Catherine Matte-Martone started as a Research Assistant in Dr. Warren Shlomchik's lab nearly thirteen years ago and is now a Research Associate leading her own projects. She is also responsible for training new members of the lab, including research assistants and postdocs. Her experience and skill set make Catherine a valuable asset to the entire team, and to the work being done in the lab.
Dr. Shlomchik's lab primarily studies Graft-vs-Host Disease (GVHD) and Graft-vs-Leukemia (GVL) in murine models of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Catherine is involved with several projects along those lines, and was first author on a paper published in The Journal of Immunology in 2011 demonstrating the shared mechanisms of T cell killing in GVL against different models of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). This work has since evolved into looking at the stem cells from these CML models with the goal of understanding why some leukemias are GVL-sensitive and others are GVL-resistant.
In addition to the work she does in Dr. Shlomchik's lab, Catherine's versatile skills and experience allows her to work with other labs. "Many people don't realize how much collaboration goes on in the lab. I have been here so long that I know who to reach out to if we need reagents to continue an experiment and how the equipment works. Everyone gets along really well, which is important," said Catherine.
On a daily basis Catherine interacts with postdocs, research assistants, grad students, fellows, animal facility personnel, and Biotech specialists from the Flow Cytometry Core Facility. Her seniority and experience make her a good target for different departments to contact with problems. She described one of her strengths as troubleshooting, and helps out if there are problems with a protocol, equipment, etc.
Dr. Shlomchik trained Catherine when she first arrived, and Catherine tries to carry the excellent training she received over into everyone she trains in the lab. Dr. Shlomchik commented, "Catherine is really a partner with me in all of her projects and in the running of the lab in general. Beyond her own projects she has had a hand in every project in the lab over the last dozen years. She is amazing at multitasking and has the highest standards for her work."