Nancy L Monson, Ph.D. [CV]

I am a North Dakota native who came to UTSWMC in 1996 to do a 3 year post-doctoral fellowship in autoimmunity. 16 years later, I am still here (WOW!), but am now an associate professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics with a great translational research team of my own that studies the role of the immune system in diseases of the brain, with a focus on Multiple Sclerosis. Training graduate students, teaching, and making significant contributions to our understanding of human disease are my greatest joys at work. My husband, Vern, and I have three kids. We live in the country and spend our time horse back riding, tree farming, and camping. I also enjoy scrapbooking and partnering with my husband in teaching a Sunday school class at our church.


Ann J Ligocki

I was born and raised in New Jersey and earned my B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey with undergraduate research in Ecology. I joined the Monson laboratory in 2009 as an Immunology student interested in studying an autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis, with a concentration on both basic and translational components. My work focuses on the antibody genetics and antigen reactivity of B cells from patients with Multiple Sclerosis and those at high risk to convert. In my free time, I enjoy keeping a patio garden, cooking, and going on walks.


Sara J Ireland

I earned my B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2007 with a concentration in Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Microbiology. I joined the workforce at Vanderbilt University as a research assistant where I studied sacral neural crest development for two years. I came to UT Southwestern as a graduate student where I joined the Monson laboratory in 2010. Currently, my studies focus on understanding the role of antibody-independent B cell functions and their potential contributions to the pathoetiology of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.


William H Rounds

I'm originally from France and came to the US to earn a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. This degree was earned through the Quantitative and Computational Biology program track with the Lewis-Sigler Institute, which first introduced me to the world of high throughput data processing. I joined the Monson lab in 2010 to pursue my interests in translational research. My primary project focuses on the antigen reactivity of Multiple Sclerosis patient B cells with a strong focus on mass spectrometry tools for protein identification and analysis. I also enjoy providing data processing help and coding shortcuts for the large antibody sequence data sets our group generates, which apparently makes me the "computer guy" of our team.


Ding Chen, Ph.D.

I earned my B.S. in Biotechnology and M.S. in Cell Biology in China. I then came to the USA and received my Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2010. I worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Norgard's lab (Department of Microbiology) in UT Southwestern for over a year and have joined the Monson lab as a postdoc fellow in August of 2012. My interest in the lab lies in understanding the role of B and T cells in Multiple Sclerosis. Outside of the lab, I enjoy shopping, watching movies and cooking - especially trying out different recipes.


Jacqueline Rivas

I grew up in rural Iowa and earned my BS in Biochemistry at Iowa State University. My interest in immunology began as an undergraduate while doing research on the structural interactions of proteins in T cell signaling. I came to UTSW in the fall of 2012 intrigued by autoimmunity and drawn to the possibility of translational research. By the end of the year I joined the Monson laboratory where I now research the antibody genetics and specificity of B cells in children and adults who have experienced Transverse Myelitis, and are at risk to develop Multiple Sclerosis. In my free time I enjoy baking, bicycling and shopping with my husband.


Monica Blazek

I am a recent graduate of Coppell High School and will be attending Northwestern University in the fall. I am happy to say that I am returning to the Monson lab for a second summer, and hope to take what I have learned through this amazing experience with me in my future endeavors. As a native Texan, I've learned in my free time to avoid the summer heat through baking, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.




Former Lab Members:

Parul Chaudhary

I was born and brought up in New Delhi, the capital city of India. I completed my Medical School degree from B.P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, in Dharan Nepal. I then got interested in contributing to the field of research, so I pursued my interest at the Microbiology Department in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Following this experience, I came to Texas and joined the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UTSW as a Research Coordinator in the Multiple Sclerosis program. Currently, I am working with Dr. Monson's lab on the role of B cells in demyelinating disease patients.


PJ Henson

I am a native of Charlotte, North Carolina but moved to the Dallas area while attending my undergraduate at Emory & Henry College in the mountains of southwest Virginia. I received two Bachelors of Science for Biology and Chemistry while pursuing the Pre-Medical track. An avid soccer player, I captained my college team for two years and hold the college's record for most career goals. I have spent my summers at UT Southwestern, receiving the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship twice while working for Dr. Yuh Min Chook of the Department of Pharmacology. My ultimate goal is medical school; however, I am very excited to pursue my primary project identifying the antigen targets of AGS-enriched antibodies from MS patients.


Bryan Bolster

My name is Bryan Bolster and I have been a STARS teacher intern for the past two summers (2011 and 2012). I received a B.S. in biomedical sciences from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. I teach Pre-AP Physics and Physics at Bryan Adams High School and Biology 1408 and 1409 at Eastfield College. My academic interests include herpetology, ethology, and conservation biology. I have developed a great interest in neuroimmunology.