By Wendy Sarubbi | September 8, 2015 2:13 pm

The Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences has four new faculty members who, in addition to their teaching expertise, conduct research in areas ranging from the influenza virus to inflammatory pathways in asthma to invasive tumors. The new faculty members come from a variety of prestigious institutions, including the medical schools of Case Western Reserve, University of Massachusetts and Vanderbilt.

“We are delighted to welcome these new scientific leaders to the College of Medicine family,” said Dr. Griffith Parks, director of the Burnett School. “Through their demonstrated skills in teaching and research, they will help us train tomorrow’s scientific leaders and find ways to improve the health of us all.”

  • Justine Tigno-Aranjuez, Ph.D., (far left) is a new assistant professor from Case Western who already has a prestigious National Institutes of Health grant. Her research focuses on the immune signaling pathways involved in inflammatory diseases such as cancer, asthma and Crohn’s disease. Understanding these pathways on a molecular level can help identify possible treatments.
  • Kai McKinstry, Ph.D., (second from left) is a new assistant professor from the Massachusetts School of Medicine. Dr. McKinstry has already received American Heart Association funding for his research on T cells in immunity to viral respiratory infections including influenza. He is developing methods that will lead to stronger and longer-lasting vaccines against such viruses.
  • Claudia Andl, Ph.D., (second from right) is a new associate professor from Vanderbilt with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on cell-to-cell interactions in tumors. She is using novel 3-D cultures to uncover important signaling pathways that occur when tumors invade the body.
  • Tara Strutt, Ph.D., (far right) is a new assistant professor from the Massachusetts School of Medicine whose research focuses on a novel class of immune cells that fight viral respiratory tract infections. She is developing methods to harness the power of these cells to create novel therapies against a range of pathogens.

Drs. Tigno-Aranjuez, McKinstry and Strutt will have offices and labs at the Burnett Biomedical Sciences Building in Lake Nona. Dr. Andl’s office and lab will be on the main UCF Campus.

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