Alumni Directory

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 seeking out her next opportunity

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 seeking out her next opportunity.

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.

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 will be working as a post doc on anaerobic digestion systems in the Departments of Civil Engineering and Microbiology and Immunology with Ryan Ziels and Steve Hallam at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

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 has taken a post-doc position in the lab of Jean-Michel Ané.

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 a senior scientific manager at Benson Hill Biosystems in St. Louis, MO.

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 Dechert LLP in Pittsburgh, PA.

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 has taken a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cleveland Clinic.

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 a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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 a Field Medical Advisor & Clinical Development Manager at Novo Nordisk.

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 project manager at Innovative Genomics Institute.

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 currently postdoc at MIT.

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 doing a postdoc in the Thomas lab 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 a postdoc at UC Berkeley in the Weisblat Lab in the Dept of Molecular and Cell 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
Jon is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Claremont McKenna College.

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 has joined the lab of Wendy Garrett at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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 a Medical Biotechnology Instructor at Van Buren Tech in Lawrence, 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 Assistant 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 and Co-Coordinator of the 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 an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University.

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 a Program Lead in Development at Zymergen, Inc.

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 contract writer for American Institute for Research.

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 a Field Applications Scientist with Clinical Genomics at SeraCare Life Sciences.

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 assistant 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 a Professor at the Oregon Health and 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.