Alumni Directory

MDTP Alumni - 2024

Megan Dixon

Dissertation: Impacts of Xanthomonas Foliar Disease on the Fate and Biology of Salmonella enterica
Faculty Advisor: Jeri Barak
Megan is now a Biological Safety Specialist for the Office of Biological Safety at UW-Madison.

Emily Eix

Dissertation: Uncovering the distinct growth characteristics of Candida auris in the skin microenvironment
Faculty Advisor: Jeniel Nett
Emily will be a Biology Patent Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Andrew Steinberger

Dissertation: Interplay of microbial diversity, antimicrobial use, and antimicrobial resistance on Wisconsin dairy farms
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Andrew is seeking out his next opportunity.

Liz Townsend

Dissertation: The Skin Microbiome in Balance and Perturbation
Faculty Advisors: Lindsay Kalan and Anna Huttenlocher
Liz will be returning to medical school to finish her MD/PhD program.

Kevin Walters

Dissertation: Developing microbiomes as biotechnological tools for dairy coproduct valorization by fermentation: a metagenomic approach
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Kevin is seeking out his next opportunity.

Susan Zelasko

Dissertation: Investigating Microbial Interactions Impacting Pathogen Colonization in Human Upper Respiratory Microbiomes
Faculty Advisors: Cameron Currie and Federico Rey
Susan will be returning to medical school to finish her MD/PhD program.

MDTP Alumni - 2023

Katie Bultman

Dissertation: Distinct biofilm regulatory strategies confer host colonization specificity in Vibrio fischeri
Faculty Advisor: Mark Mandel
Katie has accepted a faculty position at Carroll College.

Alex Cheong

Dissertation: Multiscale characterization of the diabetic foot ulcer microbiome
Faculty Advisor: Lindsay Kalan
Alex will be working as a post doc in the Handelsman lab at UW-Madison.

Elise Cowley

Dissertation: Unraveling the Role of the Human Gut Microbiome in Three Conditions: Colorectal Cancer, Group B Streptococcus Colonization, and Multiple Sclerosis
Faculty Advisors: Karthik Anantharaman and Drew Hryckowian
Elise will be returning to medical school to finish her MD/PhD program.

Tiffany Harris-Jones

Dissertation: Influences of peptidoglycan on Neisseria-host interactions in an in vivo mouse model using Neisseria musculi
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Tiffany will be a Postdoctoral Scientist at CrossLife Technologies.

Donny Hoang

Dissertation: Ecology of Lignocellulose-Enriched Bacterial Communities
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Donny is seeking out his next opportunity.

Mark Horton

Dissertation: Biofilm Formation and Cell Wall Pathways Involved in Candida auris Skin Colonization and Invasive Infection
Faculty Advisor: Jeniel Nett
Mark is now an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Evan Hutchison

Dissertation: Investigating the role of gut microbiome interpersonal variation and short-chain fatty acids in cardiometabolic disease
Faculty Advisor: Federico Rey
Evan will be working as a postdoc in the Rey lab at UW-Madison.

Ruth Isenberg

Dissertation: Cyclic diguanylate inhibits beneficial hostcolonization by Vibrio fischeri
Faculty Advisor: Mark Mandel
Ruth will be doing a postdoc with Julia Willett at University of Minnesota Twin Cities studying Enterococcus faecalis biofilm formation and bacteria-bacteria interactions.

Daven Khana

Dissertation: Towards a quantitative understanding of metabolism in industrially relevant microbes
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Amador-Noguez
Daven is seeking out his next opportunity.

Lauren Lucas

Dissertation: Bile Acid Deconjugations, Transformations, and (Re)conjugations by Human Gut Bacteria
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Amador-Noguez
Lauren will be working as a post-doc with Daniel Amador-Noguez at UW-Madison.

Ryan Moriarty

Dissertation: Using molecularly barcoded pathogens and whole-genome sequence data to understand host responses to SIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection
Faculty Advisor: Shelby O'Connor
Ryan will be doing a postdoc with the Hope lab at Northwestern University.

Sofia Romero

Dissertation: Getting to the core: single cell analysis of the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking dynamics of hepatitis B virus
Faculty Advisor: Nate Sherer
Sofia is a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health in Dr. Daniel Chertow’s lab focused on studying the molecular pathogenesis of illness due to emerging respiratory viral pathogens that include influenza A and SARS-CoV-2.

Rachel Salemi

Dissertation: Elucidating the contributions of promoter sequence and (p)ppGpp binding sites on RNAP to transcription regulation in Escherichia coli
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Rachel will be working as a post-doc with David Hershey at UW-Madison.

Fukang She

Dissertation: Connecting central carbon metabolism, nucleotide metabolism and drug resistance - A story of pyruvate kinase
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Fukang is starting a post doc position in the Wang lab at UW-Madison.

Mary Hannah Swaney

Dissertation: Metabolite-Mediated Interactions in the Human Skin Microbiome
Faculty Advisor: Lindsay Kalan
Mary Hannah will be starting an industry postdoc at Colgate-Palmolive.

Travis Wentz

Dissertation: Functional and Evolutionary Insights into Botulinum Neurotoxins and Homologous Toxins
Faculty Advisors: Sabine Pellett and JD Sauer
Travis is now a postdoc at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Patrick McNutt's lab.

Madison Youngblom

Dissertation: Identifying signatures of bacterial adaptation to the pathogenic niche using evolutionary genomics
Faculty Advisor: Caitlin Pepperell
Madison is seeking out her next opportunity.

Jason Zuke

Dissertation: Production, dynamics, and DNA binding capabilities of Bacillus subtilis natural competence associated pili
Faculty Advisor: Briana Burton
Jason is seeking out his next opportunity.

MDTP Alumni - 2022

Edna Chiang

Dissertation: Gut microbiome response to nutritional changes in a high fat diet mouse model and a ground squirrel hibernator
Faculty Advisors: Garret Suen and Hannah Carey
Edna is a Presidential Management Fellow and Data Scientist at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Office of Inspector General.

Madison Cox

Dissertation: Influencing rumen microbial communities to improve bovine milk production efficiency
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Madison is now a Bioinformatician with the Altman lab at the University of Washington.

Chelsea Crooks

Dissertation: Defining factors that influence Zika and dengue virus pathogenic potential
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Friedrich
Chelsea will be working as a post-doc in with Dr. Sallie Permar at Weill Cornell .

Jared Erickson

Dissertation: Baculovirus AcMNPV modulates but does not require the host insect Ataxia Telangiectasia-mutated DNA damage response
Faculty Advisors: Rob Kalejta and Paul Friesen
Jared will be doing a post doc in the Friesen lab.

Charlotte Francoeur

Dissertation: The ecology of secondary microbial symbionts: Exploring the diversity and function of bacterial and viral associations with fungus-growing ants
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Charlotte has accepted a postdoc position in the Khadempour Lab at Rutgers University.

Susan Hromada

Dissertation: Impact of human gut microbes on Clostridioides difficile growth and antibiotic susceptibility in vitro
Faculty Advisor: Ophelia Venturelli
Susan is a scientist at Nimble Therapeutics.

Phil Huss

Dissertation: Using Deep Mutational Scanning to Understand and Engineer Host Specificity in Bacteriophages
Faculty Advisor: Vatsan Raman
Phil is working as a scientist in the Vatsan lab at UW-Madison.

Kristopher Kieft

Dissertation: Metagenomics-enabled viral ecology to advance our understanding of human and environmental microbiomes
Faculty Advisor: Karthik Anantharaman
Kris has taken a position as a scientist at Moderna Genomics.

Carolina Mendoza-Cavazos

Dissertation: Diarrheal Diseases Caused by Eukaryotic Microbes: From Murine Models to their Transcriptomes
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Carolina will be a scientist at Promega Corporation.

