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Principal Investigator

Jacqueline Kimmey, PhD 

Assistant Professor, METX (2019 - present)


Fun fact: if all the cars break down, you'll find her commuting on horseback. 

Area of focus: all the areas!

Jacqueline began her career at UCLA where she studied heme acquisition in Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lab of Marcus Horwitz, MD. She did her graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis with Christina Stallings, PhD studying autophagy-independent functions of ATG5 in controlling neutrophil mediated susceptibility to M. tuberculosis. As a postdoc she worked with Victor Nizet, MD at UCSD exploring how host responses dictate outcome of acute bacterial infections such as those caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Group A Streptococcus (GAS), Group B Streptococcus (GBS), and Staphylococcus aureus. Jacqueline's training has been generously supported by various training and mentorship programs including UC LEADS, MARC, NSF GFRP, and UC PPFP. In 2019, she was honored on the Forbes' 30 under 30 list (Science). 

jkimmey <at> ucsc.edu

Graduate Students

Ti Lam

dunlam <at> ucsc.edu

Ti graduated from San Jose State University in 2016 with B.S in Biochemistry and minor in Biology. After graduation, she worked as a lab technician at Stanford University, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Bollyky, where she gained an expertise in molecular biology techniques and learned how to work with mouse models. She started her graduate studies in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and joined Kimmey Lab in 2020. Her research focuses on the interplay between the circadian clock, innate immunity, and susceptibility to bacterial infection. Ti's project is an active collaboration with the Partch Lab and is co-mentored by Carrie Partch (Chem & Biochem)

Ti Lam

Graduate Student, MCD (2020 - present)

Fun Fact: knows all things boba milk tea

Area of focus: circadian control of immunity

Ask me to help with: circadian experiments, PER2 responses, bacterial PAMPs

tthisner <at> ucsc.edu

Tiffany started her career at CSU Monterey Bay where she earned her B.S. in Biology in 2017. Her research in biology spanned marine to molecular, from studying marine ecology of Haliotis rufescens in the Barry Lab to molecular evolution of KRAB Zinc Finger Proteins in the Haussler Lab. After graduating, she worked as a Research Associate in a microbiology lab where her love for all things tiny grew. She then went on to pursue her PhD in the Molecular Cellular Developmental program at UC Santa Cruz and in 2020 joined the Kimmey Lab! Her research focuses on host-pathogen interactions and their role in infection variability. 

Tiffany Thisner

Graduate Student, MCD (2020 - present)


Fun Fact: Clean in lab, but will likely find acrylic paint stains on her clothes 

Area of focus: drivers of differential susceptibility to infection

Ask me to help with: bacterial growth in blood, RNAseq, murine lung infections

Raina Sacksteder.png

rsackste <at> ucsc.edu

Raina graduated from Reed College in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology. She completed her undergraduate thesis in the Cerveny Lab, where she studied the gene targets of retinoic acid during retinal neurogenesis in the developing zebrafish eye. A summer position in the Ott Lab at UCSF sparked her passion for host-microbe interactions, which lead her to pursue a PhD in Microbial Biology and Pathogenesis at UCSC and join the Kimmey Lab in 2021. Her research uses zebrafish to understand how infection alters the circadian clock. 

Raina Sacksteder

Graduate Student, METX (2021 - present)

Fun Fact: She runs the Etsy shop FrogsOnSwings!

Area of focus: how infection alters the circadian clock

Ask me to help with: zebrafish, circadian clock, light/dark entrainment

caspalme <at> ucsc.edu

Catherine graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi in 2020 with a B. S. in Biology. She completed her undergraduate thesis in the Sadler Edepli Lab, where she studied fatty liver disease in zebrafish. Her research focused on how similar environmental conditions (both toxicological and microbiologic) can lead to differential disease outcomes. Her interests led her to pursue a PhD in the Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology program at University of California Santa Cruz where she joined the Kimmey Lab in 2021. Her research focuses on the regulation of innate effectors and pathogenesis.

Catherine Palmer

Graduate Student, METX (2021 - present)


Fun Fact: probably has sand in her shoes

Area of focus: regulation of innate effector function and pathogenesis

Ask me to help with: Spn infection models, microscopy, zebrafish

Lab Alumni