New Faculty Profiles
Tania Wong, PhD
Veronika Miskolci, PhD
Dr. Wong obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. There, she focused on effector proteins that are secreted by gastrointestinal pathogens and how they interfere with host cell signaling pathways involved in inflammation and cell death to establish infection. Following the completion of her PhD in 2016, she joined the laboratory of Professor Alice Prince at Columbia University where she continued to investigate the interaction between the host and bacterial pathogens, particularly those that are multidrug-resistant. She has gained experience with various mouse models of pulmonary and skin infection. A major focus of her research, for which she was awarded a K99/R00 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is the host-pathogen metabolic interplay, which shapes the infection outcome. She is interested in understanding how opportunistic pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus subvert the host metabolic response and how this in turn dictates the immune response. In addition, she aims to manipulate the immunometabolic response to promote bacterial clearance via dietary intervention and changes in the microbiota. Dr. Wong will join the Center for Immunity and Inflammation at Rutgers NJMS as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine in February 2024.
Dr. Miskolci completed her PhD in 2016 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, under the co-mentorship of Dr. Dianne Cox and Dr. Louis Hodgson. Her thesis work focused on developing Forster Resonance Energy Transfer-based biosensors to study the function of the Rho family of small GTPases during macrophage motility. For her postdoctoral training, she joined the research group of Dr. Anna Huttenlocher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI. Here, she used larval zebrafish as an in vivo model to study the role of neutrophil-macrophage interaction during the resolution of inflammation in context of tissue damage. Her project involved developing complex wound models and characterizing the metabolic state of macrophages during the inflammatory response following infected or sterile injuries. In collaboration with Dr. Melissa Skala at the Morgridge Institute for Research, she conducted a proof-of-principle study to demonstrate that autofluorescence lifetime imaging of endogenous metabolic coenzymes is a sensitive method to detect dynamic changes in the intracellular metabolism of macrophages in situ in a live animal. She was awarded an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to further develop this imaging technology for in vivo applications. Her primary research interest is to study the metabolic regulation of innate immunity during tissue damage and repair. She joined Rutgers NJMS as an Assistant Professor in the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics in April 2023.