Deborah Lenschow, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Deborah Lenschow received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Wittenberg University. She then earned her M.D., Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she studied the role of CD28/CTLA4/B7 co-stimulation pathways in T cell activation and autoimmunity. After completing her M.D./Ph.D., Dr. Lenschow did her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine. She performed her postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Skip Virgin where she described ISG15 as an important type I interferon induced, antiviral molecule. In 2006, she joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine and the Division of Rheumatology where she continues to run her research group, sees patients on the Rheumatology clinical service, and also serves as the co-director of the Physician Scientist Training Program for Internal Medicine.

Current Members

Perng “EJ” Yi-Chieh, Ph.D.

EJ received his BS degree from National Taiwan University (NTU) in Zoology and MS degree in Microbiology & Immunology from NTU School of Medicine. He obtained his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Washington University in St. Louis. EJ’s doctoral research focused on the development of novel reverse genetic tools and host-viral interaction during human cytomegalovirus infection. After receiving his PhD, EJ joined Lenschow lab as a postdoctoral researcher to characterize the biological function of ISG15, a molecule that he became fascinated with when he worked on SARS papain-like protease. Currently EJ is focusing on how ISG15 re-shapes cell death to balance tissue homeostasis and the development of host-directed therapy-based novel antivirals.

Lindsey Cook, Ph.D.

Lindsey received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin in Microbiology and recently earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis. As a postdoctoral research scholar in the Lenschow lab, Lindsey continues exploring her longstanding interest in host-virus interactions by studying type I interferon responses. In particular, she is delineating the distinct functions of individual IFN subtypes during acute chikungunya virus infection.

Marissa Locke, B.S.

Marissa received her B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a minor in Spanish in 2015 from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. During her undergraduate career, Marissa conducted research in a variety of areas including molecular evolution, genetics, and pharmacology. After joining the Immunology Ph.D. Program, she began working for Dr. Deborah Lenschow in 2017. Marissa currently studies the effects of the type I interferon subtypes on chikungunya virus infection. In addition, she is developing tools to study chronic chikungunya virus disease. Outside of the lab, Marissa is an Editor and the Advertising Coordinator for InPrint, a trainee-run scientific editing service at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Brad Hiller, B.A.

Even though Brad received his B.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 2013, he concurrently pursued a career in microbiology research. During his years as an undergraduate, he worked in the lab of Dr. Clay Fuqua studying the ecology and evolution of bacterial cooperation in Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Once he graduated, he worked as a research associate in Dr. Pranav Danthi’s lab studying how reovirus triggers intrinsic immune defenses including cell death. From this experience, Brad became fascinated with virology and infectious disease and is now a member of the Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis Ph.D. program. Brad currently studies how Fibroblast Growth Factors regulate influenza virus tropism and pathogenesis. Brad also spends part of his free time as a volunteer educator at the St. Louis Science Center and hanging out with his best friend and unofficial lab mascot, his greyhound Ruben.

Kristen Monte, B.S.

Kristen received her degree in Biology from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2000. She began conducting research at Washington University School of Medicine in 2001. Kristen is currently working as the Research Laboratory Manager and studying influenza and ISG15.

Brandon Tang

Brandon is currently an undergraduate at Washington University in the class of 2021 pursuing a degree in Biology. Under the mentorship of Brad Hiller, Brandon is currently working on Fibroblast Growth Factors and their efficacy in regulating influenza virus infection. He participated in the “Phage Hunters” program his freshman year, where he worked in a team to isolate, characterize, and genotype a novel bacteriophage. Brandon is also involved in the Timmy Global Health chapter and enjoys playing tennis in his free time.

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Jessica Campbell, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist

Pfizer, St. Louis, MO

Marisela Rodriguez, Ph.D.


USDA, Athens, GA

Graduate Students

David Morales, Ph.D.

DBBS, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Elisha Robertson Lab, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Anjali Rohatgi, M.D., Ph.D.

MSTP, Immunology

Medical Fellow

Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Scott Werneke, Ph.D.

DBBS, Immunology

Senior Clinical Science Manager

Exelixis, Alameda, CA

Alissa Young, Ph.D.

DBBS, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Patent Specialist

Nixon Peabody LLP, Boston, MA

Research Technicians

Caroline Lai Kang, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Resident

Department of Urology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Jessica Struckhoff, R.N., B.S.N.

Staff Nurse

St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Lab Photos


From left: EJ, Debbie, Alissa, Kelsey (rotation student), Lindsey, Marissa, Brad, Kristen


From left: Alissa, EJ, Kristen, Debbie, Lindsey


From left: Anjali, Kristen, Debbie, Lindsey, EJ, Dave, Jessie