Nikki B. Marshall obtained her Microbiology degree in the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Kerkvliet, graduating in 2010. Her PhD dissertation was titled “Investigations of regulatory T cell induction by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin during a graft-versus-host response.” She was supported by the NIEHS training grant for predoctoral trainees for two years, and is currently in her second post-doctoral position.
Nikki B. Marshall
NIEHS Training Grant recipient (2007 - 2009)
Two-time winner of the American Association of Immunologists Trainee Abstract Award
14 published articles
Marshall et al, 2008 recognized as the top 10% of articles in that issue of the Journal of Immunology 181(4) as chosen by the editors

While at Oregon State University, Nikki was the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including the Middlekauf Award for Outstanding Graduate Achievement (Microbiology), the best graduate student platform presentation (PANWAT), and the Oregon Sports Lottery Scholarship. In addition, her 2008 manuscript[1] was recognized as being in the top 10% of articles in an issue of the Journal of Immunology, the official journal of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI).

In addition to her training in immunotoxicology, Nikki also delivered lectures to the MB 416/516 Immunology class and was the Interim manager of the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting facility. Nikki was one of the first graduate students to participate in the K-12 STEM outreach program that later became an integral component of TEAM Tox.

Upon graduating from OSU, Nikki accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Swain at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Pathology (Worcester, MA), a recent winner of the 2010 AAI Lifetime Achievement Award. While in the Swain lab, Nikki studied the generation and function of cytotoxic CD4+ T-cells, using a mouse influenza model.

After nearly three years in the Swain lab, Nikki was offered a position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Branch of the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) in Morgantown, WV.

Research focusNikki’s current studies explore how skin exposures to common antimicrobial compounds like triclosan affect the severity of immunological diseases such as allergy, asthma and influenza virus infections. For this research, she was recently awarded funding for a NIOSH Intramural project entitled “Immunomodulatory effects of triclosan on effector CD4+ T-cell development.” In addition to her research efforts, Nikki has continued teaching, most recently at West Virginia University.  
Advice to graduate students seeking a post-doc: After years of building your comfort zone in graduate school, it is hard to start over again! A new project, a new lab, new people, new EVERYTHING! One of the most important things to consider when interviewing for and selecting a postdoctoral position is the likelihood of your success! Is the research or experience going to be really interesting to you, have others in that lab or group also been successful, does it seem that your future PI or supervisor will be supportive both monetarily and interpersonally in your future endeavors? Look at the postdoc stage of your career as another opportunity for adventure, there is still much to do and learn!
Lessons I learned from my post-doctoral experience:

1) Stay positive, an upbeat attitude can be really beneficial during times when you face career obstacles, do not let it get you down!

2) Networking is key, step out of your bubble and interact with others in your department, at meetings, etc. as these individuals will be an integral part to your future success in the role of future colleagues, collaborators and reviewers, remember that it’s a small world!

Best memory from Oregon State:
I miss Corvallis and Oregon State University terribly! My best memory is the 2008-2009 OSU school year when my siblings and I all overlapped at the same school for the first time (and last time). I was pursuing a Ph.D., my sister was working on her Masters Degree, and my brother on his Bachelor’s Degree. It was the year of the Marshalls!

[1]Marshall, N.B., Vorachek, W.R., Steppan, L.B., Mourich, D.V., Kerkvliet, N.I. (2008) Functional characterization and gene expression analysis of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells generated in mice treated with 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Journal of Immunology, 181(4): 2382-2391.