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3125 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

I am passionate about expanding our pool of scientific knowledge and training the next generation. This has lead me to obtain my PhD, and now continue into a postdoctoral position at Cornell University. I am currently tackling the effects of chronic infection in Drosophila melanogaster together with two talented undergraduate researchers in the Lazzaro lab.

I believe that biology education should focus on training critical thinking and instilling a passion for biology through connections to everyday life. This is critical not only for future researchers, but for the entire community.

Curriculum Vitae

Downloadable PDF


PhD in Microbiology & Immunology, GPA 3.9/4.0,  September 2012

Stanford University; Stanford, CA

Thesis: Building a robust immune response

Committee: David Schneider, Denise Monack, Mary Beth Mudgett, David Relman


Bachelor of Science in Biology, GPA 5.0/5.0, June 2006          

Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Associate with Brian P. Lazzaro, 2012-present

Cornell University; Ithaca, NY


Research and Teaching Assistant, 2009-2012

Stanford University; Stanford, CA


National Institutes of Health Trainee, 2006-2009

Stanford University; Stanford, CA

       Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Grant

       Microbiology and Immunology Training Grant


Research Intern, Summer 2005 & 2006

Esperion Therapeutics, A Pfizer Inc. Company


Undergraduate Researcher with Richard N. Mitchell, 2004-2006

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School


(* undergraduate or high school trainee)

Peer Reviewed

Chambers MC, Khalil S*, Jacobson E*, Lazzaro BP. Chronic infection induces metabolic-immune tradeoff in Drosophila melanogaster. (in prep)

McNeil A, Akinleye A*, Nurilov M, Rouzyi Z, Milunovich A*, Chambers MC and Simon AF. Quantification of social interactions in Drosophila melanogaster: Measure of social space. JOVE. (in prep)

Khalil S*, Jacobson E*, Chambers MC, Lazzaro BP. 2014. Quantitative bacterial infection and immune defense phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. JOVE (submitted)

Chambers MC, Jacobson E*, Khalil S*, Lazzaro BP. 2014. Thorax injury lowers resistance to infection in Drosophila melanogaster. Infection and Immunity.  (in press)

Chambers MC, Song KH and Schneider DS. 2012.  Listeria Infection Induces Metabolic Changes in Drosophila melanogaster. PLOS One. 7 (12), e50679 (pdf)

Chambers MC, Lightfield KL and Schneider DS. 2012.  How a Fly Balances its Immune System. PLOS Pathogens.  8 (12), e1002970 (pdf)

Linderman JA, Chambers MC, Gupta AS*, and Schneider DS. 2012. Infection-Related Declines Chill Coma Recovery and Negative Geotaxis in Drosophila melanogaster. PLOS One. 7(9):e41907 (pdf)

Chambers MC and Schneider DS. 2012.  Balancing Resistance and Infection Tolerance through Metabolic Means.  PNAS. 109(35):13886-7 (pdf) [perspective]

Chambers MC and Schneider DS. 2012. Pioneering Immunology: Insect Style. Current Opinion Immunology. 24(1):10-4. (pdf) [review]

Schneider DS and Chambers MC. 2008. Rogue Insect Immunity. Science. 322(5905), 1199 – 1200. (pdf) [perspective]

Invited and Submitted Presentations


Poster, 55th Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA. “Physiological trade-offs during chronic infection.”

Poster, Keystone Symposia: Mechanisms and Consequences of Invertebrate-Microbe Interactions, Tahoe City, CA. “Physiological trade-offs during chronic infection of Drosophila melanogaster.”


Invited Seminar, York College – City University of New York, Jamaica, NY. “Studies in immunity using Drosophila melanogaster. “

Poster, 54th Drosophila Research Conference, Washington D.C. “Severity of chronic infections depends on the amount of dietary sugar.”           


Invited Seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. "Building a robust immune system."

Invited Seminar, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. "Mediating a balance between resistance and tolerance."

