Lab Members

Sung Hoon Baik
Postdoctoral Scientist

Sung Hoon Baik received his bachelor’s degree from Yonsei University and earned both his master’s and doctorate from Seoul National University in South Korea. He focused on intravital brain imaging using multi-photon microscopy and studied metabolic reprogramming of brain innate immune cells in Alzheimer’s disease during his PhD course. He has joined Dr. Underhill’s lab to study functional phenotypes of innate immune cells. His current research interest focuses on the relationship between cellular metabolisms and inflammasome activation in phagocytic cells.

Courtney Becker
Lab Manager
Diana Hernandez
Research Associate II
Kathleen "Katie" Kershaw, PhD
Postdoctoral Scientist

Kathleen "Katie" Kershaw, PhD, received her bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University. She earned her doctorate in molecular and cellular pathology from the UCLA, where she studied TCF/LEF based Wnt/β-catenin signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In the Underhill Laboratory and working with Stephen Shiao, MD, PhD, at Cedars-Sinai, Kershaw will investigate the role of the microbiome in a tumor's immune response to radiation therapy.

Katherine Lagree, PhD
Postdoctoral Scientist

Katherine Lagree, PhD, received her bachelor's degree from Ohio State University. She earned her doctorate at Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied the genetic determinants of Candida albicans biofilm formation and carbon utilization in the laboratory of Aaron Mitchell, PhD. Her current research in the Underhill Laboratory focuses on Malassezia species and their role in inflammatory bowel disease.

Kai Li, PhD
Postdoctoral Scientist

Kai Li, PhD, received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in China. He moved to Germany in 2013 and earned his doctorate in 2018 from the Technical University of Munich. Li studied the function of a C-type lectin receptor Clec12A in the innate immune system under the supervision of Jürgen Ruland, PhD. Li's current research interests focus on the interaction between host mycobiota and the immune system in autoimmune disease settings.

Seeun Oh
Graduate Student

Seeun Oh received her bachelor's degree and master's degree from South Korea. She moved to the United States in 2012 and worked as a research assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine at Cedars-Sinai. Her current research focuses on the role of hexokinase, an enzyme of glycolysis, in innate responses to microbial recognition.

Andrea Wolf, PhD
Research Scientist

Andrea Wolf, PhD, received her doctorate in biomedical sciences from the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied the adaptive T cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Wolf then joined the Underhill Laboratory to study the innate immune responses of phagocytic cells to microbes. Her research has focused on the role that degradation of the bacterial cell wall plays in the induction of inflammatory signals necessary for controlling bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus aureus. Wolf has identified a role for the metabolic enzyme hexokinase in innate immune sensing of bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan. Her research has begun to examine the connections between cellular metabolism and the sensing of microbes by phagocytic cells.

Benjamin Wong
Research Associate I

Ben Wong received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he majored in neuroscience and environmental studies. At Bowdoin, his research included a neuroscience honors project that investigated the physiological effects of novel endogenous peptide hormones on the American lobster (H. americanus) stomatogastric nervous system. In the Wolf Laboratory, Ben currently helps explore the mechanisms underlying phagocyte-driven innate immune signaling in response to gram-positive bacteria. Specifically, he is researching interactions between metabolism and innate immune recognition of bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan.

Contact the Underhill Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Building, Room 4094F
Los Angeles, CA 90048