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Get to Know Us


Dr. Christina Guzzo

Principal Investigator

Dr. Guzzo completed her BScH (Life Sciences) at Queen’s University where she first cultivated a passion for HIV/AIDS outreach and education, sparked by her repeated travels to Kenya with a student-led charitable organization. She continued her studies at Queen’s University under the mentorship of Dr. Katrina Gee to receive her PhD  in Microbiology and Immunology, with research focused on identifying novel functions of interleukin-27 (IL-27) in monocyte biology and HIV infection. She trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, under the mentorship of Drs. Anthony Fauci and Paolo Lusso where her research had two main branches (1) the characterization of a unique anti-HIV chemokine (lymphotactin/XCL1) and (2) the discovery of human integrin alpha4 beta7 being incorporated into the external envelope of the HIV-1 virus. When she is not in the lab you’ll likely find her running along Lake Ontario, playing in a park with her family, or baking something delicious!

Current Lab Members


Jonathan Burnie

PhD Candidate

Jonathan completed his HBSc at UTSC in 2018 specializing in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Jonathan developed a strong interest in HIV pathogenesis and infection during his second year evolutionary biology course and is excited to pursue his PhD in the Guzzo Lab. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.

Deepa Subhash

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PhD Candidate

Deepa completed her M.Sc. in Virology from the National Institute of Virology, India and always had a passion for research in virology and molecular biology. Before joining the Guzzo lab as a PhD student, she has worked as a research assistant in multiple research institutes on projects involving virology, microbiology, and molecular biology and also as a quality control executive for a viral vaccine company. As a part of her thesis, she plans to develop cell culture models mimicking in vivo infection to study the impact of host proteins present on HIV on its pathogenicity. She loves to listen to music and spend time with her family when she is not in the lab.

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Jasmin Khela

Undergrad Student

Jasmin was awarded the UTEA in Summer 2022 to work as a research student in the Guzzo Lab. She is continuing her work in the lab as an undergraduate thesis student during the 2022-2023 academic year. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and going on walks.


Arvin Persaud

PhD Candidate

With an interest in virology/immunology, Arvin joined the Lab in 2018 as an undergraduate student, where he completed a research study course, two senior  theses, and has been awarded two NSERC USRAs. After a year working as a research assistant, Arvin continues as a PhD student in the lab. Outside of the lab, Arvin enjoys running, hiking, and catching up on crime TV!

Claire Fernandes

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Undergrad Student

Claire is currently working towards  her HBSc at UTSC, with a specialist in Human Biology. After learning about Flow Cytometry, she was excited by the prospects of Flow Virometry being pioneered in the Guzzo Lab. After being awarded an NSERC USRA in the Summer of 2022, she is in the process of completing an undergraduate thesis and hopes to continue this work in graduate school. When she is not at school, Claire loves to walk her dog (Clifford) in the Rouge Valley and play the cello at her local church.

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Mariam Saleh

Co-op Student

Mariam is a High School student who was chosen to do her 2022 - 2023 co-operative course at the Guzzo Lab. She hopes to learn more about biological sciences to help her figure out what she wants to do post - secondary. Mariam enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her friends and family during her spare time. 

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