Principal Investigator

Anna Cliffe, PhD

Principal Investigator
Phone: (434) 924-7780

Anna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer at the University of Virginia and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. Anna obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, where she investigated the function of herpesvirus viral non-coding RNAs. She then undertook postdoctoral research at to Harvard Medical School where she worked with Dr. David Knipe on the chromatin chromatin regulation of herpes simplex virus infection. She then moved to Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh’s lab at the University of North Carolina, where she set up a primary neuronal system to investigate the mechanisms of herpes simplex virus latency and reactivation. She joined the faculty at UVa in August 2016.

Lab Members

Current graduate students

Sean Cuddy

Graduate Student

Sean is a Neuroscience Graduate Program student in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at UVa. After earning a B.S. in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in 2015, Sean studied organelle transport and function in axons at the National Institutes of Health as a Postbac IRTA in the laboratory of Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng. He joined the Cliffe lab in February 2019 and is now investigating the interactions between HSV-1 and neuronal innate immune signaling pathways.

Sara Dochnal

Graduate Student

Sara is a graduate student in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at UVa. She received a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. During her undergraduate studies, she spent two years in the laboratory of Dr. David Miller, studying the interaction of oviduct glycoproteins on spermatozoan capacitation and fertility. She also worked in the integrated nutrition/cognitive neuroscience lab of Dr. Ryan Dilger, investigating the effects of different feed additives on piglet and chicken growth and behavior. Her four years under a Pre-Veterinary concentration sparked her interest in disease pathologies and the microbes that cause them. She joined the Cliffe Lab in February 2019 and now explores the chromatin based regulation of HSV  reactivation

Alison Francois

Graduate Student

Alison earned an integrated BSc/MSc in biochemistry at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, during which she spent her fourth year at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research in London involved biochemical characterisation of African Horse Sickness Virus proteins in comparison with the Orbivirus prototype species Bluetongue Virus. Alison’s MSc project in St Andrews investigated the interaction between MxA and Influenza A and B viruses, She joined the Cliffe lab in January 2018, where her research focuses on the role of facultative heterochromatin in HSV latency.

Jon Suzich

Graduate Student

Jon is an MSTP student in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. Before matriculating into medical school, Jon completed the two-year Postbaccalaureate IRTA Program at the National Institutes of Health, where he studied influenza virus pathogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger. Jon previously completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, earning a B.S. degree in Neuroscience in 2012, and he received a M.S. degree in Physiology from Georgetown University in 2015. He joined the Cliffe lab in January 2018. Jon is investigating the role of nuclear bodies in HSV latency.

Previous lab members

Aleksandra Babnis

Visiting Graduate Student 2018-2019

Austin Schinlever

Laboratory Technician 2017-2019
Phone: 434.924.7779

Austin received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 2017. His previous research experience was focused on the role of RalA in PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy under the guidance of David Kashatus. He joined the Cliffe Lab in May 2017 and worked on HSV reactivation in resposne to neuronal hyperexcitability. Austin is now a graduate student at NYU.