Lindsey Costantini, Ph.D.

    Lineberger Cancer Center


    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Anatomy & Structural Biology


    Blossom Damania, Ph.D. and Jack Griffith, Ph.D.


My dedication to science has led me on a journey from my small seaside hometown to the University of Connecticut, then Albert Einstein College of Medicine and most recently to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a SPIRE postdoctoral fellow I am a step closer to achieving my long term career goal to combine my research interests with my commitment to teaching.

After receiving my bachelor’s degree from UCONN I continued in the master’s program. Doing so gave me the unique perspective of teaching a course I had previously taken as an undergraduate. Teaching forced me to master a subject and, more importantly, synthesize information into a coherent and transmittable message. For this reason, I believe that constructing opportunities for students to teach each other enables them to gain the greatest command of the material as well as retain a lasting knowledge. My previous teaching experiences have provided a valuable foundation. I hope to build on my foundation and I believe the SPIRE program’s training will further shape the teacher I will become.

Following my time at UCONN, I continued my scientific training at Einstein. I completed my doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Erik Lee Snapp. In the Snapp lab, live cell imaging techniques are utilized to investigate how stress induces changes to the cellular environment of the endoplasmic reticulum. To measure changes in stress, fluorescent proteins are targeted to the eukaryotic secretory pathway. However, I have shown that when fluorescent proteins are localized within chemically distinct subcellular organelles, many commonly available fluorescent proteins become unreliable for quantitative imaging applications. By successfully re-engineering and optimizing several fluorescent proteins, using a directed molecular evolution approach, I have created a palette of fluorescent proteins suitable for use in diverse cellular environments. During my graduate studies I obtained a strong cell biology background and significant expertise in fluorescence microscopy.

As a SPIRE scholar, I eagerly approach opportunities to develop my teaching skills while advancing my scientific knowledge. Under the co-mentorship of Drs. Blossom Damania and Jack Griffith I will study the replication machinery of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). I hope to translate my deep enthusiasm for science to students in the classroom and as a research mentor



  • Fall 2016
    • Introduction to Human Viruses and Viral Pathogenesis, North Carolina Central University
    Spring 2016
    • Molecular Biology of Cells, North Carolina Central University


  • Host KM- Jacobs SR- West JA- Zhang Z- Costantini LM- Stopford CM- Dittmer DP- Damania B. 2017. Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Increases PD-L1 and Proinflammatory Cytokine Expression in Human Monocytes.. mBio. Oct 10;8(5).