Torbett Laboratory

Lab Members

Torbett Lab Members

UCSD Graduate Student
TSRI Graduate Student
Research Assistant II
Scientific Associate
Sr Research Admin Asst
Research Associate
Staff Scientist, Sr.
Research Associate
MD/PhD Gradaute Student
Associate Professor
Staff Scientist


Members Information:

Bruce E. Torbett , Ph.D.
Position: Associate Professor 
Education: MSPH., Ph.D., Dept. of Cellular, Molecular, & Developmental Biology, UCLA.
Specialties: Biochemistry; flow cytometry; molecular biology; protein chemistry; virology.
Field(s): Immunology; lentiviral gene delivery; myeloid development/transcription; biochemical and structural virology.
Project(s):Evolution of drug resistance in HIV, HIV gag structure; the role of PU.1 in myeloid development; regulation of monocyte/macrophage function.



Ilean Chai
Position: U.C.S.D.
Graduate Student 
Education: B.S., Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego
Specialties: Biochemistry; chemical biology; molecular biology; structural biology; HIV virology.
Field(s): Structural function of HIV Gag and Gag binding proteins.
Project(s): The cellular protein ABCE1 has been shown to interact with HIV-1 Gag. I am identifying cellular proteins through mass spectrometry that interact with ABCE1 and help to stabilize ABCE1-Gag. Structural studies are underway to determine how ABCE1 interacts with Gag.


Christian M. Gallardo
Position: TSRI Graduate Student
Education: B.A. in Molecular Biology from Pomona College, Claremont, CA; M.B.S. in Molecular Diagnostics and Pharmaceutical Development from the Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, CA.
Specialties: Molecular Biology, Assay Development, Viral Genomics, Chemical Biology, Molecular Diagnostics.
Fields: HIV Viral Evolution
Project(s): Development and application of sequencing technologies to interrogate in vivo viral dynamics

Olivia Garijo

Position: Research Assistant II
Education: B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology (emphasis in Cell and Developmental Biology); minor in English. University of California, Berkeley. 
Specialties: Flow cytometry; cell and molecular biology; HIV and lentiviral vector development and use; human hematopoietic progenitors and stem cells; lentiviral gene delivery; Use of humanized mice for human hematopoietic progenitor and stem cell assays; confocal microscopy; immunology. 
Field(s): Determining the mechanisms of human hematopoietic stem cell lentiviral vector entry and integration resistance.
Investigation of human hematopoietic stem cell lentiviral vector entry and integration resistance and dendritic cell and immune function in humanized mice.

Terri Gelbart
Position: Scientific Associate, Licensed CLS
Education: B.S. Medical Technology, penn State University.  Internship Lankenau Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Specialties: Clinical Laboratory Regulations; Gene Expression; Microarray analysis
Field(s): Hematology; Immunology; Genetics
Investigation of human hematopoietic stem cell lentiviral vector entry and integration resistance and dendritic cell and immune function in humanized mice.

Mary Greene

Position: Research Administrator
Education: B.A. DePul University, Chicago,, M.A. Northwestern University, Evanston
Specialties: Program project Coordinator T32 grant, clinical trials coordinator, proposal development, budgets, grants accounting, regulatory requirements and sponsor correspondance

Mary 2016

Kip Hermann, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Education:  B.A. in Psychological Biology from University of California, Las Angeles; Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles
Specialties: Molecular biology; virology; viral vector development; gene therapy 
Field(s): Lentiviral gene delivery to hematopoietic stem cells
Investigating small molecules that improve the efficiency of gene transfer to hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and mechanisms of viral infection resistance in HSCs. Developing novel lentiviral vector systems with improved HSC transduction capacities.


Sunil Kurian, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Scientist
Education:  MSc, University of Madras, India, Ph.D., The Taminadu Dr. MGR Medical University, India
Specialties: Functional Genomics, Biomarker Development, Bioinformatics, Clinical Assay Development
Field(s): Genomics, Transcriptomics, Immunology
Biomarker development in kidney and liver transplantation.  Functional genomics of organ transplantation.  Biomarkers and functional genomics of Fibromyalgia.  Functional genomics of mood disorders.


Petra Minder, M.S., Ph.D.
Research Associate
Education: B.S., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Switzerland; M.S., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Switzerland; and Ph.D., Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Specialties: Cell and molecular biology; mass spectrometry; HIV virology; hematopoietic development; cancer biology.  
Field(s): Optimization of genetically modified human iPSC-derived hematopoietic stem cells to engraft in humanized mice and resist HIV infection and the role of SRC-pathways in blood vessel permability.

Stosh Ozog
MD/PhD Graduate Student
Education: BS/BA UC Berkeley, 2010. UCSD/TSRI Joint Medical Scientist Training Program
Specialties: Lentiviral vectors, CD34+ Hematopoietic Stem Cells Biology, CD8+ Cell Antiviral Response
Field(s):Gene Therapy, Stem Cell Biology, Immunology
Lentiviral vector design and and CD34+ stem cell transduction enhancement


Thomas C. Whisenant, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Education:  Ph.D. Dept. of Develoment and Cellular Biology, UC Irvine
Specialties: Bioinformatics; High-throughput Data Analysis; Molecular Biology
Field(s): Computational Biology; Transplant Biology; Biomarker Development; Gene Expression; Immunology
Development of gene expression based biomarkers for Allograft rejection; Data analysis for Clinical Trials in Transplantation 08 (Kidney) and 14 (Liver)




Alumni >>>

Bruce Torbett

Department of 
Immunology and Microbiology

The Scripps Research Institute

Director, Molecular Basis of Viral PathogenesisTraining Grant

Co-Director, CFAR Protein Expression and Proteomics Core

10550 North Torrey Pines Road, MEM-131
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 784-9123
FAX: (858) 784-7714