Assistant Research Professor, Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy
Dr. Jennifer Barrila is currently an assistant research professor in the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology (CIDV) at the Biodesign Institute. Dr. Barrila received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) in 2002. She received her Ph.D. in Biology in 2008 from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), where her doctoral research focused on the thermodynamic and crystallographic analysis of the main viral protease from the SARS virus (3CLpro) and structure-based drug design of small molecules targeting coronaviral infections. Her postdoctoral studies were performed with Dr. Cheryl Nickerson in CIDV at the Biodesign Institute, where she was trained on the use of innovative culture systems to study how physiologically relevant biomechanical forces like fluid shear regulate microbial pathogenesis and host responses to infection. This work has included use of both the spaceflight platform and ground-based microgravity analogues. She was a lead team member on research led by the Nickerson team that has flown on several spaceflight missions, including STS-131 (STL-IMMUNE; April, 2010), STS-135 (RASV; July, 2011) and SpaceX-CRS5 (PHOENIX/Micro-5; January, 2015). In 2010, she transitioned to the position of assistant research scientist, and in 2013 she was promoted to research assistant professor in CIDV. She is author of a patent, several peer-reviewed publications and has presented numerous talks and posters at national conferences. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Thora W. Halstead Young Investigator’s Award from the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR).