Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Jason M. Zimmerer, Ph.D., Research Scientist

Left Dr. Ginny Bumgardner, Right Dr. Jason Zimmerer

Dr. Zimmerer is a Research Scientist with Principal Investigator status.  Dr. Zimmerer has 12 first author publications in peer reviewed journals, 11 co-authorships, a co-first author book chapter, as well as being selected to give oral presentations of his research at regional and national meetings.  He is a prior recipient of an NIH F32 career development award.  He was awarded the Lockwood Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research to pursue a clinical study obtaining blood from kidney transplant recipients in order to evaluate T cell and B cell markers as potential predictive biomarkers of downstream alloantibody formation.


Hatem Aldhahi, Undergraduate Student Researcher

Hatem is a first-year Biochemistry major at the Ohio State College of Arts and Sciences. He joined the Bumgardner Laboratory in August 2023. Hatem hopes to learn more about how immunology plays a role before, during, and after a surgery, and he is excited to contribute to the ongoing research in the lab.


Hope Uwase,  Research Associate

Hope is a Research Associate. She graduated with her Master in Pathology from Case Western Reserve University in spring ’23. Through her academic and professional experience, she has come to appreciate the immune system, which is how she developed a passion for Immunology and all its untapped potential for therapeutic novelty, that is less invasive and improves patient outcome. She is excited to be joining Bumgardner lab this fall ’23 and looks forward to contributing to the lab’s ongoing efforts that aim to understand the role of alloprimed and viral-primed CD8+ T cells and B cells in patient outcomes, post-transplant.


Colleen Booth, Undergraduate Student Researcher

She is currently a third-year undergraduate pursuing a Molecular Genetics major in the OSU College of Arts and Sciences along with minors in Bioethics and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Through gaining experience in immunology research, she hopes to learn more regarding the mechanisms of transplant rejection and how this research can be clinically applied. She is excited to be involved in this area of biomedical research not only because it is influential work for the healthcare realm, but also because the fundamental lessons she will learn as a researcher will be extremely relevant in her future endeavors in the medical field.



Sydney Castellanos, Medical Student Researcher

Sydney is a third-year medical student at the OSU College of Medicine. She joined the Bumgardner Laboratory in Summer 2022 to continue her research interest in immunology and learn about its applications in transplant surgery.





Nidhi Jha, Medical Student Researcher

Nidhi is a second-year medical student at OSU College of Medicine.  She joined the Bumgardner Lab in November 2022. Her interest in biomedical research came from learning how treatments and therapies are developed. She hopes to learn more about immunology because it plays a large role in patient outcomes.





Kavya Koneru, Undergraduate Student Researcher

Kavya is a second-year undergraduate pharmaceutical science major at the Ohio State College of Pharmacy.  She joined the Bumgardner Lab in Summer 2021. “I hope to learn more about immunology and how current research in the field can impact transplant surgery. I am excited to grow as a researcher and learn how to effectively investigate various research questions.”





Nadia Rajab, Undergraduate Student Volunteer

Nadia is a sophomore at Ohio State University, pursuing a major in Health Sciences and a minor in International Relations and Diplomacy.  She joined the lab in Summer 2021.  “My goal is to work in health equity and help decrease global health disparities. I believe understanding immunology is critical for this, as understanding the immune system helps us understand how we fight diseases, no matter who or where we are. In the Bumgardner lab, I hope to learn more about the intricacies of T cells’ functions and am excited to study the immune systems of living specimen.”




Jing Han MD, PGY2 Surgery Resident Researcher, ARTIST T32 Trainee, NIH F32 Trainee

Dr. Han is a second year General Surgery Resident who joined the Bumgardner laboratory in Summer 2019.  She is also pursuing a doctoral degree in the OSU COM Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) with an Immunology Research Emphasis. Dr. Han received a perfect score (1.0) on her NIH F32 application (funded).





Madison Hart, Undergraduate Student Researcher

Madison was a Biomedical Engineering pre-med student who is now attending OSU COM.  She joined the Bumgardner Laboratory in Summer 2019 in order to learn more about immunology research. She applied for and was awarded an Undergraduate Research Scholarship to investigate research on antibody-suppressor CD8+ T cells.




Sachi Chaudhari, Undergraduate Student Researcher 

Sachi is a 3rd year undergraduate student and is majoring in Microbiology at The Ohio State University.  She joined the Bumgardner Laboratory in Summer 2019 in order to continue research in immunology. Sachi has received the Undergraduate Research Scholarship to investigate the trafficking patterns and in vitro cytotoxicity of antibody-suppressor CD8+T Cells.