Krizia Perez-Medina

Dissertation: The gonococcal peptidoglycanase interactome and its contributions to protein function, cell morphology, and survival
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Krizia is seeking out her next opportunity.

Alicia Truchon

Dissertation: From surviving to thriving: How Ralstonia solanacearum mitigates oxidative stress in plant xylem and moves through tubers to new hosts
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Alicia will be working as a postdoc in the Allen lab at UW-Madison.

Jin Yang

Dissertation: New insights into the expanded family of (pp)pGpp alarmones
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Jin is currently working as a post doc in the Wang lab at UW Madison.

MDTP Alumni - 2021

Laura Alexander

Dissertation: The development of Limosilactobacillus reuteri as a biotherapeutic delivery vehicle
Faculty Advisor: JP van Pijkeren
Laura is an Applications Scientist at Promega Corporation.

Katie Amato

Dissertation: Quantifying influenza virus infection dynamics via molecular barcoding
Faculty Advisor: Andrew Mehle
Katie is working at Genentech as a Technical Development Associate Scientist in their Process Virology Unit.

Derrick Grunwald

Dissertation: Detection of rare Rhg1 nematode resistance haplotypes in Glycine soja and a novel Rhg1 alpha-SNAP
Faculty Advisor: Andrew Bent
Derrick will be working as a a postdoc in the seed potato pathology lab at UW Madison run by Dr. Renee Rioux.

Julia Martien

Dissertation: Physiological Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in Zymomonas mobilis: Implications for Biofuel Production
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Amador-Noguez
Julia is teaching for Scientific Adventures for Girls in Oakland, CA.

Elizabeth McDaniel

Dissertation: Ecology and Evolution of Enrichment Microbial Communities Performing Biological Nutrient Removal
Faculty Advisor: Trina McMahon
Elizabeth is a Scientist at Arcadia Science.

Courtney McDougal

Dissertation: Role of eicosanoids on cell-mediated immunity to L. monocytogenes and its implications on cancer therapy
Faculty Advisor: JD Sauer
Courtney is a post doc at University of Washington - Seattle with Dr. Marion Pepper.

Dee Robinson

Dissertation: Natural variation in the consequences of gene overexpression across wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates
Faculty Advisor: Audrey Gasch
Dee is working at Lurie Children's Hospital providing analyses of pediatric genomic data..

MDTP Alumni - 2020

Bayleigh Benner

Dissertation: A (frame)shift in perspective: Understanding links between HIV-1 translational recoding, viral assembly, and transcript fate
Faculty Advisor: Nathan Sherer
Bayleigh is currently an NSF postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Julie Huber at WHOI in Massachusetts studying marine microbiology with a focus on the discovery and characterization of deep sea RNA viruses.

Lindsey Bohr

Dissertation: No Bacterium is an Island: The Role of Population Structure in Emergence and Maintenance of Pathogens
Faculty Advisor: Caitlin Pepperell
Lindsey is seeking out her next opportunity.

Jenny Bratburd

Dissertation: Host-microbiome interactions impacting pathogen and mutualist colonization within defensive symbioses
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Jenny is now an Outreach Coordinator at NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Science Team.

Melanie Callaghan

Dissertation: Regulation of expression in the Neisseria gonorrhoeae type IV secretion system
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Melanie is working on a post-doc with Daniel Amador-Noguez.

Daren Ginete

Dissertation: Antagonistic factors impact strain specificity in host-symbiont associations
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Daren is working with the Science Philanthropy Alliance as their Infections Disease Fellow. His responsibilities include science communication, advising philanthropists on funding basic science research.

Christina Giramma

Dissertation: Bacterial regulation of DNA replication elongation.
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Christina is now working as a research administrator with the UW-Madison Department of Pediatrics.

Connor Hendrich

Dissertation: Ralstonia solanacearum Secretion Systems: Critical virulence factors and points of vulnerability
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Connor will be doing a post-doc with Nian Wang at the University of Florida.

Kemardo Henry

Dissertation: Lack of a vital RNA polymerase recognition feature results in coordinated control of the majority of R. sphaeroides promoters
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Kemardo will be doing a post-doc at Harvard Medical School working in the Hochschild lab.

Kai Hillman

Dissertation: X. nematophila type VI secretion systems mediate ecologically relevant interactions.
Faculty Advisors: Michael Thomas and Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Kai has taken a position with Promega in Madison, WI.

April MacIntyre

Dissertation: The role of trehalose metabolism, signaling, and defense in Ralstonia solanacearum bacterial wilt disease of tomatoes
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
April is a soil microbiologist at Valent BioSciences in Libertyville, IL.

Mengyao Niu

Dissertation: Whisper with Lipids: Fungal Oxylipins in Development and Host Interactions in Aspergillus fumigatus
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Keller
Mengyao has accepted a position with LifeMine Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA and is a Schmidt Science Fellow.

Kayleigh Nyffeler Bucci

Dissertation: Chemical- and materials-based approaches to further the understanding of quorum sensing in bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Helen Blackwell
Kayleigh is a Quality Control Microbiologist at Dental Technologies, Inc in Skokie, IL.

Nicholas Raffa

Dissertation: A Jack of All Trades: Versatile Isocyanides Influence Copper Homeostasis and Microbial Interactions in Aspergillus fumigatus
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Keller
Nick has taken a position with LifeMine Therapeutics in Boston.

Eliot Stanton

Dissertation: The impact of mobile genetic elements on the diversification of Escherichia coli O157:H7
Faculty Advisor: Chuck Kaspar
Eliot has received a APHL-CDC Antimicrobial Resistance fellowship and will be working at the Minnesota Department of Health.

MDTP Alumni - 2019

Brent Anderson

Dissertation: Variations on a theme: how a shared (p)ppGpp binding pocket allows bacterial adaptation in fluctuating environments.
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Brent is currently working as a post-doc with Andy Goodman at Yale University.

Tyler Jacobson

Dissertation: In vivo thermodynamic analysis of metabolic networks.
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Amador-Noguez
Tyler will be doing a postdoc in Amador-Noguez lab.

Alex LaReau

Dissertation: Elucidating the diversity, distribution and function of the gut bacterial symbiont Ruminococcus.
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Alex has accepted a position as a Bioinformatician at CoreBiome in Minneapolis, MN.

Gloria Larson

Dissertation: Dissection of molecular mechanisms by which human host factors regulate influenza virus replication.
Faculty Advisor: Andy Mehle
Gloria is a Senior Technical Writer at Catalent.

Terra Mauer

Dissertation: IInvestigating the distribution and function of the bacterial DUF560 superfamily of outer membrane proteins using Xenorhabdus bacteria as a model.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Terra is a Microbiology Laboratory Instructor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Peter Newhouse

Dissertation: Biophysical Investigation of Peptidoglycan Binding by Periplasmic Superoxide Dismutase.
Faculty Advisor: Katrina Forest
Peter is a senior associate in SC Johnson's microbiology team.

Dan Pensinger

Dissertation: Maintenance of cell wall integrity in the cytosol of host cells is essential for virulence of Listeria monocytogenes.
Faculty Advisor: JD Sauer
Dan is a researcher in the Hryckowian lab at UW Madison.

Abigail Shockey

Dissertation: Genomics of Bacterial Pathogens Across Evolutionary Scales.
Faculty Advisor: Caitlin Pepperell
Abigail has received an APHL-CDC Bioinformatics Postdoc Fellowship at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene's Communicable Disease Division.

Vlad Vinnik

Dissertation: Dissecting substrate recognition of natural product biosynthetic enzymes using siderophore systems.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Vlad is doing a postdoc at the University of Utah in the Bandarian Lab.

