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Briana Hauff Salas: The Switch From Invertebrate Biology to Human Immunology

Briana Hauff Salas; a native of Queens, New York; graduated with her Ph.D. in Zoology from the Department of Integrative Biology in Fall 2015. As a graduate student in Peggy Ostrom's Lab (co-advised by Kevin Strychar of GVSU), she continued to investigate the work of her Master's Thesis - studying coral algal symbionts and their response to climate change induced stress and diseases. This line of research provided her numerous travel opportunities, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and even the Flordia Keys.

Following graduation, Briana made the switch from studying invertebrates to human immunology. She secured a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Medical School in the Immunology and Microbiology Department under Dr. Elizabeth Leadbetter. Briana explained, "I am studying the cooperation of NKT cells and B cells in response to lipids antigens as well as investigating potential lipid-based vaccines involving the use of nanoparticles."

"I am very excited to start this new phase of my research career. Although at first glace these two fields appear extremely disparate, my experiences and education at MSU outside of my dissertation work expanded my knowledge and interests towards this direction. After postdoctoral training, I wish to pursue research in a government setting or scientific consulting."