Steven M. Elzein, Medical Student Researcher- Steven joined the laboratory in 2012 as a freshman pursuing a dual degree in biological sciences and Arabic at OSU. Steven focused on studying the effects that immunosuppressive drugs have on CD8+ T cell mediated regulation of donor-specific antibody. As an undergraduate, Steven was awarded the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Undergraduate Research Grant (2014) and the Undergraduate Education Summer Research Fellowship (2014).   He  contributed to research resulting in 4 co-authorships on peer-reviewed manuscripts.  Steven was accepted to medical school at The Ohio State University and continued in the lab during his first year as a medical student.  He was awarded an OSUCOM Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2107) to conduct translational immunology research during the summer between Med I and Med II year.  He also pursued an Advanced Competency in Research as part of his medical school Lead, Serve, Inspire (LSI) curriculum while working in the Bumgardner Laboratory during his Med IV year and published a first author review on CXCR5+CD8+ T cells.  Steven is now a surgical resident in Houston, Texas.


Matthew Basinger, Medical Student Researcher- As a first year medical student he joined the Bumgardner Laboratory as part of a “Transplant Team Science” group of medical students.  He pursued research investigating peripheral blood from kidney transplant recipients to determine their phenotype and to determine the association of lymphocyte cell subsets with formation of posttransplant donor specific alloantibody.  He was awarded a  OSUCOM Medical Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2017)





Bryce A. Ringwald, Medical Student Researcher- Bryce joined the lab in 2015 as an undergraduate at the Ohio State University.  As an undergraduate he was a student in the OSU COM Undergraduate Biomedical Science Program. Bryce contributed to transplant immunology research which resulted in 2 co-authorships on peer reviewed publications.  He was  an awardee of the OSU Undergraduate Research Scholarship Award (2015).   Bryce was accepted into medical school at the Ohio State University in 2018.   Bryce continued to work in the lab during his first two years as a medical student and was awarded an OSUCOM Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2018).

Robert Warren, Undergraduate Student Research Assistant- Robert joined the lab as a student assistant in 2016 and graduated from OSU in 2019.   Robert has contributed to research which has earned him 3 co-authorships on peer-reviewed publications.

Max Arnold, High School Research Volunteer- Max joined the lab in early summer 2019. As a rising senior, Max pursued a summer research experience in the Bumgardner laboratory to gain a wider knowledge of immunology and research as whole. He was guided by the day to day  mentorship of Jason Zimmerer PhD.






“As a new student joining the lab for only a few days, I was able to jump right in, learning about basic immunology and research-specific cell work. Jason Zimmerer, the research scientist, who walked me through my first week did a great job answering all my questions and making sure I was understanding the jobs that we were doing. The emphasis on safety in the lab was never left unspoken which gave me a higher level of comfortability in the work I was doing. I was additionally introduced to animal work as well, which is a big factor in the work and research done in the Bumgardner Lab. After my week in the lab I am comfortable with the safety, machinery, and basic idea of the research done, and it’s given me a passion to continue diving into this field of research.”








– Max Arnold, High School Research Volunteer

Past Laboratory Members

Kalyn Hoffman, Medical Student Researcher. Kalyn is a medical student currently completing her4th year medical student at OSUCOM.   As a first year medical student she joined the Bumgardner Laboratory as part of a “Transplant Team Science” group of medical students. She was an awardee of a OSUCOM Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2017).  Her research focused on understanding the immune conditions which are necessary to support the development of antibody suppressor CD8 T cells.  She is currently pursuing further immunology research relevant to Dermatology and is concurrently pursuing an Advanced Competency in Research as part of her Lead, Serve, Inspire (LSI) medical school curriculum.

Christina Avila (Wright)

Christina L. Avila, B.S., M.P.H.  Research Associate- Christina was initially hired into the Bumgardner Laboratory as a Research Assistant and based on excellent work was promoted to Research Associate and began to take on independent research projects.    During her time working in the lab she also earned a masters in public health, performed research resulting in 1 first author publication and 5 co-authorships on additional peer-reviewed publications.  Ultimately she applied to medical school and was accepted to the OSU College of Medicine in 2016.  She is currently a 4th year medical student in the OSUCOM.


Nahid Rashid MD- Nahid was a medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSUCOM).   She was an Awardee of a OSUCOM Student Research Scholarship (2014).  Nahid is currently a preventative medicine resident.

