Elde Lab department of human genetics UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
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evolutionary genetics & cell biology

Erin Cafferty



Grad Student


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Erin was born in New Jersey but lived in North Carolina for most of her younger years. She attended Western Carolina University as a first-generation student where she received B.S. in Molecular Biology. While there, Erin developed a love for virology while in HHMI’s SEA-PHAGES program where she discovered and named a novel bacteriophage (https://phagesdb.org/phages/StolenFromERC/). She continued her undergraduate research under Dr. Maria Gainey identifying repressor genes in cluster M bacteriophages. Erin moved to Salt Lake to pursue a PhD through the University of Utah’s Bioscience molecular biology program in 2019. She joined the Elde lab to study poxviral evolutionary strategies with a particular interest in viral manipulation of host mechanisms. In her free time, Erin enjoys camping, hiking, bar trivia, and creative pursuits such as painting and embroidery.