Current Students

Joseph Gary Skeate

Education: M.S. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, 2013, University of Southern California; B.S. in Biochemistry and Microbiology, 2008, University of Minnesota

Research Project: Herpesvirus extracellular vesicle-mediated changes in high-risk HPV infection

Background: Currently a doctoral candidate in the medical biology program at USC, Joseph originally joined the Kast Lab as a student pursuing his master’s in 2011. Before this time he worked for 3M in the Security, Safety, and Protective Services division where he was awarded two records of invention (ROIs) for his role in the development of microbial detection devices patented by the company. Additionally he is a science teacher for K-12 students for the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, which is a weekend program run by USC’s Joint Educational Program to supplement inner-city students STEM education. His other hobbies include (but are not limited to) an abnormal amount of cycling, outdoor rock climbing, and even roasting coffee.

Personal Research Website

Researchgate Profile for Joseph SkeateLinkedin Profile for Joseph Skeate

Ruben Prins

Education: M.S. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, 2019, University of Southern California; B.Sc, 2015, Saxion University, the Netherlands

Research Project: Utilization of small-molecule inhibitors against STAT3 in HPV-driven tumors

Background: He’s back at it again! Ruben is now a first-year PhD student! Seeking to advance his scientific career he has joined us once again in the Kast lab. In his spare time Ruben enjoys a good bike ride and sending volleys across the tennis court. 

Linkedin profile for Julia Taylor

DJ Fernandez

Education: classified

Research Project: classified

Background: DJ is a third-year PhD student that has recently joined our group!  We are still learning about his mysterious background and are attempting to get his information through a FOIA request. We do know he is a rockstar scientist and an overall stellar dude to work with. For now, you can see his details from the links below

Linkedin profile for Julia Taylor