Alecia Blaszczack PhD is a student in the OSU COM MSTP (MD/PhD) program. Her 10 week rotation in the lab led to 1 co-authorship of a peer-reviewed publication.  She earned her PhD in the immunology laboratory of Willa Hsueh MD and is now completing the remainder of her medical school clinical training.

Pooja Sanghavi MD – is an awardee of a Dean’s OSUCOM Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2013, Dean’s award indicates top 3 awardees), 13th Annual OSUCOM Research Day Poster Presentation Travel Award (2014). After graduation, Pooja pursued a residency in Pediatrics at Stanford Medical Center.

Prasanth Swamy MD- Awardee and OSU’s COM representative for the AΩΑ 2012 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship (2012), Awardee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Presidential Student Mentor Grant (2012), selected awardee for the OSUCOM Student Roessler Research Scholarship (2012), 12th Annual OSUMC Research Day Poster Presentation Travel Award (2013). Prasanth is a physician of emergency medicine in Oregon.

Kathryn Tobin, M.D.Katherine Tobin MD- Awardee of the Mayers Scholarship in Natural and Mathematical Sciences awardee (2012). Katherine is a combined internal medicine/pediatric resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center.



Thomas Pham MD MS- Dr. Pham first joined the Bumgardner laboratory as an undergraduate at the Ohio State University.  Later after completing medical school at the University of Cinncinnati, he was accepted into the Ohio State University General Surgery Residency Program.   As part of the OSU Department of Surgery Research Training Program, he pursued a two-year research fellowship in the Bumgardner laboratory.  His research was supported by a competitive grant awarded by the ASTS.  He earned a Masters of Medical Science degree during his research training.  Currently he is a  at clinical assistant professor and transplant surgeon at Stanford University. His research contributed to 6 co-authorships on peer-reviewed publication from his fellowship with the Bumgardner lab.

Lily Liu DDS- Lily worked in the Bumgardner lab when she was an undergraduate in the OSU Biomedical Sciences Program.  She is an Awardee of the Summer Research Fellows Grant through the Undergraduate Research Office (2010), 10th Annual OSUMC Research Day Poster Presentation Travel Award (2011). Lily is a dentist in Boston.

Lori FiessingerLori Fiessinger MD– Lori worked in the Bumgardner lab as an undergraduate student at the Ohio State University.  She is an Awardee of the OSU Denman Undergraduate Forum- Biomedical Science category (poster presentations; 2009).  She received a competitive full tuition research scholarship to the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Medical School/Case Western Reserve University. Lori is a dermatologist at the University of Minnesota.



Samiya Saklayen MD– Samiya worked in the Bumgardner lab when she was an undergraduate student at OSU.  Samiya is now a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist at OSU.

Priyal Gupta MD– Priya worked in the Bumgardner lab as an undergraduate student at OSU.  She is an Awardee of the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund (2010). Priyal is a radiology resident at the Cleveland Clinic.

Keri LunsfordKeri Lunsford MD PhD- Dr. Lunsford joined the Bumgardner lab as a first year medical student.  She subsequently was awarded a research fellowship by the American Diabetes Association to pursue a year of research in the laboratory.  During this time she decided to pursue a dual degree and was accepted into the OSU MD PhD program.  She continued her research training in the Bumgardner laboratory as a graduate student in the lab (11 co-authorships). After graduating from OSU COM with many awards she pursued a General Surgery residency at Duke University.  After completing her surgery residency she pursued a transplant surgery fellowship at UCLA.  She started her first faculty position as a transplant surgeon at Houston Methodist Surgical Associates and an Assistant Professor of Surgery (Cornell Weill Medical school). She recently received a K08 mentored career development award from NIH which provides salary support and protected time for her to develop her research.

Dr. Phillip HornePhillip H. Horne MD PhD- Dr. Horne joined the Bumgardner lab as an MD PhD student at the Ohio State University COM, which resulted in 8 co-authorships. He went on to complete his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center. Followed by a Spinal Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  Currently, he is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Duke Orthopedics Raleigh Group, NC.



Anna Marie EiringAnna Eiring PhD-Anna joined the Bumgardner lab as a Research and Administrative Assistant.  She was promoted to a Research Associated based on her excellent work.  Her experiences in the laboratory and grants administration ultimately inspired her to pursue research as a career.   She was accepted into the OSU Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program where she was a top performing student, cancer biologist and ambassador for the OSU BSGP.  After earning her doctoral degree, she pursued postdoctoral research training at the University of Utah.  She was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah.  Currently she is an Assistant Professor (Center of Emphasis in Cancer) in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas.


Lab Member Photo 2019