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Meet Our Team

Principal investigator

Research Fellows

Basanti Malakar, PhD (contact Basanti Malakar)

Basanti earned her PhD from National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India. During her PhD she analyzed the phosphoproteome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and studied the effect of phosphorylation in protein secretion and subsequent virulence.

She joined the Husson Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in March 2020. She is currently working on understanding the role of phosphorylation in the regulation of Mtb toxin-antitoxin system, specially the VapBC family. She is interested in investigating whether antitoxin phosphorylation modulates its interaction with cognate toxin and, thereby, changes its activity. As these toxins are involved in RNA cleavage, changes in the state of phosphorylation might alter protein synthesis, leading to modified cellular physiology. The outcome from this project will help in understanding a novel mechanism of toxin-mediated growth regulation in Mtb. Outside of work, Basanti likes to read, paint, and bake.

Valdir Cristovao Barth Jr., PhD (contact Valdir Cristovao Barth)

Valdir earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences and his master's degree in cell and molecular biology at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). Shortly after, he moved to the United States where he obtained his PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics at Rutgers University (New Jersey), under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Woychik.

In September 2020, he joined the Husson Lab as a research fellow, where he investigates the effect of phosphorylation on protein secretion in M. tuberculosis. A few of his research interests include toxin-antitoxin systems, RNA biology, next generation sequencing, translation regulation, and protein secretion. When he is not working in the lab, he enjoys traveling, going for a walk on sunny days, watching Netflix on rainy days, and finding good deals on food delivery services.