Lab members


Dr. AJ te Velthuis


Aartjan (AJ) te Velthuis received his PhD cum laude for his work on the replication of the SARS coronavirus from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. AJ subsequently joined the University of Oxford as Marie Curie/Rubicon fellow and Henry Welcome fellow to study influenza virus replication in the laboratories of Prof Ervin Fodor and Prof Achilles Kapanidis. He also taught at Lincoln College, Oxford, as Kemp Research fellow. In 2017, AJ started his own research group at the University of Cambridge with a Henry Dale fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society. In 2021, AJ moved his lab to Princeton University, where his research focuses on how RNA viruses replicate and induce innate immune responses.

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Dr. Michael Oade, PhD

Michael Oade

Michael joined us in April 2020 from the University of Glasgow and Pirbright Institute where he worked on characterising the attenuation process of IBV.

At Princeton he hopes to investigate the role of mvRNAs on viral replication and host gene expression. He will also study coronavirus transcription and replication with a specific interest in the coronavirus proofreading and template-switching mechanisms.


Dr. Karishma Bisht, PhD

Karishma Bisht

Karishma joined us in September 2021 after obtaining her PhD from Texas Tech University. Her dissertation focused on studying the impact of environmental stressors on the biofilm formed by the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and identifying potential therapeutic targets. She then switched gears and for her postdoc, decided to explore the virology world.

In the te Velthuis lab she is interested in studying the effect of mvRNA on innate immune response in different host-relevant conditions. Outside of the lab, she enjoys watching Sci-Fi movies, hiking, and traveling.


Dr. Elizaveta Elshina, PhD

Liza Elshina


Elizaveta joined the lab in 2018 to investigate the mechanisms behind the immunostimulatory mutations in the viral polymerase. She did her MSc at the University of Zurich, where she studied nuclear entry of the influenza virus ribonucleoproteins. Before that she also worked at the University of Oxford in pre-clinical vaccine development and earned her BSc in Infectious Diseases from the University of Edinburgh.



Dr. Narender Kumar, PhD

Narender Kumar

Narender received his Master degree in Biotechnology from JNU, New Delhi. He then joined the lab of Dr. S Kumaran at CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh to pursue his doctoral research in the field of quantitative and structural biology. Here he pursued structural studies on the effector, regulator proteins, and multi-enzyme complexes that have become attractive targets for designing new drug molecules using X-ray crystallography and other biophysical techniques.

He joined the lab of Dr. AJ te Velthuis to study the replication complex of the influenza virus using cryo-electron microscopy. Outside the lab he enjoys playing various games like cricket, badminton, volleyball, traveling, and trekking.

Graduate Students

Emmanuelle Pitre

Emmanuelle Pitre

Emmanuelle joined in October 2019 after completing a Master in fundamental Virology at Sorbonne University and the Pasteur Institute. During her master's degree, she worked on one specific restriction factor of Hepatitis B virus. She is now working towards a PhD at the University of Cambridge, on the characterisation of mvRNA in influenza viruses and on replication/transcription by using single-molecule techniques.




Charlotte Rigby

Charlotte Rigby

Charlotte joined us in October 2021 from the University of Liverpool where she obtained her bachelors in Tropical Disease Biology and master’s in Clinical Sciences. Here she completed projects on ubiquitination of Ebola virus proteins as well as examining viral entry of Lassa and Ebola viruses. Her PhD focuses on examining the role RNA secondary structure plays in pandemic virus evolution. In her spare time she can be found reading, in coffee shops or tormenting her cat.



Kimberley Sabsay

Kimmie Sabsay

Kimberly (Kimmie) joined the lab in January of 2021 from the Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB) PhD Program and is co-advised with Prof. Ned Wingreen. She completed her bachelors in biochemistry and mathematics at California Polytechnic State University where her research varied from inorganic compound synthesis to molecular modelling of kinase cascades. Her PhD focuses on investigating the architecture and dynamics of RNA virus genomes and how ribonucleoprotein (RNP) structures modulate efficient replication in host cells.


Ben Larsen

Ben Larsen

Ben is a PhD student in the Molecular Biology program who is co-advised by AJ and Cameron Myhrvold. He joined in April 2022. Prior to coming to Princeton, Ben studied biology and biotechnology at Tufts University where his research focused on the effects of repetitive, structure-forming DNA sequences on chromosomal integrity in yeast. Having drastically shifted his focus, Ben is now interested in expanding the capabilities and utility of CRISPR-Cas13, with a specific focus on perturbing viral RNAs and probing their secondary structure. When he is not in one lab or the other, Ben enjoys solving crosswords, ingesting near-lethal doses of coffee, and arguing about basketball.



