Megan Cooper, MD, PhD

Megan grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and completed her MD, PhD training at The Ohio State University. She is a Pediatric Rheumatologist and Immunologist and is the Director of the Clinical Immunology program and The Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Outside the lab she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling to beach destinations (or at least dreaming about doing so!).

Ana Kolicheski, PhD

Staff Scientist

Ana was born and raised in Curitiba, Brazil, where she got her bachelors in Veterinary Medicine. Her love for science and genetics made her study abroad for her Masters in Animal Breeding and Genetics through the EMABG Master’s scholarship in the Netherlands and Sweden. She completed her PhD training in veterinary Pathobiology at the University of Missouri where she analyzed whole genome sequences of dogs and identified disease causing mutations in different breeds. She transitioned to human genetics and studied the genetics of Early Onset Parkinson’s disease and healthy neurological aging during her post doctoral training at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She is now working to identify genomic mutations that cause rare pediatric immune diseases and assisting on the bioinformatics analysis of the lab’s projects. Ana is a huge heavy metal fan, singer, animal lover, gamer and overall “nerd”.

Erica Schmitt, MD, PhD

Instructor, Pediatric Rheumatology

Erica grew up in Wisconsin where she obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then completed her MD, PhD training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During her graduate studies at MCW she studied the role of induced regulatory T cells in mucosal tolerance. She then entered the Physician Scientist Training Program at Washington University where she completed her pediatric residency training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and then entered the Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program. Erica is interested in studying immune deficiency and immune dysregulation. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and outdoor activities.

Jahnavi Aluri, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jahnavi is a Post-Doctoral fellow. She did her PhD in Pediatric Immunology from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- National Institute of ImmunoHaematology (NIIH), Mumbai. Her work involved clinical, immunological and molecular characterization of Severe combined immunodeficiency patients in India. As a part of her study, she also studied the T cell receptor excision circle copy numbers in SCID and other combined immunodeficiencies. Currently, she is interested in studying patients with Primary immunodeficiency disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching movies and spending time with family.

Nermina Saucier, MS

Research Technician

Nermina joined the Cooper lab in the summer of 2010 as a research technician. She received her B.A. and M.S. in Biology from Saint Louis University. Outside of lab, she enjoys rock climbing, camping, hiking and spending time with her husband Jon and daughter Lydia.

Kelsey Kelly, BS

Research Technician

Kelsey (she/they) grew up in Kansas City, MO, and earned her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science at the University of Missouri. She has always had an interest in science and a passion for animal care and welfare and has been working in the field since she was an undergrad. Outside of work, Kelsey loves spending time with their partner and friends, caring for their pets and volunteering with SQSH, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing resources and assistance to the queer community in STL and beyond. Kelsey is a huge Halsey fan, a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast, an amateur fiction writer and an avid crafter.

Kelsey Toth

PhD Student, Immunology Program

Kelsey is a PhD student. She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University and worked as a research assistant for several years before entering the Immunology program. Her current focus in the lab is the role of STAT3 mutations in autoimmunity and inflammatory bowel disease. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, camping, and pointing out cute dogs while walking in Tower Grove Park.

Maria Cimpean

PhD Student, Immunology Program

Maria is a PhD student in the Immunology program. A Romanian native, she graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in NH and spent several years working as a research assistant in Boston. In the lab, she studies NK cell metabolism, while outside of it, she enjoys learning and improving her command of various foreign languages and hosting dinners/brunches for her classmates and friends.

Staci Sohn

Stacey Sohn, BS, MS

PhD Student, Immunology Program

Stacey is a PhD student. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degree from Sogang University in South Korea. Her current research focus is about NK cell metabolism. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movie and cooking.

Kristen McDaniels

Kristen McDaniels, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator 2

Kristen grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and completed her BS in Biology at Michigan State University. She has had quite a few twists and turns in her career path, beginning with working in the pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer after college, a 15 year Dental Hygiene career, followed by a transition to clinical research at Wash U. Prior to joining the Peds immunology and rheumatology group, Kristen spent 4 years as a CRC with medical oncology, working on many treatment trials for lymphoma patients. Kristen enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband Chas, watching her 14 yr old son Henry play lots of sports, shopping and cooking with her 12 yr old daughter Julia, and spoiling her cockapoo Bo.

Josh Tobin, BA

MSTP Student

Josh is a second-year MSTP student in the immunology program. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University where he studied metabolic regulation in the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans. Josh then worked as a technician at the University of Pittsburgh studying the immune response to Influenza-Aspergillus superinfections. Currently, he is studying B-cell immunodeficiencies in the Cooper Laboratory. In his spare time, Josh enjoys running in Forest Park, exploring St. Louis, and spending time with his new puppy, Oliver.

Sammy Risma

WashU Undergraduate Student

Sammy is an undergraduate student at Washington University studying biochemistry and bioinformatics. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Sammy was a competitive swimmer in high school and continued his athletic career during his freshman year at WashU. Sammy now works as an academic mentor for introductory chemistry and physics courses at WashU. In his free time, Sammy enjoys exercising, picnicking in Forest Park and spending time with friends, family, and his dog, Frosty.

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