

Description of my research
Areas of research: Invertebrate viruses, arboviruses, arthropod antiviral immunity

Research in our lab focuses on the interactions of viruses with their arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks. Our current understanding of arthropod immunity relies heavily on research performed in Drosophila melanogaster, but arthropod vectors are diverse and exist in a unique life cycle that includes host-seeking, blood meals, and a complex relationship between their own microbiome and their host’s microbiome. We aim to identify, describe, and manipulate antiviral immune responses in arthropod vectors with a current focus on Culex species mosquitoes.

Reason for Running
I am running for Councilor for Invertebrate Virology because it is a great opportunity to help shape the future of ASV meeting topics for this heterogeneous branch of virology research and to become more involved in ASV affairs in general. I joined ASV 11 years ago and I still vividly remember my first ASV conference in 2013, where I was stunned by the exciting research, the excellent opportunities for professional development of trainees, and the welcoming atmosphere. Invertebrate viruses may appear like the underdogs of virology, but this field brings together a large community of researchers who can find parallels and unique differences in their diverse virus-host systems, ranging across flies, bees, worms, ticks, mosquitoes, and many more. It would be an honor to serve this community of researchers as an ASV Councilor for Invertebrate Virology.

Past ASV Service
2021: Workshop Convener
2022: Workshop Convener

Colorado State University
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases
Associate Professor

Degree: University of Minnesota, 2009

Description of my research
Areas of interest: Metagenomics, viral evolution, arboviruses, and the biological impact of the virome.

Our lab’s research blends genomics, bioinformatics, and traditional virology to study viruses and the diseases they sometime cause. One of our favorite strategies is to use metagenomics to identify interesting aspects of viral biology and interesting new viruses worthy of investigation. This has led us to the study of a remarkably successful virus of Drosophila melanogaster. We are taking advantage of this powerful genetic model to investigate how persistent viral infections impact the biology and evolution of their hosts. We’re also investigating reassortment of segmented arthropod-borne viruses, including bunyaviruses and orbiviruses. Our goal is to generate an improved mechanistic understanding of molecular barriers to reassortment and evolutionary pathways that permit reassortants to emerge despite initial fitness disadvantages.

Reason for Running
I would be delighted to serve as the ASV Councilor for Invertebrate Virology. I’ve always considered ASV to be my home society, and when I attend annual meetings, I think, “yes, these are my people.” I would love to be more involved in ASV governance to be able to contribute back to this organization that has been so beneficial to my scientific development and that of my trainees. I would be a strong advocate for invertebrate virologists and invertebrate virology. My career has spanned many types of viruses and hosts, and I feel well positioned to articulate the value of studying invertebrate viruses. My lab's research is currently focused on invertebrate viruses, with projects ranging from basic investigations into the biological impact of the virome to research on arthropod-borne viral pathogens.

Past ASV Service
Invertebrate Viruses ASV virtual workshop, Organizer/host: 2020
Arboviruses Invertebrate viruses-host interactions ASV virtual workshop, co-organizer/host: 2020
Annual Meeting Local Organizing Committee: 2020
Annual Meeting Workshop convener: 2019

 Candidates for Virology Trainee Councilor

Emory University
Assistant Academic Research Scientist
Lakdawala Lab

Degree: University of California, Davis, 2020

Description of my research
I am interested in RNA virus assembly, reassortment, and evolution. I enjoy studying the molecular mechanisms underlying these things, such as RNA-RNA interactions.

I am broadly interested in RNA virus biology and evolution, and the diversity of molecular mechanisms employed by viruses to achieve success in their hosts. As a PhD student working on plant viruses, I studied the mechanism underlying the production of a plant RNA virus subgenomic RNA. During my postdoc I transitioned to work on influenza to study viral evolution through reassortment of multiple genome segments. Currently, I am investigating influenza A virus (IAV) assembly and reassortment using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) coupled to confocal microscopy to visualize the subcellular localization of the eight genome segments of IAV. My research focuses on discovering which reassortant genotypes are likely to emerge from an infected cell and what governs their assembly. Through multicolor FISH, I can examine which segments colocalize, where this occurs, and which segment pairings are most frequent, allowing insights into reassortment and evolution.

