Esteban obtained his BSc and MSc in biochemistry from Universidad de Chile. He was part of the team that produced the first recombinant subunit vaccine against the salmon pathogenic bacteria Piscirickettsia salmonis. The vaccine was licensed to Novartis Animal Health and it is commercialized globally. Next he did his his PhD in Biotechnology at Universidad Andres Bello, studying plant viruses. Esteban developed a diagnostic oligonucleotide microarray for simultaneous detection of more than 50 grapevine viruses. He discovered new viral species infecting grapevines in Chile, some with high incidence and deleterious effects on the crop quality and yield. In 2010 Esteban moved to Princeton University in New Jersey, where he was a PEW postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Professor Lynn Enquist studying alpha herpesviruses infection in the nervous system. In 2015 Esteban started his own research lab at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, where he also directs the Viral Core Facility.
Ferzin got her BSc from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in Life Sciences and Biochemistry and an MSc in Biochemistry from MS University, Baroda. She then moved to Michigan State University, East Lansing to pursue a PhD in Genetics. Ferzin studied aberrant synaptic plasticity in autism spectrum disorders through investigating mouse behavior and signaling pathways in the brain. She discovered and validated 2 unique therapeutic drug targets whose modulation rescued several aberrant phenotypes in an autism mouse model. Ferzin joined the Engel lab and Viral Core Facility at PNI in 2015
Gabriela is pursuing the Neuroscience concentration with a Cognitive Science certificate. She is strongly interested in the intersection between neuroscience and medicine and hopes that her senior thesis project, which aims to work on a new human viral tracer, will be able to contribute to future developments in both of these fields.