Archives: Professionals
Stephanie Ragland

Stephanie Ragland

Graduate Student, 2012-2018

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Kagan Lab, Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital Boston

Asya Smirnov leaves the lab

Asya Smirnov, PhD

Asya Smirnov, DVM, PhD – Research Associate/Research Scientist, 2011-2020.
Current Position: Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Keena Thomas

Research Specialist

Keena joined the Criss lab in 2021 after many years in Dr. Amy Bouton’s lab in the Department. Keena provides support for Criss lab research and is investigating how N. gonorrhoeae colonizes epithelial cells to stimulate inflammatory responses.

Chris Baiocco

Undergraduate Student

Chris is an undergraduate at UVA who will graduate in December 2021. He joined the Criss lab in Fall 2019 and worked with Allie Palmer and Lacie Werner to understand how Opa protein expression affects gonococcal survival from neutrophils. He is currently working with Aimee Potter to define metabolic requirements of Neisseria.

Evan Lamb

Evan Lamb

MSTP Student

Evan graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with his B.S. in Microbiology and Human Physiology. He matriculated into UVA’s Medical Scientist Training Program in 2019 and joined the Criss Lab in 2021. Evan is investigating the effects of neutrophil transepithelial migration on neutrophil-gonococcal interactions.

Mary Gray, Lab Manager

Mary Gray

Lab Manager

Mary joined the Criss Lab in October 2017. In addition to overall management of the lab, Mary is investigating the factors that mediate neutrophilic inflammation and bacterial survival after Neisseria gonorrhoeae encounters neutrophils. Prior to joining the Criss Lab, Mary managed and performed research in the lab of Dr. Erik Hewlett in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health in the UVA Department of Medicine.

Ian, Graduate Student in the Criss Lab

Ian Liyayi

Graduate Student

Ian received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Stevenson University, MD in 2018. He participated in the NIH Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of Georgia in the Avci lab until he enrolled in the BIMS program in the summer of 2019. He joined the Criss lab in the spring of 2020. Ian is investigating how Neisseria gonorrhoeae overcomes metal sequestration and nutritional immunity during infection.

Picture of Amaris Cardenas

Amaris Cardenas

Graduate Student

Amaris graduated from the University of Dallas with a B.S. in Biology in 2017. She matriculated into the BIMS program after graduation and joined the Criss lab in 2018. Amaris is studying how bioactive compounds released during infection modulate neutrophil responses to Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Lacie Werner

Graduate Student

Lacie earned her B.S. in Biology from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in 2017. She entered the BIMS program in 2017 and joined the Criss lab in 2018. Lacie is investigating how soluble components affect the ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to activate human neutrophils.

Jocelyn Ray

Jocelyn Ray

MSTP Student

Jocelyn received her undergraduate degree from William and Mary in 2014 and performed postbaccalaureate research at the National Institutes of Health before matriculating into the UVA MSTP in 2015. Jocelyn joined the Criss Lab in 2017. Her research investigates how Neisseria gonorrhoeae acquires essential metals from human metal-sequestering proteins to overcome nutritional immunity.