Dr. Breanna Scorza
Breanna Scorza was born in Chicago, IL and earned her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Loyola University Chicago in 2011. During this time, Breanna developed an interest in the immunology of infectious disease. She went on to attain her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Iowa in 2017. Her dissertation work involved host-pathogen interactions with the parasite Leishmania, which causes the widespread neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis. Currently, Breanna continues to pursue immunoparasitology expertise as a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Christine Petersen in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. Her main project aims to elucidate the roles of an understudied immune cell subset, the Natural Killer cell, during chronic diseases such as leishmaniasis and Lyme disease. Another project she is involved with considers what immune and parasitologic parameters correlate with Leishmania host infectiousness to an insect vector. Breanna hopes to combine her laboratory skills with field work and epidemiological analyses to try and understand immune responses in naturally infected populations and how they can be manipulated to prevent disease and transmission.