The goal of the Molecular Pathogenesis Unit (MPU) is to increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of emerging respiratory viruses on every level from host to molecule. We study the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, Nipah virus, and the 1918 influenza H1N1 virus in animal models and human lung organoids.
Emmie de Wit, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)
Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathogenesis Unit
Education: Ph.D., Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Dr. de Wit received her Ph.D. in virology from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her research there focused on the replication, pathogenesis and transmission of influenza A virus. Dr. de Wit then moved to the Laboratory of Virology of NIAID in Hamilton, Montana to work in the biosafety level 4 laboratory there. When SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019, Dr. de Wit focused her research on SARS-CoV-2, developing animal models and using those for testing of medical countermeasures and gaining a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis.
Meaghan Flagg, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)
Ph.D., Harvard University
Meaghan is interested in the immune response and immunopathogenesis of viral infections at mucosal surfaces. She uses 3D human respiratory organoid models to study how viruses and the immune response impact epithelial cell function and tissue repair.
Kerry Goldin, D.V.M. (She/Her/Hers)
St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, FL, USA
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA
Kerry studies neuropathology associated with emerging respiratory viruses, including Nipah virus and SARS-CoV-2. Prior to coming to NIH, she graduated veterinary school and completed a residency in Anatomic Pathology. Kerry is a Fellow in the Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program.
Lizzette Perez-Perez, M.S. (She/Her/Hers)
IRTA Post-Baccalaureate Trainee
M.S., Smith College, Northampton, MA, United States
Languages Spoken: Spanish
Lizzette’s interest lies in understanding virus-host interactions, specifically viruses originating from bats. Since 2019, with MPU, RML colleagues and collaborators she has been involved in a range of research projects – from developing a minigenome system for Nipah virus, supporting the response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and working with respiratory tract organoids.
Manmeet Singh, Ph.D. (He/Him/His)
IRTA Post-Doctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Indian institute of science education and research-Kolkata, India
Languages Spoken: Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali
Manmeet has been working on development of animal model to study Nipah virus neurological disease. He has also been involved in responding to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and working towards understanding the difference in pathogenicity of different SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern.
Brandi Williamson, M.P.H.
MPH, University of California, Berkeley
Languages Spoken: German
Brandi has studied multiple organisms and vectors through her career including Borrelia hermsii, Ornithodoros hermsi, Colorado Tick fever virus, Dermacentor andersoni, orthobunyaviruses, and hantaviruses.
Former Research Group Members
Beniah Brumbaugh, Postbac IRTA
Reinaldo Mercado-Hernandez, Postbac IRTA