NIMML Awards Casandra Philipson a Doctorate in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Blacksburg, VA—July 8, 2015, 2015

The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) is pleased to announce that Casandra Philipson successfully passed her final defense and was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy.

Dr. Philipson began her work at the NIMML in January 2011 as a research intern and started her graduate studies in the Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (GBCB) program the following year. Her research focused on integrating heterogeneous datasets for infectious and immune-mediated diseases using computational modeling and experimental validation approaches. The systems immunoinformatics research stemming from her findings has contributed to over 15 manuscripts as well as guest lectures at last year’s Modeling Mucosal Immunity summer school hosted by the Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens team.

“Casandra exemplifies the seamless integration of computational and experimental immunology that accelerates the path to cures for infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Philipson is one of the top PhD students graduating from NIMML. Her impeccable work ethics and entrepreneurial spirit will allow Cassy to success in the next stages of her career in Biotech and Pharma.” Said Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Professor of Immunology and Director of NIMML.

Casandra’s recent efforts focus on discovering novel host-targeted therapeutics that harness the potential of immune tolerance, rather than antimicrobials, during infection and autoimmunity. Her advisory committee, comprised of Josep Bassaganya-Riera (Chair), Raquel Hontecillas, Stefan Hoops and Irving C. Allen, positively voted in favor of her award and is confident she will be highly successful in her future research endeavors.

Dr. Philipson received her B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences from Virginia Tech in 2011.


The NIMML tackles unsolved fundamental challenges in complex human diseases with unmet clinical needs. The NIMML combines advanced computational technologies such as computer modeling and artificial intelligence with pre-clinical and clinical experimentation to catalyze the translation of scientific discoveries into creative solutions to the most challenging problems in healthcare. NIMML is located in Blacksburg, VA.

NIMML Contact:

Josep Bassaganya-Riera