Caitlin Lamb

Caitlin Lamb

Caitlin joined the lab in April 2022 from the Molecular biology PhD program. She is co-advised by Prof. Cameron Mhyrvold. Prior to coming to Princeton, Caitlin earned her bachelors in chemistry from Duke University and worked with Prof. Peter Klopfer to discover the factors linked to hibernation in the fat-tailed dwarf lemurs and with Prof. Michael Boyce to explore how Coat Protein Complex II is regulated.Here, her project focuses on using Cas13-based mvRNA detection to learn about the dynamics of influenza and other viral infections.


Yimei Li

Yimei Li

Yimei Li became a lab member in May 2023, from Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB) PhD Program. Yimei is co-advised by Prof. AJ te Velthuis, Prof. Simon Levin, and Prof. Bryan Grenfell. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on single-cell analysis and machine learning. Throughout her doctoral studies, she aims to delve into the investigation of disease dynamics, encompassing both within-host and between-host perspectives.



Kaleigh Remick


Kaleigh joined the lab in April 2023 from the Molecular Biology PhD program. Prior to coming to Princeton, she studied biology at Cornell University, where her research with Dr. John Helmann focused on metal ion homeostasis of Bacillus subtilis. In the te Velthuis Lab, she is interested in studying how RNA secondary structures affect influenza virus infection. Outside of lab, you can find her reading lots of books, walking to one of Princeton’s many ice cream shops, or bartending at the graduate student bar. 



Research assistant

Ahh Young Jeong

Ahn Young

Ahh Yong obtained her Master's degree in Bioscience from the University of Science and Technology. Here she conducted research at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology. Throughout her master's program, she developed built-in RNA adjuvants for DNA vaccines, specifically utilizing miniviral RNAs from the influenza virus. At the moment, she focuses on exploring the factors that contribute to the virulence of different viral strains, and investigating their impact on the host's immune system. Outside the lab, she enjoys exploring new coffee shops and immersing herself in the company of furry critters.

Undergraduate Students

Shirley Yang

Shirley is an undergraduate student and molecular biology major. She is supervised by Karishma Bisht.


Mary Elizabeth Adler

Mary Elizabeth is undergraduate student and molecular biology major. She is supervised by AJ.


Jiyoun Roh


Jiyoun is an undergraduate student and molecular biology major working on her junior independent work. She is interested in the overarching field of virology and particularly in the role of mini viral RNAs in influenza virus infection. Outside of the lab, Jiyoun is involved in volunteering and health leadership, and enjoys spending time in the sun and exploring new cafes.



David Song 


David is a junior in the MOL department from the Canadian prairies. In the lab, he is working on computational modeling of trends in viral genome mutations. On campus, David is involved with the Model UN team and TA’s for CS and Orgo classes. He also enjoys napping prolifically and eating fruit, particularly peaches. 


Former Lab Members

  • Weston Carpenter - Undergraduate student at Princeton University
  • Thomas Vial - Postdoc at University of Cambridge/Amsterdam University Medical Center.
  • Ingrida Olendraite - Postdoc at University of Cambridge.
  • Hollie French - Research assistant. Manuscript in Science Advances. Now PhD student at University of Glasgow.
  • Esther de Boer - University of Amsterdam and funded by Erasmus+. Now PhD student University of Amsterdam.
  • Annika Ranta - Karolinska Institute and funded by Biochemical Society.
  • Margarita Lazaridis - University of Tulin and funded by Erasmus+. Now PhD student University of Vienna.
  • Alannah King - University of Cambridge part II student. Now PhD student at CIMR, University of Cambridge.
  • Sofia Weiss - University of Cambridge and funded by Microbiology Society. Review in Viruses.
  • Alexandra Moderc - University of Lyon
  • Sabrina Weis - University of Heidelberg and funded by Erasmus+
  • Judith Oymans - University of Utrecht and funded by Erasmus+. Replication and transcription papers in Journal of Virology - now at University of Utrecht.
  • Thomas Stubbs - University of Oxford Biochemistry part II student. Literature review in Future Virology.