About PA Tick Research Lab
PA Tick Research Lab is a university-affiliated lab based in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania that is dedicated to providing fast, highly rated, laboratory-quality tick testing to people in high-risk areas for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases nationwide.
We offer qPCR-based tick testing that is 99.9% accurate and can detect the presence of 18 pathogens that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, B. miyamotoi, Southern Tick-Associated Rash illness, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.
Unlike traditional laboratories’ complicated test requisition forms, PA Tick Research Lab has a simple, easy to use interface for ordering tick tests. Just order your tests, mail your tick to our East Stroudsburg laboratory, and your results will be ready within 72 hours of lab receipt - guaranteed. Got a tick? Get started now!
Dr. Nicole Chinnici is the laboratory director of the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute, home of the PA Tick Research Lab. Dr. Chinnici has 10 years of research experience overseeing and conducting tick testing and analyses.
Dr. Chinnici first became involved in tickborne disease research while working as a graduate student at ESU. Since, she has used her knowledge of genetics and qPCR to explore and identify pathogens within ticks. With this application and technology, one can utilize tick testing as a means for early detection to the exposure of diseases by a tick biteContact the Team
Destiny Sample Koon Koon is the laboratory coordinator at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. She oversees and manages day-to-day tasks of research and laboratory technicians for molecular tick testing services. She trains and oversees laboratory workers in the performance of the tick testing process, from tick identification, through testing. She assists other laboratory section leads with testing protocols and services which include population genetics and wildlife forensics. Destiny researches data on tick species as well as developing and updating information for tick identifications to accurately identify your ticks. She is also responsible for overseeing and analyzing strict laboratory standards of practices for the laboratory.
Destiny has four years of research experience performing tick testing. She became involved in the tick testing process while interning as an undergraduate student at East Stroudsburg University. Destiny graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2019 with her Bachelors of Science in Biology and has since be been employed at PA Tick Research Laboratory.
Samantha Marin is a certified wildlife forensic scientist at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. She handles the wildlife projects that come into the lab which includes, setting up protocols, testing samples, and analyzing data. Additionally, she contributes to the tick testing process, from tick identification, through testing.
Samantha graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences and a minor in chemistry. In 2021, she was certified by The Society for Wildlife Forensic Science. She has been employed at the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute Since 2019. She has years of research experience performing tick testing and is knowledgeable in wildlife population genetics.
Sarah Schwartz is the research assistant at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. She will be conducting the tick testing process, from disease testing, through data analysis and recording your results. Additionally, she will be overseeing the tick testing for data collection, analysis, and publication of diseases in Pennsylvania. She also takes her expertise to the field and conducts tick drags to test, analyze, and report on tick ecology and entomology.
Sarah graduated from Gannon University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and East Stroudsburg University in 2021 with a master's degree in Biology. She has three years of research experience performing tick testing, as well as tick-borne disease and wildlife research. Sarah is currently developing qPCR assays, conducting studies on tick borne diseases, and publishing research to update educational literature.
Leon Kataw is a research technician at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. He will be conducting the tick testing process, from tick identification, through testing, and preparing all reagents. As a technician, Leon performs DNA/RNA extractions and PCR to determine the presence or absence of bacterial, protozoal, fungal, viral, or other pathogenic microorganisms. Additionally, Leon assists Research Assistants with projects on tick-borne illnesses.
Leon graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2022 with a Bachelor's in Biological Anthropology and a minor in Biology and has since been with the PA Tick Research Laboratory. He has four years of anthropological genomics research experience.
Shivanee Forde is a research technician at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. She will be conducting the tick testing process from disease testing, through data analysis and recording your results. This includes DNA/RNA extractions, polymerase chain reaction, tick identification, and reagent preparation.
Shivanee graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology and a minor in chemistry. She has over a year of experience with performing tick testing and tick-borne disease research.
Rebecca Mullen is a research technician at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. She conducts the tick testing process, from tick identification, DNA/RNA Extractions, Polymerase Chain Reaction, preparations of all reagents, and reporting results. She is responsible for completing tick-borne pathogen testing through provided public services, assisting in DNA lab administrative duties, and conducting research projects.
Rebecca Mullen graduated from East Stroudsburg University with her bachelors in Biology in 2021. She became involved in the tick testing process while interning as an undergraduate student at ESU and has since been employed at the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory. She has 2 years of experience performing the tick testing process.