MDTP Alumni - 2018

Emily Clare Baker

Dissertation: Evolutionary genetics and dissection of brewing related traits in Saccharomyces eubyanus and its hybrids with Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Faculty Advisor: Chris Hittinger
EmilyClare is a Lab Aide at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Snohomish, WA.

Steven Bruckbauer

Dissertation: Foundations of experimentally-evolved ionizing radiation resistance in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Cox
Steven is a post doc in the lab of Alex Bisson at Brandeis University.

Jia Mun (Elizabeth) Chan

Dissertation: Generation, recycling and release of inflammatory peptidoglycan fragments by pathogenic and nonpathogenic Neisseria.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Elizabeth is doing a postdoc in the Heyderman Lab at University College, London.

Albert Chen

Dissertation: Mechanistic studies on transcription regulation by DksA and ppGpp.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Albert is a scientist at Aldevron in Madison.

Tsokyi Choera

Dissertation: Tryptophan Metabolism of Aspergillus fumigatus: Impacts on Toxin Synthesis and Virulence.
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Keller
Tsokyi is a fungal geneticist at Hexagon in Menlo Park, CA.

Karla Esquilin-Lebron

Dissertation: Investigations into overcoming the challenges associated with the MbtH-like protein dependence of nonribosomal peptide synthetases.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Karla is a Microbiology Instructor at Rutgers University.

Gina Gordon Neumann

Dissertation: Control of gene expression in cyanobacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Brian Pfleger
Gina is the Director of Molecular Services at Solis Agrosciences.

Alex Linz

Dissertation: From microbes to ecosystems: time series provide insight into how microbial metabolisms scale to ecosystem functions.
Faculty Advisor: Katherine McMahon
Alex is an Associate Research Scientist at Marshfield Clinic Health System.

Erin Nawrocki

Dissertation: Mechanisms underlying the transfer of plasmid-borne BoNTs in Group I C. botulinum.
Faculty Advisor: Eric Johnson
Erin has accepted a postdoc at Penn State in the Food Science Department.

Tony Neumann

Dissertation: Ecology of Fibrobacter in the herbivore gut.
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Tony is a Staff Scientist in Molecular Biology and Microbiology at NewLeaf Symbiotics.

Eunju Park

Dissertation: HIV-1-infected cell and uninfected cell interaction induces cell cycle reprogramming to facilitate viral spread.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Ahlquist
Eunju will be returning to South Korea and will be seeking a position there.

Patricia Sanchez Vazquez

Dissertation: Genome-wide effects of ppGpp binding to RNA Polymerase on E. coli gene expression.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Patricia is a Research and Development Scientist at Azitra Inc.

Rebecca Schomer

Dissertation: Two approaches to dissecting the fole of MbtH-like proteins in nonribosomal peptide synthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Rebecca has accepted a postdoc at the University of California-Davis.

Sarah Stevens

Dissertation: Genomics as a Lens into the Population Structure and Evolution of Freshwater Microbes.
Faculty Advisor: Katherine McMahon
Sarah has accepted a position as the Data Science Facilatator at the WID UW-Madison.

Taylor Wahlig

Dissertation: Salmonella enterica stress tolerance: genetic redundancy and pleiotropy.
Faculty Advisor: Chuck Kaspar
Taylor is a CPEP Clinical Microbiology Fellow at University of Nebraska Medical Center, as well as a MIT Catalyst Fellow.

Ponlkrit Yeesin

Dissertation: Mechanistic insights into resolution and repair of DNA damage caused by head-on replication-transcription conflicts in bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Ponlkrit is now a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand.

MDTP Alumni - 2017

Jordan Bloom

Dissertation: SSX: Understanding an Antigen for Therapy in Prostate Cancer.
Faculty Advisor: Douglas McNeel
Jordan is a Senior Scientist in Translational Studies at Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

Michael Bucci

Dissertation: Further characterizing the response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to zinc limitation by investigating the ATC41 gene and global gene expression.
Faculty Advisor: David Eide
Michael is a patent agent at Corteva Agriscience, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hector Burgos-Robles

Dissertation: Dynamic regulation of ribosomal gene expression during adaptation to fluctuating nutritional conditions.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Hector will be doing a postdoc with Mark Mandel at UW-Madison.

Mengyi Cao

Dissertation: Lrp dependent virulence modulation in bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Mengyi is a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology.

Grischa Chen

Dissertation: Determinants of Listeria monocytogenes cytosolic survival and evasion of the inflammasome.
Faculty Advisor: JD Sauer
Grischa has accepted a post doctoral position at the Salk Institute.

Kelsey Florek

Dissertation: Increasing the breadth of influenza immunity through informed vaccine design.
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Friedrich
Kelsey is a Bioinformatician at Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.

Ben Knox

Dissertation: Innate Immune Defenses Against Aspergillus in Zebrafish Larvae.
Faculty Advisors: Nancy Keller and Anna Huttenlocher
Ben has taken a position at Zymergen as a Scientist in Microbial Development

Tiffany Lowe-Power

Dissertation: Metabolic analyses of Ralstonia solanacearum during plant pathogensis.
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Tiffany is now an Assistant Professor at UC-Davis.

Matt Macgilvray

Dissertation: Inferring stress-activated signaling networks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveals complex pathway integration.
Faculty Advisor: Audrey Gasch
Matt is a Lead Scientific Reviewer at the FDA.

Louise Moncla

Dissertation: The role of transmission bottlenecks in influenza virus host switching.
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Friedrich
Louise is a postdoc at Harvard.

Tatum Mortimer

Dissertation: Identifying targets of selection in bacteria with varying levels of recombination.
Faculty Advisor: Caitlin Pepperell
Tatum is a postdoc at Harvard.

Brian Rekoske

Dissertation: Prostate cancer immunotherapy and the role of PD-1 in regulating immunity.
Faculty Advisor: Douglas McNeel
Brian is a Associate Principal Scientist at Merck.

Kym Romano

Dissertation: A gnotobiotic approach to dissect the inpact of microbial choline utilization on host biology.
Faculty Advisor: Federico Rey
Kym is an Associate Scientific Director at ProEd Communications .

Thiago Santos

Dissertation: Chemical-biological studies of cell division and intracellular organziation in bacteria
Faculty Advisor: Douglas Weibel
Thiago is a postdoc at Harvard.

Maria Sardi

Dissertation: Using comparative genomics in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to engineer lignocellulosic hydrolysate tolerance.
Faculty Advisor: Audrey Gasch
Maria is a Senior Scientist with Cargill in Minneapolis, MN.

Jessy Tse Barra

Dissertation: Understanding (p)ppGpp mediated mechanisms of persistence and stress survival in Bacillus subtilis.
Faculty Advisor: Jade Wang
Jessy has worked as a Scientist II at Rapid Micro Biosystem in Lowell, MA and is now seeking further opportunities.

Angie Umana

Dissertation: Identification of novel kinase substrates and binding partners of Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus encoded kinases.
Faculty Advisor: Robert Kalejta
Angie is a Quality Control Analyst at Catalent Pharma Solutions.

Will Vincent

Dissertation: Recruitment and roles in host defense for innate immune cells in response to inracellular bacterial infection.
Faculty Advisors: Anna Huttenlocher and JD Sauer
Will is a Microscopy Sales Representative at Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

MDTP Alumni - 2016

Emily Albright

Dissertation: Viral and cellular contributions to the epigenetic silencing of viral lytic gene expression during human cytomegalovirus latency.
Faculty Advisor: Robert Kalejta
Emily is an assistant scientist in the Kalejta Lab.

Anna Baker-McAlister

Dissertation: Elucidation of a red light sensing two component system from non-photosynthetic bacteria..
Faculty Advisor: Katrina Forest
Anna is a Senior Scientist at Aldevron.

