Payal Damani-Yokota

MCB Graduate Student

Office: 

ISB 460

Phone: 

413-545-5543

Email: 
pdamaniy [at] mcb [dot] umass [dot] edu
Former PI: 
Cynthia L. Baldwin

Payal is a graduate student who is ardently investigating signals that regulate activation and functional responses of T cells in the context of infectious diseases. For her graduate work in the Molecular and Cellular Biology program at UMass-Amherst and as a member of Baldwin lab, she focuses on understanding the role of a γδ T cell specific Pattern Recognition Receptor/Co-receptor family called WC1. In particular, she is interested in evaluating where and how these molecules develop as well as how they part-take in immune responses. The significance of this study is to eventually devise vaccine strategies that employ γδ T cells to target infectious pathogens directly as well as by bridging the innate and adaptive immune arms.

Prior to her graduate work, Payal worked at MSKCC where she gained experience with the development and engineering of carbohydrate based vaccine + synthetic adjuvant cocktails that target micro-metastatic tumors of breast, ovaries, skin and small cell lung carcinomas.