Seminar, 53rd Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, IL. “Mediating a balance between tolerance and resistance”

Invited Seminar, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. "Mediating a balance between tolerance and resistance in Drosophila melanogaster."


Seminar, Cellular and Molecular Biology Symposium, Stanford, CA. “Tolerance and Infection: Characterizing a putative immune regulator.”

Poster, 52nd Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA “Disappearing Phenotypes: The contribution of diet to immune robustness.”


Seminar, 51st Drosophila Research Conference, Washington D.C. “Uric Acid: Balancing reactive oxygen damage to host and microbe during infection in Drosophila melanogaster


Seminar, Microbiology and Immunology Retreat, Santa Cruz, CA. “Mitigating the damage: metabolism and infection”

Poster (honorable mention), 50th Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, IL. “Characterizing Ets21c, a putative master regulator of endurance in Drosophila melanogaster.

Teaching Experience



Classroom Experience

Facilitator, Undergraduate Lab Meetings, Cornell University, Summer 2013 & 2014

Organized and facilitated a weekly group meeting for undergraduate researchers in the Lazzaro lab. Prepared and presented an introductory lecture on immunity, focusing on Drosophila mechanisms. Instructed students about the basics of scientific communication which gave students a forum to present their findings and practice critiquing each other’s work.


Guest Lecturer, Advanced Immunology, Cornell University, Winter 2014

Prepared and delivered a lecture on insect immunology in a team-taught survey course.  Organized and led a journal club on mammalian tissue macrophages. Designed and graded questions to test the students’ understanding of insect immunity.


Teaching Assistant, Advanced Pathogenesis, Stanford University, Winter 2010

Served as a group learning facilitator. Organized weekly article discussions, guiding students through critique of primary literature. Advised students preparing their cumulative research proposal by helping them select topics, guiding students to relevant primary literature, and polish proposal writing. Graded assignments and presentations.

Teaching Assistant, Innate Immunology, Stanford University, Spring 2009

Led a weekly literature-based discussion for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.  Gave an hour lecture on “Anorexia, Metabolism and Infection: Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Graded problem set and proposals and held weekly office hours.


Research Mentor, Cornell University & Stanford University, 2008-present

Taught students how to design experiments, collect and analyze data. Instructed students in basic fly husbandry and microbiology techniques. Guided student preparation of presentations and written reports. Advised students on graduate school or college preparation.  Oversaw a subset of mentees as part of university summer programs (listed below).

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Cornell University

Research Apprenticeship in Biological Sciences (RABS), Cornell University

Stanford Summer Research Program/Amgen Scholars (SSRP), Stanford University

Individual research trainees are listed, with current occupation in parentheses:

Cornell University

Eliana Jacobson (Biology major)*, 2013-present

Sarah Khalil (Biology major/Business minor)*^, 2012-present

Adesanya Akinleye (Biology major at York-CUNY)*, LSAMP, Summer 2013

Austin Milunovich (Undeclared at Harvard University)*~, RABS, Summer 2013


Stanford University

Brittney Nguyen (PhD Student at UC Berkeley), Spring 2012

Nilasha Ghosh (MD Student at UC Irvine), Summer 2009

William Leon (MD Student at UC-Riverside), SSRP, Summer 2012

Emmanuelle Benkoski (MD Student at Univ. Pittsburgh), 2009- 2010

Milana PeBenito (MD Student at UCSF), SSRP, Summer 2008

Avni Gupta (Biology at Univ. Pittsburgh)*~, 2011- 2012


*Co-authored publications, ^Presented research at Evolution 2014, ~ High-school student


Career Mentor, SBSA 1st year Mentoring Program, Stanford University, 2009-2012

Started a new mentoring program for first year graduate students in the School of Medicine, which is still run by the Stanford Biosciences Student Association.  Obtained funding from the Dean’s office for quarterly mentoring lunches.  Mentored younger graduate students on selecting thesis advisors and committees, transitioning to graduate school, and how to balance research and other aspects of graduate life. 