Angel Casanova-Torres

Dissertation: Bacterial Factors Involved in the Xenorhabdus nematophila-Manduca sexta Pathogen-Host Interaction.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Angel is a senior regulatory affairs specialist at Exact Sciences.

Kimbery Dill-McFarland

Dissertation: Assessing the impact of diet on microbial succession, growth, and milk productions in dairy cows.
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Kim is a Bioinformatics Research Consultant at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Gina Lewin

Dissertation: Ecology and Evolution of Microbial Lignocellulose Degradation in Insect-Associated Niches.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Gina is an Assistant Professor at Case Western School of Medicine.

Fang Yun Lim

Dissertation: Tracking Fungal Natural Product Synthesis: Pathways, Regulation, and Reaching for the Right Location.
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Keller
Yun is a Research Assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Sarah Marcus

Dissertation: The study and application of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vivo transcriptomic data: from copper ressponse to vaccine development.
Faculty Advisor: Adel Talaat
Sarah is currently a research associate in the lab of Matyas Sandor, UW-Madison.

Bradon McDonald

Dissertation: A Multiscale Analysis of Diversity and Genetic Exchange in Bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Bradon is an Associate Scientist in the Murtaza Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Vy Tran

Dissertation: Development and Use of Influenza Reproter Viruses to Define Human Host Factors for Influenza Virus Replication.
Faculty Advisor: Andy Mehle
Vy is an Associate Director, Global Medical Affairs for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at Moderna.

Erik Wright

Dissertation: Population and community ecology of bacteria from the genus Streptomyces.
Faculty Advisor: Kalin Vetsigian
Erik is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh.

MDTP Alumni - 2015

Beth Dalsing

Dissertation: Virulence-Related Functions of Inorganic Nitrogen Metabolism and Signaling in Ralstonia Solanacearum.
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Beth is a global seeds and traits regulatory specialist with Syngenta.

Jorge Dinis

Dissertation: Within-host evolution of emerging and re-emerging influenza A viruses.
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Friedrich
Jorge is a Program Manager at the Laboratory for Genomics Research (UCSF).

Elizabeth Harvie

Dissertation: The Neutrophil and Macrophage Response to Streptococcus iniae infection in Zebrafish Larvae.
Faculty Advisor: Anna Huttenlocher
Beth is a Medical Writer for MedThink SciCom.

Benjamin Krasity

Dissertation: Microbial Pattern Recognition in the Euprymna scolopes- Vibrio fischeri Symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret McFall-Nagi
Ben is doing his residency at the University of Chicago in the Pediatrics Department.

Katie Mladinich

Dissertation: Point Mutations Linked to Inflammatory Disease Pathogensis Elucidate Regulatory Signaling Cascades in Neutrophils.
Faculty Advisor: Anna Huttenlocher
Katie attended Law School at Stanford University. She is now with the firm Latham & Watkins, LLP.

Kristen Murfin

Dissertation: Xenorhabdus bovienii bacteria - Steinernema nematode spp. interactions as a model of evolution and mechanisms in broad-host range symbioses.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Kristen is a Medical Writer for Invicro, A Konica Minolta Co.

Julia Schwartzman

Dissertation: Physiological and chemical regotiations of the squid-vibrio symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
Julia is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California.

Melanie Spero

Dissertation: The Physiological Role of Complex I in Bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Melanie is currently a postdoc at Cal Tech in the Newman lab. She will be joining the faculty at University of Oregon in Fall of 2021.

Caryn Wadler

Dissertation: The Cellulolytic Strategy of Cellulomonas.
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Caryn is a scientist in the Thomas lab and Great Lake Bioenergy Research Center at UW Madison.

Coral Wille

Dissertation: Cytosine modification of the Epstein-Barr Virus genome affects lytic reactivation and helps inforce latency type.
Faculty Advisor: Shannon Kinney
Coral is a postdoctoral fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery at UW Madison.

Jared Winkelman

Dissertation: Mapping the path of DNA in transcription initiation intermediates.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Jared has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University.

MDTP Alumni - 2014

Kate Affeldt

Dissertation: Expanding the Paradign of Oxylipins in Aspergillus flavus.
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Keller
Kate is doing a postdoc at UW-Milwaukee in the Prasad lab.

Valjean Bacot-Davis

Dissertation: Structure and dynamics of the Encephalomyocarditis virus Leader protein in deregulation of host nucleocytoplasmic transport.
Faculty Advisor: Ann Palmenberg
Valjean entered Medical School in 2019.

Matthew Begemann

Dissertation: Investigating the Utility of the Cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 as a Host for Chemical Production.
Faculty Advisor: Brian Pfleger
Matt is a Senior Director at Benson Hill Biosystems in St. Louis, MO.

Elizabeth Heath-Heckman

Dissertation: Day/Night cycles in the Eupryma solopes-Vibrio Fisheri symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret McFall-Ngai
Elizabeth is an assistant professor at Michigan State University in the department of Microbiology, Genetics, and Immunology and the department of Integrative Biology.

Andrew Hryckowian

Dissertation: Insights into the roles and regulation of RpoS in Escherichia coli and Shigella.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Andrew is an Assistant Professor at UW-Madison.

Kelsea Jewell

Dissertation: Characterization of the ruminal bacterial microbiome in relation to host parameters.
Faculty Advisor: Garret Suen
Kelsea is an Associate Professor at Centralia College in Washington.

Chad Kuny

Dissertation: The Contribution of UL97 Viral Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Activity of HCMV Infection.
Faculty Advisor: Rob Kalejta
Chad is a postdoc at Penn State University.

Lori Neal

Dissertation: TLR11 dependent and independent recognition of Toxoplasma gondii recruits Ly6Chi inflammatory monocytes that can confer resistance to bacterial infection.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Lori is a postdoc at the University of Michigan.

Hyunjun Park

Dissertation: Towards the biosynthesis of modified natural products.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Hyunjun is the co-founder and CEO at Catalog Technologies Inc.

Alana Sterkel

Dissertation: Subversion of Innate Immunity by Blastomyces dermatidis.
Faculty Advisor: Bruce Klein
Alana is the Associate Director of the Communicable Disease Division at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and Assistant Professor at UW Madison.

MDTP Alumni - 2013

Jennifer Apodaca

Dissertation: Evolution of the transcriptional response to oxygen limitation.
Faculty Advisor: Nicole Perna
Jennifer is a lecturer and post doctoral research assistant at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Frank Aylward

Dissertation: Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of the symbiotic microbial communites of fungus growing insects.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Frank is now an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech University.

Amy Banta

Dissertation: Molecular Interactions between the transcription factor CRL and Sigma S RNA Polymerase Holoenzyme in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Amy is a Research Scientist in the Peters Lab at UW Madison in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Eric Battaglioli

Dissertation: Phase variation in the uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CFT073: Insights into a complex regulatory network.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Eric is the founder and CEO of Rouleur Science Writing.

Jannell Bazurto

Dissertation: The opposing effects of AICAR accumulation on the metabolic network surrounding thiamine synthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Jannell is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota.

Rose Byrne Nash

Dissertation: Defining the genetic basis of ionizing radiation resistance in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Cox
Rose is Director of Research and Development at GT Molecular.

Jeffrey Flynn

Dissertation: Towards an in vivo role for the RidA family of proteins.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Jeff is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota.

Alissa Hanshew

Dissertation: Microbial Ecology of Tropical Arboreal Ants.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Alissa is a Laboratory and Research Safety Specialist at Penn State University.

Gina Hedberg Shereda

Dissertation: CD4+ Th Cell Specificity and Memory Responses to Variable and Conserved Variant Surface Glycoprotein Sequences in African Trypanosomiasis.
Faculty Advisor: John Mansfield
Gina is the Program Manager for STEM Professional Development at the University of Michigan.

