People

Emrah Altindis, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Emrah Altındiş is an Assistant Professor at Boston College Biology Department and an adjunct faculty member of Joslin Diabetes Center (affiliated with Harvard Medical School). His research is focused on (i) functional characterization of viral hormones and (ii) potential role of gut microbiome on onset of Type 1 Diabetes autoimmunity. Dr. Altindis’ primary goal and passion is to make significant contributions to our understanding on host and microbe interactions within the context of viral hormones and determine their role in human health and disease.

Email me: altindis@bc.edu

Martina Chrudinova, PhD

Post Doctoral fellow

Dr. Chrudinova received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biochemistry from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. She performed her PhD at IOCB AS CR and graduated in 2019. Her PhD research focused on synthesis and characterization of analogs of insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2). Upon joining the Altindis Lab in July 2019 for her postdoctoral training, Dr. Chrudinova has begun working on characterization of recently newly discovered viral insulin-like peptides and their potential role in human disease.

Email me: Martina.Chrudinova@bc.edu

Aurelien Chuard, PhD

Post Doctoral fellow

Dr. Chuard received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree (microbiology & immunology) from Bordeaux University (France). During his Ph.D. at the National Institute of Agronomics Research in Tours (France), he has worked on molecular aspects involved in the horizontal transmission of the avian Marek’s Disease Virus. In 2021, he joined Altindis lab with his molecular virologist background to work on Iridioviruses to identify and characterize the role of Viral-Insulin-Like-Peptides (VILPs) during the viral cycle and their implication on insulin-related cell signaling.

Email me: chuard@bc.edu

Khyati Girdhar, PhD

Post Doctoral fellow

Dr. Girdhar received her MSc. in Chemistry National institute of Technology (NIT) Jalandhar, India. She started her Ph.D. in Indian institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, India in the field of medicinal chemistry where she designed a small molecule glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist for the treatment of diabetes. She also owns a patent for designing that molecule. After completing her Ph.D she joined as postdoctoral fellow in University of Michigan for several months. She joined the Altindis lab in October 2020 and is working in the field of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease exploring the role of the gut microbiome in the onset of autoimmunity. She has extensive experience in several in-vitro experiments, in-vivo handling and ex-vivoexperiments. She has also experience in the field of molecular biology and organic synthesis.

Email me: girdhar@bc.edu

Dogus Dogru, MSc

Research Assistant

Computational biologist with an experimental biology background. Currently research assistant in Altindis lab at Boston College.

Email me: dogru@bc.edu

Undergraduate Researchers

Typhania Zanou

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Typhania is an undergraduate Biochemistry major who aspires to pursue a career in the research of autoimmune diseases such as atopic dermatitis. She joined the lab in the fall of 2020 and is currently working with Dr. Khyati Girdhar. She is a council member of Boston College’s anti-racism club, FACES.

Email me: zanou@bc.edu

Nathan Ji

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nathan is an undergraduate Biology major with a concentration in bioinformatics and a Theology major on the premedical track. Nathan joined the lab in the spring of 2021 and is working with Dogus Dogru in computational biology. Outside of the lab, Nathan does tennis coaching and does volunteering work.

Email me:

Khadija Danazumi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Khadija Danazumi is a biochemistry major and pre-medical student in the class of 2023. She started working in the Altindis lab in Summer 2021, aiding Dr. Aurelien Chuard with his research on “Iridoviruses to find and define the role of Viral-Insulin-Like-Peptides (VILPs) during the viral cycle, as well as its implications for insulin-related cell signaling”. She is a sexual assault advocate, a disability advocate, a mentor, and a tutor in addition to working in the laboratory.

Email me: danazumi@bc.edu

Kaitlin Reiners

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kaitlin is currently a junior at Boston College majoring in biology. She joined the lab in summer 2021 and assists Dr. Aurelien Chuard with his research. Kailtin is also involved in BC Full Swing and Appa Volunteers. Kaitlin hopes to go on to medical school after Boston College.

Email me: reinerka@bc.edu

Amol Raisingani

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amol is an undergraduate Biology major with a minor in Finance, while on the premedical track. He joined the lab during his freshman year and has been working on Type I and Type II diabetes projects with previous mentor Dr. Qian Huang. Currently, he is working for Dr. Khyati Girdhar and continuing his research within the gut microbiota and the effects it has on diabetes. Outside of the lab, he is a part of the Investment Club and loves to play tennis.

Email me: amol.raisingani@bc.edu

Ruixi Huang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ruixu (Rachel) is an undergraduate student from China, pursuing a major in Biology with the concentration of bioinformatics and two minors in Music and Philosophy. She joined the lab during the second semester of her sophomore year. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

Email me: ruixi.huang@bc.edu

Kaan Sevgi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kaan is an undergraduate biology major at Boston College from Istanbul, Turkey. He joined Altindis lab in the beginning of the second semester of his freshman year. He is working on the viral insulin project, and is interested in answering the question: Why and how do microbes mimic human proteins, especially the human hormones? Outside of the lab, Kaan enjoys playing basketball and working out. Kaan aspires to attend medical school after graduation and pursue a career as a medical doctor.

Email me: kaan.sevgi@bc.edu

Maximilian Figura

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maximilian Figura is a sophomore at Boston College. He has been working in the Altindis Lab since freshman year and is also involved with the Jenks Leadership Program and American Red Cross internship. Max is majoring in biology and minoring in finance. He lives in New York City and is a first generation Polish-American. In high school, he was captain of the lacrosse and basketball varsity teams and is still an avid basketball fan. He hopes to go to medical school once he graduates from Boston College. 

Email me: maximilian.figura@bc.edu

Julianne Cutone

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julianne Cutone is an undergraduate biology major and currently a freshman at Boston College. She joined the Altindis lab in the fall of 2020 and continues to assist with Martina Chrudinova’s research. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing tennis and running. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in research.

Email me: cutonej@bc.edu

Riley Aquilano

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email me:

Former Postdocs

Qian Huang, PhD (2018-2020)

Michael Rak, PhD (2018-2019)

Former Undergraduate Researchers

Amaya Powis (2019-2021)

Robert Reiners (2020-2021)

Scott Hsu (2019-2021)

Tu Tran (2019-2021)

Claudia Brady (2019-2020)

Yasmine Nousari (2019 Summer)

Aparna Naik (2019 Summer)

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