Career Mentor, BioAIMS Bridge Program, Stanford University, 2010

Mentored an incoming minority graduate student during the summer prior to their 1st year in graduate school is a program run by the Stanford Biomedical Association for the Interest of Minority Students (BioAIMS) Bridge Mentorship Program. Advised the student on selecting thesis advisors and committees, transitioning to graduate school, and how to balance research and other aspects of graduate life.


Professional Development

Participant, Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching, Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), Fall 2014

Participating in a MOOC (7 weeks, 8-10 hour/week) designed to prepare participants to incorporate research-tested pedagogical approaches into their classrooms, developing example lesson plans and assignments for use in future classes.


Workshop Participant, High Impact Practices Institute, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and CU-CIRTL, Cornell University, Summer 2014

Participated in a day long workshop designed to prepare graduate students and post-docs to engage in teaching as research and incorporate high impact teaching practices into their classrooms.


Workshop Participant, Certificate in Innovative Approaches in Pedagogy, CTE, Cornell University, 2012-2014

Participated in a series of workshops through the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence designed to expose future educators to current pedagogical methods and tools.  Workshops attended: Case-Study Approach to Teaching, Just in Time Teaching, and Teaching Models and Approaches.


Workshop Participant, Building Mentoring Skills for a Career in Academia, Cornell University, Spring 2013

Participated in a 6 week series of workshops designed to improve mentoring skills of future faculty. Topics included:

-     What I Wish I’d Known About Mentoring Before Becoming a Faculty Member

-     Developing, Communicating, and Practicing Your Mentoring Philosophy

-     Mentoring Research at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution.

-     Undergraduate Research: Setting Expectations and Designing Doable Projects

-     Creating a Culturally Inclusive Lab or Research Group

-     Mentoring Graduate Students and Post-docs


Workshop Participant, Management Matters, Stanford University, 2012

Participated in a series of four workshops designed to promote effective management.  Sessions focused on working with different working styles, making expectations clear and giving and getting feedback.

Fellowships and Awards

2013 – Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund Scholarship

2012 – Speaker (Student-selected), Stanford School of Medicine Graduation

2010 – Alternate, Diversifying Academia and Retaining Excellence (DARE) Fellowship

2009 – Microbiology and Immunology NIH Training Grant, Stanford University

2009 – Honorable Mention Poster, 50th Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago IL

2008 – Honorable Mention NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2006-2008 – Cellular and Molecular Biology NIH Training Grant, Stanford University

2006 – Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Affiliations

Genetic Society of America (GSA), 2008-present

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2012-present

American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 2014-present

Leadership and Service

Volunteer Coach, Women's Club Water Polo, Cornell University, 2012 - present

Speaker, “Handling Tricky Mentoring Situations.”  Building Mentoring Skills for a Career in Academia Workshop.  April 2014

Reviewer, Sigma Xi Grants-In-Aid of Research, Cornell.  March 2014.

Mentoring Chair for Stanford Bioscience Student Association (SBSA) May 2010 – May 2011

Graduate Representative on the Acts of Intolerance Advisory Committee, Stanford University.  November 2009- June 2010

Community Associate, Residential Life, Stanford University, Stanford CA September 2009 – September 2011

Alto Section Leader, Memorial Church Choir.  September 2009 – June 2012

President, Stanford Biosciences Student Association (formerly BioMASS). May 2009 – May 2010

Microbiology and Immunology Admissions Committee, Winter 2010

Mentor for BioMASS 1st Year Mentoring Program Sept 2008 – September 2011

Microbiology and Immunology Recruitment co-chair, Winter 2008


Volunteer, Scientist Constellations, Barron Park Elementary School. May 2012.

Volunteer, Exploring New Worlds, Stanford University, May 2009

Volunteer, Junior Science Olympiad, Stanford University, April 2009

Volunteer Teacher, Expanding Your Horizons, San Jose State University, March 2009