Cliff Hogan

Dissertation: Molecular mechanisms of bacterial soft-rot on crops.
Faculty Advisor: Amy Charkowski
Cliff is a Quality Control Scientist at LGC, Biosearch Technologies.

Jonathan Holt

Dissertation: Ecology of the Manduca sexta microbiome.
Faculty Advisors: Jo Handelsman and Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Jonathan is now a faculty Instructor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon.

Kevin Myers

Dissertation: Integrating Genome-wide Analyses to Investigate the Regulatory Role of FNR and IscR in Response to Anaerobiosis in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Patricia Kiley
Kevin is an Assistant Scientist at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in Madison, WI.

Amanda Payne

Dissertation: Using a Toxoplasma chronic infection mutant to study the connections between inflammation, metabolism and reproductive hormones.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Amanda will be taking a family leave.

Meghan Ramsey

Dissertation: Location, expression, and regulation of the type IV secretion system in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Megan is a member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Taylor Starnes

Dissertation: Cell motility in inflammatory disease pathogenesis.
Faculty Advisor: Anna Huttenlocher
Taylor is a MD in ophthalmology in the Chicago area.

Regina Whitemarsh

Dissertation: Characterization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A subtypes 1 through 5 using in vitro and in vivo approaches.
Faculty Advisor: Eric Johnson
Regina is a Project Manager at Epic Systems Corp.

MDTP Alumni - 2012

Caitlin Brennan

Dissertation: Genetic dissection of flagellar motility and chemtaxias and their roles in the squid-vibrio symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
Caitlin is a Scientific Review Officer at NIAID. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Chi Ho Chan

Dissertation: Synthesis of alpha-penolic-riboside monophosphates during adenosyl-cobamide biosynthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Chi is a postdoc at the University of Minnesota.

Heidi Crosby

Dissertation: Substrate specificity of the Phodopseudomonas palustris protein acetyltransferase RpPat.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Heidi is a Research Scientist at New England Biolabs.

Christopher Gourley

Dissertation: Virulence Effects and Signaling Partners Modulated by a Brucella Light Sensing Histidine Kinase.
Faculty Advisor: Gary Spiltter
Chris is a RD Scientist at Streck.

Gilbert Jose

Dissertation: Evaluation of Two Novel Antiviral Peptides in a Murine Model of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Keratitis.
Faculty Advisor: Curtis Brandt
Gil is a Strategic Partner, R&D External Manufacturing Manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Boston, MA.

Jennifer Lambrecht Silverman

Dissertation: The RidA paradigm: An endogenously generated stress and its control.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Jennifer is a Senior Scientist, R&D at MilliporeSigma.

Xiaojun Lu

Dissertation: Examining Pathogenic and Mutualistic Regulatory Networks in the Bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Lu is the Vice Director, Office of Overseas R&D Management at Tsinghua University in China.

Katelynn Lyons Woodhams

Dissertation: Characterization of the gonococcal genetic island and peptidoglycan fragment release in Neisseria meningitidis.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Katie is now the Director of Microbiology at New Age Laboratories in South Haven, MI.

Aimee Marceau

Dissertation: Structure, function, and therapeutic targeting of SSB protein interactions.
Faculty Advisor: James Keck
Aimee is a Senior Scientist at NECi Superior Enzymes.

Erica Raterman

Dissertation: Motility and signaling systems in uropathogenic Escherichia coli: the role of chemotaxis and c-di-GMP production in fitness in the urinary tract.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Erica is a Preclinical Services Program Manager at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Jason Silverman

Dissertation: Lysosomal and endocytic protein trafficing routes and machinery in Trypanosoma brucei.
Faculty Advisor: Jay Bangs
Jason is an Analytics Lead, Genotyping Labs at the Monsanto Company.

Tara Stuecker

Dissertation: Regulation of coenzyme A biosynthesis by a yeast acetyltransferase homologue.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Tara is a Research Associate at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in the Department of Biological Sciences.

MDTP Alumni - 2011

Melissa Altura

Dissertation: Host Bacterial Interactions and Host Cell Signaling in the Initiation of the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret McFall-Ngai
Melissa is a postdoc at the University of Washington.

John Chaston

Dissertation: Host-association events and factors in a model animal-bacterial mutualism.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
John is now an Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics at Brigham Young University.

Melissa Christopherson

Dissertation: Probing the Metabolic Context of YJGF in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Melissa is a Faculty Associate in the Dept of Bacteriology at UW-Madison.

Nicholas George

Dissertation: Funtional interactions between uracil-DNA glycosylase and the single-stranded DNA-binding protein.
Faculty Advisor: James Keck
Nick is the Practice Manager at Meadows Cat Hospital in Kenmore, WA and Consulting Microbiologist and Biochemist.

Audrey Klingele

Dissertation:Directed evolution of Escherichia coli reveals multiple contributions to ionizing radiation survival.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Cox
Audrey is a Quality Engineer with LGC Biosearch Technologies.

Mark Koenigsknecht

Dissertation: Defining Robustness in the Metabolic Network Surrounding Phosphoribosylamine Biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Mark is a Scientist at Novozymes.

Yvonne Koh

Dissertation: RNA recognition by the PUF protein.
Faculty Advisor: Marvin Wickens
Yvonne is the Deputy Director of Innovation at the National Research Foundation Singapore.

Tobin Crystal Magle

Dissertation: A developmentally regulated Toxoplasma gondii patatin-like protein protects against degradation in activated macrophages and alters cytokine levels during toxoplasmic encephalitis.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Crystal is DS consultant and Science and Engineering Data and Information Specialist at Steenbock Memorial Library at UW Madison.

Matthew McMahon

Dissertation: Accessing and Deciphering Metabolic Potential Using Heterologous Hosts.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Matt is a Program Lead at Ginkgo Bioworks in the Boston area.

Kevin O'Brien

Dissertation: Host Factors that Influence Severe H5N1 Influenza Virus Pathogenicity and Disease.
Faculty Advisosr: Stacey Schultz-Cherry and Laura Knoll
Kevin is a Technical MSP Sales Representative for Superior Technical Solutions, LLC in St. George UT.

Jarrod Scott

Dissertation: The Microbial Ecology of Leaf-cutter Ant Refuse Dumps.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Jarrod has taken a position at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Michael Smanski

Dissertation:Biosynthetic studies of antibiotics platensimycin and platencin.
Faculty Advisor: Ben Shen
Mike is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Minnesota.

Bradley Tebbets

Dissertation: Antifungal Drug Discovery.
Faculty Advisor: Bruce Klein
Brad is a Research Director at Fulcrum Research Group in Boston, MA.

Sandy Thao

Dissertation: Biochemical and genetic analysis of Salmonella enterica Pat, a multidomain, multimeric N-lysine acetyltransferase involved in carbon and energy metabolism.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Sandy is a quality control manager at Aldevron in Madison, WI.

Joshua Tietjen

Dissertation: Dissecting the Complexity of the CTD Code.
Faculty Advisor: Aseem Ansari
Josh is a Senior Staff Software Test Engineer at Illumina in California.

Yanling Wang

Dissertation: Vibrio fischeri senses and detoxifies host-derived NO during initiation of the squid-vibrio symbosis.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
Yanling is a Scientist in Molecular Assay Product Development at Hologic, San Diego, CA.

Sarah Ward

Dissertation: Response to Copper and the Pathogenesis of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
Faculty Advisor: Adel Talaat
Sarah is a Professor at Oakland Community College.

Michael Wollenberg

Dissertation: Ecological associations and evolutionary biology of the marine luminous bacterium, Vibrio fischeri.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
Michael is an Assistant Professor at Kalamazoo College.

