Cristina Tato is the Director of the Rapid Response group at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, where she oversees planning and implementation of activities aimed at strengthening public health capacity and global emergency response efforts to epidemics. Her background is in infectious disease immunology, cytokine biology, and systems immunology methods for studying human health and disease, and for evaluating vaccine efficacy.
Andres Aranda-Diaz, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrés Aranda-Díaz is a joint Postdoctoral Fellow on the Rapid Response team and the EPPIcenter at UCSF. His work centers around developing and implementing genomic tools for malaria genomic epidemiology, with a focus on capacity building. He has a background in disease surveillance implementation, microbial ecology, quantitative microbiology, and systems and synthetic biology of stress responses.
Vida Ahyong, Ph.D.
Vida Ahyong is a scientist on the Rapid Response team at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub with a background in malaria genomics, host-pathogen interactions, bacterial metabolism, and bioinformatics. Vida is training scientists around the world to use new tools and technologies to identify and detect pathogens through metagenomic sequencing.
Patrick Ayscue, D.V.M.
Senior Biosecurity Fellow
Patrick Ayscue is a Senior Biosecurity Fellow at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. His background is in veterinary medicine, and he was formerly with the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer. While at the CDC he designed surveillance systems and managed outbreak response for a variety of infectious diseases.
Juliana Gil, Ph.D.
Juliana Gil is a scientist on the Rapid Response Team. Her background is in genomics of host-microbe interactions, population and functional genomics in diverse systems. She is now applying her experience in detecting human infectious diseases and training teams to apply metagenomic sequencing to investigate the etiology of diseases
Rebecca Gowen is a Project Manager on the Rapid Response team. She previously worked at a diabetes research organization and focused on patient education and health equity. Rebecca graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Molecular Biology.
Lusajo Mwakibete is a Research Associate on the Rapid Response team. Lusajo is an aspiring molecular biologist who joined the team after graduating from Pomona College. His work focuses on performing metagenomic sequencing studies, helping to develop methods and protocols and performing data analysis.
Paul Oluniyi, Ph.D.
Paul Oluniyi is from Ogun State, Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genomics (Bioinformatics emphasis) from Redeemer's University, Nigeria and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF in the laboratory of Professor Charles Chiu. He is applying his background to support capacity building and applied research work in genomic epidemiology with a focus on expanding Biohub's support for international partners.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Maira Phelps serves as the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Rapid Response team. She manages clinical study operations and logistics, and supports the capacity building efforts for next-generation sequencing in global health. Maira helps implement activities to strengthen local and global emergency response efforts to epidemics, and is committed to supporting the network of genomic hubs around the world for human health and the health of communities.
Genay Pilarowski, Ph.D.
Genay Pilarowski is a scientist on the Rapid Response team at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. She has experience in community-based infectious disease studies and is passionate about applying sequencing technologies to the intersection of research and clinical diagnostics. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Johns Hopkins University.
Gowtham Thakku, Ph.D. (he/him)
Gowtham Thakku is a scientist on the Rapid Response team. He works with collaborators across the world to provide scientific advice and specialized training in next-generation sequencing. He completed his Ph.D. at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where his research focused on multiplexed CRISPR diagnostics for infectious diseases.