Mollie Jimenez is a research technician at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. She conducts DNA/RNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction, and assists with preparations of all reagents. She is responsible for completing tick-borne pathogen testing through provided public health services, assisting in DNA lab administrative duties, and conducting independent research projects.
Mollie graduated from East Stroudsburg University with her bachelor’s in biology in 2022. She became involved in the tick testing process while interning as an undergraduate student at ESU and has since been employed at the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory. She has 2 years of experience performing the tick testing process.
Bill Cameron is a research technician at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. He began his involvement with tick research in May 2022 while interning as an undergraduate biology student at East Stroudsburg University. He started his internship on the Tick Mitigation Project field team before shifting focus to lab-based tick testing.
Bill first graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2016 with his Bachelor of Art in English and then worked for three years as a staff news reporter for the Pocono Record. He graduated again in May 2023 with his Bachelor of Science in Biology and has since been employed at PA Tick Research Laboratory identifying ticks and handling qPCR samples.
Public Health Team
Jessica Turpin is a public health research coordinator at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. She helps implement a comprehensive array of tick and tickborne disease prevention and education programs to address various age groups. She assists the Director by creating content for press release and coordinating public outreach events including fairs, conferences, and educational workshops. In addition, she collects and analyzes survey report tick testing data to establish baseline information, such as educational needs, learning outcomes, and evaluating changing trends in tick exposure.
Jessica has over 10 years of research and health promotion experience. Jessica graduated from Cedar Crest College with her Bachelors of Science in Biology. She continued her education and obtained her Master's in Public Health in 2016 at East Stroudsburg University. Recently, she graduated with a MS in Pharmacology at University of Florida School of Medicine in 2022.
Aileen Prothro is the public health assistant at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. She helps manage customer walk-ins, e-mails, and phone calls. She answers customer questions related to ticks and tickborne disease. She also assists in the tick identification process and checking-in the ticks we receive on a daily basis.
Aileen graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2021 with her bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in health administration. She is currently pursuing a master’s in health administration at Louisiana State University- Shreveport. She has an extensive background working in medical facilities prior to her employment at the lab.
Michael Rowley is a wildlife field technician at the PA Tick Research Laboratory. He helps lead all field work efforts related to our tick mitigation research, including genetic sample collection and tick density surveys. Michael also supervises research assistants and assists with data analysis and reporting results.
Michael graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a major in Biological Sciences and proceeded to attend Villanova University, earning a Masters of Biology. He has been employed at the PA Tick Research Laboratory since Fall 2022. He has eight years of wildlife field research experience, including three years of experience working in Pennsylvania. Michael works directly with the Laboratory Director, other Wildlife Field Technicians, and research assistants to study ways to reduce tick and Lyme disease numbers.
Matthew Williams is a wildlife technician at the PA Tick Research Lab and a co-lead on a Tick Mitigation/Lyme disease study. He is responsible for field data collection, supervising field interns, analyzing data, processing genetic material, and writing reports.
Matthew did his undergrad at Paul Smith's College majoring in B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Science with minors in both Chemistry and GIS. He later went to complete his M.S. in Biology at Western Illinois University. Prior to his employment at the PA Tick Research Lab, he has been employed through Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Illinois Natural History Survey, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Montana State University, University of Washington, Oregon State University, and University of Tennessee. Matthew works directly with the Laboratory Director and other Technicians to plan and develop tick-sampling protocols to monitor Tick disease prevalence and abundance.
Priscilla Langlais is a field technician at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania. She will be conducting field sampling through tick drags and small mammal trapping to analyze tick ecology and tick-borne pathogens.
Priscilla graduated from the University of Maine in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Ecology and a minor in Pre-Medical Studies. She has four years of field work experience in wildlife research, including 1 year of tick research.
Grace Oram is a Wildlife Technician working for the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania’s Tick Mitigation Project. She co-leads the research site in Northwest PA, conducting small mammal trapping, tick drags, and vegetation surveys. Grace graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2021 and has worked as a wildlife technician for non-profit and government agencies. She has three years of field experience and is skilled at collecting ecological data. Grace works with her fellow technicians to evaluate management strategies for mitigating Lyme disease.