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Lin Laboratory Staff

Group photo of lab staff
Yi-Pin Lin
Yi-Pin Lin
Research Scientist IV, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Science, SUNY at Albany
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, SUNY at Albany
B.S., National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
M.S., National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ph.D. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Postdoctoral training, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
My research interest is to understand the role of host-pathogen interactions in promoting the manifestations of infectious disease. My research focuses on how pathogens establish infection and disseminate to target tissues. Particularly, I investigate the molecular basis of Lyme disease bacteria that promotes distinct host tropisms in the infection cycle and is involved in the interaction of multiple species of animals, ticks, and pathogens. I am further applying the information gained from these basic studies to identify the promising targets that can be developed for new Lyme disease vaccine and diagnostic tools. 
Ashley Marcinkiewicz
Ashley Marcinkiewicz
Research Scientist and Laboratory Manager
B.S., Wells College, Aurora, NY
M.S., University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Prior to my time in Dr. Lin's Laboratory, I studied the foodborne pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus, correlating phylogeny and pathogenicity markers to the geographical locations of specific lineages in oysters.  
Since joining Dr. Lin's Laboratory in the summer of 2016, I study the immune evasion (specifically complement evasion) of Lyme borreliae outer surface proteins. My research focuses on how variation of these proteins promotes host tropisms. I identify the domains/motifs of proteins that determine the host-specific infection. I also examine Lyme borreliae proteins as potential vaccine candidates. CspZ-Y207A/Y211A, one such protein, has demonstrated efficacy in Lyme disease prevention (see Marcinkiewicz Front. Immunol. 2018).

Jill Malfetano

Jill Malfetano
Senior Laboratory Technician
AAS, SUNY Delhi, Delhi, NY

Before joining Dr. Lin’s Laboratory, I worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician in a small animal general practice, and then in Internal Medicine at a small animal emergency and referral hospital. During this time, I developed clinical skills working with companion pets, reptiles, avian species, and rodents.

In the Lin Laboratory, I am contributing to the evaluation of different vaccine dosing schedules and adjuvants for several Lyme disease vaccine candidates previously identified by us and others. Additionally, I am investigating the immune mechanism driving a successful Lyme disease pre-exposure prophylaxis.


Carly Fernandez

Carly Fernandes
Laboratory Technician
B.S., Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, NY

Prior to my time in Dr. Lin’s lab, I studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at ACPHS and conducted my undergraduate thesis on VDUP-1 dependent regulation of the transcription factor Prospero in Drosophila neurogenesis.

Since joining the laboratory in July 2022, I’ve been studying the ability of antibodies to block Borrelia transmission by ticks using our artificial feeding chamber model. Further, I have been using molecular and evolutionary tools to investigate the role that CspA and related proteins play in host adaptation.


Tristan Nowak
Tristan Nowak
Ph.D. student, Biomedical Sciences Program, SUNY at Albany
B.S., Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
M.S., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Before starting my Ph.D., I studied the behavior of red widow spiders and emerging infectious diseases in New York state, including tick-borne pathogens, and spent five years working in quality control microbiology and virology laboratories.

Since joining Dr. Lin’s Laboratory, I have been investigating the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and the immunomodulatory functions of Ixodes spp. ticks, the primary vector of Lyme bacteria and various other pathogens. By genetically manipulating both ticks and bacteria, I am aiming to define the determinants that impact fitness of ticks and bacteria throughout their enzootic cycle. I am also developing tick infection models with other tick-borne pathogens, Babesia microti and Ehrlichia muris, to identify the immunological pathways that lead to manifestations, which can be used to target candidates for transmission blocking vaccines.



Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer

Before joining Dr. Lin’s laboratory full time in 2023, I received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Binghamton. I had also interned at Dr. Lin’s Lab during my undergrad as a summer REU student, where I examined the effects of several monoclonal antibodies on tick to host transmission of the Lyme Disease (LD) agent Borrelia Burgdorferi in an artificial feeding chamber model. I also used microinjection to knock down a tick immunomodulatory protein, Salp20, and observe the effect on tick feeding.

Since joining the lab full time, I have begun using a murine model to examine the vector-tropisms of Asian and European strains of another LD agent, Borrelia bavariences, in Ixodes japonicus ticks.