Cindy Zuleger

Dissertation: Molecular and functional analysis of in vivo 6-thioguanine-resistant T cells from melanoma patients.
Faculty Advisor: Mark Albertini
Cindy is a Scientist in the UW Carbone Cancer Center.

MDTP Alumni - 2010

Nicole Aulik

Dissertation: Mannheimia Haemolytica and its leukotoxin cause extracellular trap formation by bovine neutoophils and macrophages.
Faculty Advisor: Charles Czuprynski
Nicole is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Wisconsin Veterinary School in Madison, WI.

Gary Baisa

Dissertation: The Regulation of the dsdCXA Locus and the Characterization of D-cycloserine Resistant Mutants in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Gary is a Scientist at Lytic Solutions in Madison, WI.

Jillian Bristol

Dissertation: Regulation of TNFR2 expression by EBV protein BZLF1 and cellular C/EBP.
Faculty Advisor: Shannon Kenney
Jillian is an Associate Researcher in the Kenney laboratory.

Nadia Dominguez

Dissertation: Integration and excision of DNA at dif via XerCD site-specific recombination in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Nadia is the owner and educator at e2studio in Madison, WI.

Yann Dufour

Dissertation: Transcriptional regulatory Y networks controlling stress responses in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Yann is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University.

Elizabeth Felnagle Nover

Dissertation: Tuberactinomycin Biosynthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Elizabeth is the proprietor and editor at Razor Sharp Editing in Seattle, WA.

Lisa M. Fox

Dissertation: Mechanisms that regulate NKT cell autoreactivity.
Faculty Advisor:Jenny Gumperz
Lisa is a communications coordinator with Sun Prairie Nursery School.

Michael Gray

Dissertation: Synthesis, salvaging, and remodeling of the lower ligand of coenzyme B12.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Michael is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.

Roger Greenwell

Dissertation: The role of ChrR in regulating the σE dependent response to singlet oxygen in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Roger is an Associate Professor of Biology, Co-Coordinator of the Undergraduate Biotechnology Program, and Coordinator of the MS in Biotechnology Program at Worcester State University.

Justin Lemke

Dissertation: Probing Regulatory Targets of DksA/ppGpp in E. coli.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Jay is a Senior Research Scientist at Promega.

Kat Milligan-McClellan

Dissertation: Characterization of Potential Toxoplasma gondii Virulence factors.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Kat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut.

Amber Pollack-Berti

Dissertation: Exploring the mechanism and regulation of natural competence in Vibrio fischeri.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
She is a SQA Engineer at Quicken Loans.

Christopher Rocco

Dissertation: Propionate Metabolism and Toxicity in Bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Chris is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, OH.

Eli Sevova Theel

Dissertation: Protein Transport Through the Early Secretory Pathway and Sphingolipid synthesis in Trypanosoma Bruceli.
Faculty Advisor: James Bangs
Eli is an Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Director, Infectious Disease Serology, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Ashley Shade

Dissertation: Aquatic Bacteria, Lakes and Water Column Overturn: A model microbial system for disturbance ecology.
Faculty Advisor: Katherine McMahon
Ashley is a Director of Research with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France.

Olena Shtanko

Dissertation: Mopeia Virus Assembly.
Faculty Advisor: Yoshihiro Kawaoka
Olena is a staff scientist with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Brenda Soto

Dissertation: Anti-tumor effect of Resveratrol combined with immunotherapy.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Sondel
Brenda is a Senior Production Scientist with CellScript.

Sarah Studer

Dissertation: Vibrio Fischeri uses AinS to regulate cellular activites and host association.
Faculty Advisor: Ned Ruby
Sarah is a Scientific Communications Specialist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

MDTP Alumni - 2009

Heather Allen

Dissertation: Functional metagenomics to discover antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments.
Faculty Advisor: Jo Handelsman
Heather was a brilliant and successful microbiologist at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA) in Ames, Iowa. She died from breast cancer in 2020, which was a loss to us all.

Sharon Altmann

Dissertation: Therapeutic Intervention for Pox viruses.
Faculty Advisor: Curtis Brandt
Sharon is a Senior Scientist at MRIGlobal.

Andrew Berti

Dissertation: From Sequence to Structures: Mining Pseudomonas syringae for natural product.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Andrew received his Pharmacy degree as well and is now an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.

Yolande Chan

Dissertation: Formation and Incorporation of Two New Polyketide Synthase Extender Units.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Thomas
Yolande was an adjunct instructor at Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

Arturo Diaz

Dissertation: Formation, Structure, and Organization of the RNA Replication Compartments of Brome Mosaic Virus.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Ahlquist
Arturo is an Associate Professor at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA.

N. Cecilia Martinez Gomez

Dissertation: In vitro characterization of Fe-S cluster enzymes involved in Thiamine Biosynthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Cecilia is now an Assistant Professor at UC-Berkeley.

Paola Mera

Dissertation: Mechanistic Insights into Corrinoid Adenosylation.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Paola is a postdoc at Stanford.

Michele Otte

Dissertation: Analysis of enzymes of the late steps of coenzyme B12 biosynthesis in archaea and bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Michele is a Food Safety Manager at US Durum Products.

Josh Troll

Dissertation: Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins at the intersection of immunity and development in the squid/vibrio symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret McFall-Ngai
Josh is currently the Director of Fermentation and Bioprocess at The Every Company.

Laura Valentine

Dissertation: CD8+T cells in elite control of SIV
Faculty Advisor: David Watkins
Laura is currently a postdoc at the University of California-San Francisco.

Jennifer Van Vleet

Dissertation: Yeast Metabolic Engineering for Ethanol Production Guided by Gene Expression Analysis.
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Jeffries
Jennifer is employed by EdenIQ in Visalia, CA as Senior Genetics Scientist.

David Wolfe

Dissertation: Characterization of factors regulating PII function in Phodospirillum Rubrum.
Faculty Advisor: Gary Roberts
He is a Division Officer, Genomics and Bioinformatics Department, Naval Medical Research Center - Frederick, US Navy.

MDTP Alumni - 2008

Beth Ann Browne

Dissertation: A Link between Tryptophan Biosynthesis and PURF-Idependent Phosphoribosyl Amine Formation in YJGF Mutant Strains of Salmonella Enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Beth Ann is currently a Technical Service & Development Scientist at DuPont Microbial Control.

Mary Patricia Craver Stangl

Dissertation: Isolation and Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii Bradyzoite Development Mutants.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Mary Pat is a Science and Medical Writer.

Zomary Flores Cruz

Dissertation: Role of oxidative stress response in Ralstonia solanacearum virulence.
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Zomary is an Assistant Professor at Dominican University.

Matthew Frankel

Dissertation: Characterization of a Unique Nuclear Transport Pathway Required for Virulence of the Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
Faculty Advisor: Laura Knoll
Matt is a Program Manager R&D at Abbott Diagnostics.

Bailey Freeman

Dissertation: Modulation of Macrophage Cytokine Responses and Antigen Presentation during African Trypanosomiasis.
Faculty Advisor: Donna Paulnock
Bailey is currently doing a postdoc with Prof. Mark Slifka at Oregon State University of Health Sciences.

Jeffrey Gardner

Dissertation: Genetics and Biochemistry of Acetyl-CoA Synthetase Control in Bacillus subtilis.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Jeff is an Asst Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Department of Biological Sciences.

Jane Garrity

Dissertation: N-Lysine Acylation and Control of Coenzyme A Homeostasis in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Jane is the Associate Director of Licensing at the University of Iowa.

Kendal Gilbraith Cooper

Dissertation: Studies and Applications of Gene Disruption in Histoplasma capsulatum.
Faculty Advisor: Jon Woods
Kendal is a Microbiologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Erin Herbert Tran

Dissertation: Regulation of Xenorhabdus nematophila Host Interactions by the CpxRA Two-Component System.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Erin is a Staff Scientist at the National Cancer Institute.

