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Lab members



Laboratory Manager

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology at the University of Calgary in the summer of 2022 with first class distinction. During my undergraduate degree, I completed my honors thesis on understanding the metabolic differences between the causative agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever at the Lewis Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences. At the Cobo Lab, I work on understanding the effect of innate immune peptides on colitis infections using C. rodentium infection in mice as animal model, along with multiple research projects. Outside the lab, I love to do some painting and some baking and share that with the lab members.

Rita Hannawayya

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Laboratory Technician
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

I completed my Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Calgary in 2021. During my honours thesis project, I focused on characterizing specific neurons in the mouse spinal cord involved in blood pressure regulation. This research involved the use of tissue clearing protocols, advanced microscopy, and 3D imaging techniques. Currently, at the Cobo Lab, I am working on understanding the effects of C. rodentium on the mouse colon and how the mucin barriers change in response to it. This project utilizes advanced imaging and data analysis techniques.

Niloofar Mirzadzare

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Postdoctoral Researcher
Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

I obtained my Ph.D degree from the graduate school of Medicine at Kyoto University. When I was a Ph.D student, my study mainly focused on bacterial autophagy. My Ph.D thesis focused on how host cells eliminate bacterial pathogens through bacterial autophagy mechanism. Thereafter, I served as a postdoctoral researcher in Sinica in Taiwan and in the Scripps research institute in United State from 2020-2023. I join Dr. Cobo’s laboratory from January 2024. Here, my current research focuses on autophagy mechanism in infectious colitis in mouse model.

Ching-Yu Lin


Rodrigo Puentes

Visiting Professor/Researcher
Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

I obtained my DVM from the Faculty of Veterinary, University of the Republic, Uruguay (UDELAR). After that, I got a MSc in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Animal health at the same university, UDELAR. In Uruguay, I was formerly Professor in Immunology (2008 - 2016) and since 2017, I am Associate Professor in Virology and Head of the Microbiology  - Pathology Department at the Faculty of Veterinary (UDELAR). My main research interests are related to understanding the pathogenesis and diagnosis of cattle infectious diseases, including bovine leukemia virus, Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), and Bovine tuberculosis (TB). Now, at the Cobo Lab, I am visiting researcher since January 2023 and investigate innate immune defenses in infectious colitis models in mice and pigs. 

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Karina Cirone

Research Associate
National Institute for Agriculture Sciences (Argentina)

I am from Balcarce, Argentina. I completed a B. Sc. in of Food Science and Technology at the University of Mar del Plata, Argentina. Thereafter, I completed a Dr. degree in Animal Science at the University of of Buenos Aires province (Argentina) investigating diseases in cattle caused by mycobacteria. Currently, I am a Research Scientist at the National Institute for Agricultural Technology (Argentina), and Assistant Professor in General Microbiology and Food Microbiology at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (University of Mar del Plata, Argentina). There, I have worked on research projects focusing on cattle diseases caused by zoonotic bacteria and protozoan parasites. I joined Dr. Cobo’s lab in March 2022 to acquiring training in immunology and molecular biology. My current research investigates the gut innate immunity in infectious colitis exploring models of colitis in calves, pigs, and mice and role of bioactives in bovine colostrum on gut health.

Graduate students


MS.c. Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Graduate Program, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary 

I completed my Bachelor degree in Biotechnology at the National University of Rosario, Argentina. During my BSc thesis I worked towards elucidating how exposure to gliphosate, a widely used herbicide, affected the Wnt cannonical pathway in the brain of newborn rats. My interest in health sciences and research brought me to the Cobo Lab, where I will be studying the mechanisms through which the Toll like receptor regulates Citrobacter rodentium infection in mice.

Paula Forneris


MS.c. Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Graduate Program, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary 

I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia, where I participated in multiple research projects focusing on cancer and immunotherapy. My senior research project exploring the impact of short-chain fatty acids on the NLRP3 inflammasome increased my fascination with the innate immune system and motivated me to pursue a Master of Science with the Cobo Lab. My current research will investigate the effect of IL-4 educated macrophages during infectious colitis.

Samantha Cortez

Undergraduate students


Bachelor Health of Sciences Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Aydin Herik


Bachelor Health of Sciences Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Anika Dies

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Bachelor of Sciences, McGill University

Orchee Haque


Kylie Tiedje

I am in my second year of my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Calgary and am hoping to pursue veterinary medicine in the near future. My interest in production animal health and research brought me to Cobo Lab where I am furthering my skills in research, specifically studying post weaning diarrheic enterocolitis in swine. Outside of the lab, I like to ride my horses in the mountains!

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