Reason for Running
I am eager to serve on ASV Council to become more involved in this society that has enhanced my professional life in so many ways. I love ASV and have enjoyed my time serving as part of the Communications Committee, bringing more awareness to virology and our science, as well as getting to know more about how the organization functions. I would now like to contribute further as a Councilor for Virology Trainees.  Based on my experience as a postdoc member of the Communications Committee, I know it is important for trainees in the society to have opportunities to contribute to and be involved in ASV. I want to actively encourage more trainees to get involved and to create opportunities for them to do so. Trainees play an important role in shaping the amazing society we are part of, and I want to highlight trainees’ needs in council and work to optimize and extend ASV’s support for all its diverse trainee members in this stage of their career journeys. 

Past ASV Service
I’ve been a member of ASV since 2014 and served on the Communications Committee from 2021-2023.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Postdoctoral Scholar
Klein Lab

Degree: Colorado State University, 2022

Description of my research
My areas of research are RNA viruses, immunology, sex differences, metabolism, and vaccines.

My graduate training and PhD thesis focused on understanding the relationship between enveloped RNA viruses and their dependency on and disruptions to host cell lipid metabolic pathways. These projects and the ensuing collaborations reshaped my perspective of the biology of disease, allowing me to view viral infections as acute metabolic disorders and adjust my approach to studying them through that lens. I became fascinated with understanding how viral infection results in disruption and hijacking of cellular metabolism and the resulting biological ripple effect this had on host immune responses and viral pathogenesis. During that time, I also started following research on sex differences in immune response to vaccination. I began to hypothesize that differences in cellular metabolic programming were the underlying mechanisms driving sex differences in vaccine-induced immunity and viral pathogenesis. That led me to seek out postdoctoral training in Dr. Sabra Klein’s lab where, together, we are utilizing a mouse model of influenza vaccination to interrogate and characterize the metabolic state of B cells from male and female mice upon vaccination. My preliminary observations suggest that male and female B cells have divergent metabolic responses to antigenic stimulation that correlate with the quantity and quality of their antibody responses. My ongoing research seeks to continue to define these differences in influenza vaccination, determine whether this observation is unique to influenza vaccination or universal, characterize the regulatory role of sex hormones on B cell metabolism, and determine whether the use of small molecule agonists/antagonists of metabolic pathways can reverse these observed sex differences. The results of our models and these studies will be used to identify the metabolic factors driving sex differences in vaccine response that can then be leveraged to improve vaccine efficacy.

Reason for Running
As a first-generation college graduate, first-generation doctoral graduate, and member of the LGBTQ community, finding mentors who understood my experiences and could help me navigate this journey has not always been easy. However, I have been enormously fortunate to have accumulated incredible mentors, and much of the foundations of those relationships started at ASV. These relationships have not only guided my science but also helped open doors and opportunities that I did not think were accessible to someone with my background. I have also had the incredible opportunity to teach and design courses, mentor undergraduate teaching assistants, and mentor junior researchers. Through my involvement in ASV’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, I was able to help design and implement the first-of-its-kind DEI Panel on LGBTQ Allyship at the 2023 Annual ASV meeting. Improving LGBTQ visibility and creating opportunities for LGBTQ virologists at ASV has been a passion project of mine for many years, and it was an honor to be a part of the inaugural steps we took at last year’s meeting, and the outpouring of shared stories and connections that ensued during and after our DEI panel was one of the most humbling and rewarding moments of my career thus far. These cumulative experiences have cemented the idea that mentoring the next generation of scientists is as important to me as the research questions I have chosen to pursue, and it is a great honor that we work in a field where I can do both with equal passion. My goal as a Councilor for Virology Trainees would be to leverage my experiences to continue to build accessibility, visibility, mentorship, and opportunities to all virology trainees. I am proud that we have taken steps in the past years to increase visibility of underrepresented minority virologists using the satellite symposium series and through our DEI panels, and I want to contribute towards continuing and expanding these ideas and programs even further.

Past ASV Service
ASV Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Member: 2022-present


Katherine R. Spindler
University of Michigan Medical School
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
1150 West Medical Center Drive, 5635 Med Sci II
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5620
Telephone: 734-764-9686

Andréa Garcia
Administrator to the Secretary-Treasurer; Email:

Photo Credit Gallery


Kevin J. Sokoloski
Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Louisville, School of Medicine
Tel: 734-764-9686


ASV 2024

June 24 - 28, 2024

43rd Annual Meeting
The Ohio State University
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, Ohio

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