Spencer Hoover

Dissertation: Repurposing Thiopurines As Novel Antivirals.
Faculty Advisor: Rob Striker
Spencer is the Director Process and Analytical Development at CCRM.

Jeremy Jones

Dissertation: Novel Methods for Prevention and Control of Influenza.
Faculty Advisor: Stacey Schultz-Cherry
Jeremy is a Staff Scientist at St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Petra Kohler Riedi

Dissertation: Components of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae Type IV Secretion System and their Interactions with Peptidoglycan.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Petra is now a Senior Research Specialist, Corporate Research Materials Laboratory at 3M.

Kimberly Luke

Dissertation: Regulation of the cellular p53 protein by the Influenza Non-Structural protein.
Faculty Advisor: Jon Woods
Kimberly is the Director of Commercial Development at Intuitive Biosciences in Madison, WI.

Ryan Newton

Dissertation: Cosmopolitan Freshwater Bacterial Dynamics in Lakes across Time and Space.
Faculty Advisor: Katharine McMahon
Ryan is a Research Scientist at UW-Milwaukee in the School of Freshwater Sciences.

S. Brook Peterson

Dissertation: Interactions between Rhizosphere Bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Jo Handelsman
Brook is a Senior Scientist in the Mougous Lab, Dept. of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle.

Adrian Pinto Tomas

Dissertation: Symbiotic interactions between bacteria and tropical insect herbivores.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Adrian is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Costa Rica in the department of Biochemistry.

Greg Richards

Dissertation: The Regulator LrhA and Lipase Activity in Xenorhabdus nematophila Insect Pathogenesis.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Gregory is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at UW-Parkside.

Courtney Robinson

Dissertation: Robustness of Lepidopteran Midgut Microbial Communities.
Faculty Advisor: Jo Handelsman
Courtney is an Associate Professor at Howard University in the Biology Department.

Steven Rutherford

Dissertation: Insights into the Mechanism of DksA Action at Ribosomal RNA Promoters in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Steven is a Senior Scientist at Genentech.

Wilmara Salgado-Pabón

Dissertation: Neisseria gonorrhoeae Processing of Chromosomal DNA for Direct Secretion via a Type IV Secretion System.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Wilmara is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Pathobiological Sciences.

Erik Settles

Dissertation: Flock House virus induces replication dependent apoptosis by depleting AIAP1.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Friesen
Erik is the Assistant Research Director at Northern Arizona University.

Rose Szabady

Dissertation: Secreted Mucinases of Enteric Bacterial Pathogens: Modulators of Host Defense.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Rose is the Associate Director of Immunology at Vedanta Biosciences, Inc.

Michael Thorgersen

Dissertation: Insights into Metabolic Links between Cellular Iron and Sulfur Metabolism in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Michael is a research professional at the University of Georgia, Athens.

Duy Tran

Dissertation: Drosophila melanogaster DIAP2 regulates the anti-apoptotic function of DIAP1.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Friesen
Duy is a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

MDTP Alumni - 2007

Andrew Anfora

Dissertation: The Effects of Serine and Acetate Metabolism on the Ability of Escherichia coli CFT073 to Colonize the Murine Urinary Tract.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Andrew is now an Associate Director of Product Management at LGC Clinical Diagnostics.

Megan Bohse

Dissertation: Characterization of the Yeast Phase Specific YPS3 Gene of Histoplasma capsulatum.
Faculty Advisor: Jon Woods
Megan is a Data Analysis Supervisor at Quartz Health Solutions.

Lisa Bowers

Dissertation: Elements of Plasmid R6K Replication Control.
Faculty Advisor: Marcin Filutowicz
Lisa is an Assistant Professor at St. Olaf College.

Shaun Brinsmade

Dissertation: Genetics and Biochemistry of Class II Phosphotransacetylases: Enzymes and Sensors of Nutrition, Energy and Redox State of Prokaryotic Cells.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Shaun is now an Associate Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Hyunsic Choi

Dissertation: The Seventy-Six Nucleotides in tRNA Act As One Functional Unit.
Faculty Advisor: William McClain
Hyunsic is working at Scarab Genomics.

Carlee Chun

Dissertation: Genomic and Biochemical Changes during the Onset of the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret McFall-Ngai
Carlene is a MD in Gastroenterology at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital in CO.

Taylor Dagenais

Dissertation: Processing and Presentation of Variant Surface Glycoprotein during African Trypanosomiasis.
Faculty Advisor: John Mansfield
Taylor is a partner at Big Rose Web Design, LLC.

Daniel Garcia

Dissertation: Liberation of Pro-inflammatory Peptidoglycan Fragments from the Gonococcal Cell.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Dan is the Senior Health Scientist for the CDC in India.

Jennifer Giel

Dissertation: Role of IscR in regulation of Fe-S Biogenesis in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Patricia Kiley
Jennifer is a freelance medical writer.

Tajie Harris

Dissertation: Immunostimulatory DNA and the Innate Immune Response to Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.
Faculty Advisor: Donna Paulnock
Tajie is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Virginia.

Brian Haugen

Dissertation: Characterization of the Response of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Strain CFT073 to D-Serine.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Brian is a Health Science Policy Analyst at the National Institutes of Health.

Shani Haugen

Dissertation: rRNA Regulation Depends on Nonoptimal Sigma Region 1.2 Promoter Interactions: Fine Structure of a New RNA Polymerase Recognition Element.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Shani is a FDA Scientific Reviewer.

Erica Lannan

Dissertation: Execution of Baculovirus-induced Apoptosis in Drosophila Requires Caspases DrICE, CDP1, and Dronc.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Friesen
Erica is an Associate Professor at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL.

Jeffrey Lewis

Dissertation: Genetics and Biochemistry of Tricarballylate Catabolism in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Jeffrey is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas.

Ainslie Little

Dissertation: Parasitism as a Selective Force Shaping the Ecology and Evolution of an Ancient Ant-Fungal-Bacterial Mutualism.
Faculty Advisor: Cameron Currie
Ainslie is the SVP, Corporate Strategy at BlueRock Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA.

Rebecca Lopez

Dissertation: The Role of IFN- a/ b in the Innate Immune Response to African Trypanosomes.
Faculty Advisor: Donna Paulnock
Rebecca is a postdoc in the Dept. of Hematology at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Richard Childs.

Rachel Mooney

Dissertation: The Secret Life of NusG: A Functional Analysis of a Universal Transcriptional Regulator and Its Surprising Relationship with _70.
Faculty Advisor: Robert Landick
Rachel is a Scientist in the laboratory of Prof. Landick, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lindsey Moser

Dissertation: Insights into Astrovirus Pathogenesis: How Barrier Permeability, ERK Activation, and Early Viral Events Collaborate to Cause Diarrhea.
Faculty Advisor: Stacey Schultz-Cherry
Lindsey is now an Assistant Scientist in the Talaat Lab at UW-Madison.

Zakee Sabree

Dissertation: Heterologous Expression in the Metagenomics Era.
Faculty Advisor: Jo Handelsman
Zakee is an Associate Professor at the Ohio State University.

Jonah Sacha

Dissertation: T Cell Epitope Ontogeny in AIDS-virus Infected Cells.
Faculty Advisor: David Watkins
Jonah is Professor and Chief of the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR.

Priscilla Van Wynsberghe

Dissertation: Virus Reproduction: Membrane Localization of Nodaviral RNAs during Replication Complex Assembly.
Faculty Advisor: Paul Ahlquist
She is now an Associate Professor at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

Laura Walters

Dissertation: StcE, a Mucin-Specific Protease, Recognizes Glycan-Induced Conformations.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Laura completed her M.D. in fulfillment of the Medical Scientist Training Program and is now a pathologist at Beaumont Health Systems.

Carmen Zayas-Aponte

Dissertation: Studies of the Last Step of de Novo Corrin Ring Biosynthesis and the Nucleotide Loop Assembly Pathway of Coenzyme B12 Synthesis.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Carmen is a pharmacist.

MDTP Alumni - 2006

Charles Cowles

Dissertation: Characterization of Factors Controlling the Species-Specificity of a Model Microbe-Host Interaction.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Charles is a Senior Scientist in In Vitro Diagnostic Quality Control at Promega.

Kimberly Cowles

Dissertation: Activity and Regulation of Hemolysins in the Insect Pathogen Xenorhabdus nematophila.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Kim is a Research Associate in Jeri Barak's lab in the Department of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison.

Michael Dougherty

Dissertation: Cellular Factors Impacting the Biosynthesis of the Pyrimidine Moiety of Thiamine.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Michael is a Senior Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Oakland, CA.

John Loffredo

Dissertation: Understanding the Antiviral Efficacy and Breadth of CD8+ T Lymphocytes against Simian Immunodeficiency Virus.
Faculty Advisor: David Watkins
John is the Associate Director and Clinical Biomarker Lead at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Julie Nemecek

Dissertation: Regulation of Dimorphism and Virulence in Pathogenic Fungi.
Faculty Advisor: Bruce Klein
Julie is a regulatory microbiologist at the FDA.

Patricia Ortiz-Bermudez

Dissertation: Characterization of Factors Controlling the Species-Specificity of a Model Microbe-Host Interaction. A Role for Chloroperoxidase-Producing Fungi in Natural Organochlorine Production.
Faculty Advisor: Kenneth Hammel
She is a Professor of Biological and Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.

A. Itzel Ramos-Solis

Dissertation: Metabolic Robustness of Phosphoribosyl Amine Biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
Itzel is a Director of Strain Engineering at Genomatica.

Christian Riesenfeld

Dissertation: Survey of Aminoglycoside Resistance Genes in Soil.
Faculty Advisor: Jo Handelsman
Christian is an Instructor at New England Institute of Technology.

George Schmitz

Dissertation: A Link Between YjgF and Isoleucine Biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium.
Faculty Advisor: Diana Downs
George is a scientist at the Energy BioScience Institute-University of Illinois.

MDTP Alumni - 2005

Jennifer Anthony

Dissertation: Function of the Rhodobacter sphaerodies alternative sigma factor, sE and its anti-sigma factor, ChrR.
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Jennifer is now a Research Scientist developing next generation biofuels in the Biochemical Sciences and Engineering Group at DuPont.

Nicole Buan

Dissertation: Adenosylcorrinoids: Biosynthesis, Reactivation and Scavenging.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Nicole is an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Melissa Dubois

Dissertation: Regulation of B cell Responses in Experimental African Trypanosomiasis.
Faculty Advisor: John Mansfield
Melissa is the Director at South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership.

Enid Gonzalez-Orta

Dissertation: Plant Cell Wall-Degradation and Twin-Arginine Translocation: Exploring Ralstonia solanacearum Virulence Factors.
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Enid is a Professor of Microbiology at California State University-Sacramento and the Director of the Science Educational Equity Program.

Thomas Grys

Dissertation: Characterization of the StcE protease of Escherichia coliO157:H7.
Faculty Advisor: Rod Welch
Tom is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Microbiology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Kelly Hunter

Dissertation: A Global Approach for Studying Bacterial Genomes.
Faculty Advisor: William Reznikoff
Kelly is a Senior Manager with Ontario Genomics.

Eric Martens

Dissertation: Initiation and Maintenance of Steinernema carpocapsae Nematode Colonization by Xenorhadus nematophia Bacteria.
Faculty Advisor: Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Eric is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.

Darby Oldenburg

Dissertation: Life in the Xylem: The Secrets of Ralstonia solanacearum Pathogenesis Revealed by in vivo Expression Technology.
Faculty Advisor: Caitilyn Allen
Darby is a Research Scientist at Gundersen Medical Foundation.

Brian Paul

Dissertation: DksA: A Potentiator of Regulation of Transcription by Small Molecules in Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
Brian is a Senior Scientist at DuPont.

Ilenys Perez-Diaz

Dissertation: Citrate catabolism by Lactobacillus casei in ripening cheese: a genomic approach.
Faculty Advisor: James Steele
Ilenys is an Associate Professor of Food Science at North Carolina State University with the USDA/ARS.

Christine Tavano

Dissertation: Insights into Photosynthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
Faculty Advisor: Tim Donohue
Christine is a Production Scientist-QA Liaison for MilliporeSigma-Life Sciences.

Jesse Woodson

Dissertation: Coenzyme B12 Biosynthesis and Precursor Salvaging in Archaea.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Escalante
Jesse is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona.

MDTP Alumni - 2004

Karen Cloud-Hansen

Dissertation: Lytic transglycosylases are responsible for production of peptidoglycan-derived cytotoxin in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Karen is self employed as an Editorial Manager.

Holly Hamilton

Dissertation: Type IV secretion in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Its role in DNA secretion and in bacteria-host cell interactions.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Dillard
Holly is now a Senior Scientist and Manager at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.

Chris Herring

Dissertation: The Introduction and Suppression of Amber Stop Codons in the Genome of Escherichia coli.
Faculty Advisor: Fred Blattner
Chris is the Chief Scientist at Enchi Corporation.

Vincent Starai

Dissertation: The Sir2-dependent Protein Acetylation/Deacetylation System of Salmonella enterica.
Faculty Advisor: Jorge Esclante
Vincent is now an Associate Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Infectious Disease at the University of Georgia.

MDTP Alumni - 2003

Larry Anthony

Dissertation: Interaction of Escherichia coli sigma factors with core RNA polymerase.
Faculty Advisor: Richard Burgess
Larry works at Butamax Advanced Biofuels in Biotechnology Commercialization and IP Management.

Erica Maldonado

Dissertation: Characterization of the M Antigen of Histoplasma capsulatum: Function and Expression.
Faculty Advisor: Jon Woods
Erica is an Oncology Diagnostics Manager and Trainer.

David Schneider

Dissertation: Control of rRNA expression in Escherichia coli by small molecules.
Faculty Advisor: Rick Gourse
David is a Professor and Associate Dean at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

MDTP Alumni - 2002

Ricardo Kruger

Dissertation: Study of Positive and Negative Factors Controlling Replication Initiation of Prokaryotic Origin.
Faculty Advisor: Marcin Filutowicz
Ricardo is currently a Professor in the Department of Genomic Sciences and Biotechnology at the Catholic University of Brasil, Brasilia.

MDTP Alumni - 2001

David O'Connor

Dissertation: Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Escape from Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Responses.
Faculty Advisor: David Watkins
David is a Professor at UW-Madison, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Regan Theiler

Dissertation: Membrane Topology and Complex Formation of Human Cytomegalovirus Glycoprotein O.
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Compton
Regan is the Chair of Obstetrics at the Mayo Clinic.

Michelle Timmerman

Dissertation: A Novel Iron Acquisition Mechanism by the Pathogenic Fungus Histoplasma capsulatum.
Faculty Advisor: Jon Woods
Michelle is a Scientific Review Officer, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

Peng Wang

Dissertation: Gamma Delta T Cell Regulation by Accessory Molecules.
Faculty Advisor: Miroslav Malkovsky
Peng is a Research Assistant Professor at West Virginia University.

MDTP Alumni - 1999

Nian-Qing Shi

Dissertation: Dissecting the Respiratory Machinery in the Xylose-Metabolizing Yeast, Pichia stipitis.
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Jeffries
Nian is a cardiac researcher at Tufts University.