Wook Kim

BS, MS (University of Guelph, Canada)

PhD (University of Calgary, Canada)

Postdoc (Tufts University, Harvard University, University of Oxford)

An avid fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs who pretends to be a skilled handyman.


Collin Kessler

BS Biology (Juniata College)

Joined the lab in SU 17 as a PhD candidate of Biology, characterizing the evolution and network topology of numerous cyclic-di-GMP producing machinery and regulatory switches. Resident bioinformatics expert, and a former jazz, concert, and marching band extraordinaire.

  • Ulrich, N., Rosenberger, A., Brislawn, C., Wright, J., Kessler, C., Toole, D., … Lamendella, R. (2016). Restructuring of the Aquatic Bacterial Community by Hydric Dynamics Associated with Superstorm Sandy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(12), 3525–3536.
  • Pfaller, S., Tokarev, V., Kessler, C., McLimans, C., Gomez-Alvarez, V., Wright, J., … Lamendella, R. (2017). Draft Genome Sequence of Mycobacterium chimaera Type Strain Fl-0169. Genome Announcements, 5(8), e01620–16.

Anton Evans

BS, MS Molecular and Cellular Biology (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)

Joined the lab in SU 18 as a PhD candidate of Biology, exploring functional and evolutionary diversity among RNA-binding protein homologs and the physicochemical roles of extracellular secretions in bacterial competition. A science fiction enthusiast, enjoys hiking, climbing, and snowboarding.

  • Evans, A. F., O'Brien, S. R., Ma, R., Hager, A. G., Riggins, C. W., Lambert, K. N., & Riechers, D. E. (2017). Biochemical characterization of metabolism‐based atrazine resistance in Amaranthus tuberculatus and identification of an expressed GST associated with resistance. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 15(10), 1238-1249.
  • Ma, R., Evans, A. F., & Riechers, D. E. (2016). Differential responses to preemergence and postemergence atrazine in two atrazine-resistant waterhemp populations. Agronomy Journal, 108(3), 1196-1202.
  • Devendran, S., Abdel-Hamid, A. M., Evans, A. F., Iakiviak, M., Kwon, I. H., Mackie, R. I., & Cann, I. (2016). Multiple cellobiohydrolases and cellobiose phosphorylases cooperate in the ruminal bacterium Ruminococcus albus 8 to degrade cellooligosaccharides. Scientific reports, 6, 35342.

Snehal Dighole

BS Biotechnology (Savitribai Phule Pune University, India)

Joined the lab in FA 19 as a graduate student in the MS Biotechnology program, currently characterizing bacteria-fungus symbiosis relevant to the human scalp. Enjoys reading, badminton, cooking, and exploring new places. Plans to pursue a PhD upon graduation.


Suzannah Costa

Joined the lab in FA 19 as a pre-med sophomore working toward a Biochemistry major and Mathematics minor, currently exploring bacteria-fungus symbiosis relevant to the human scalp. Suzie is from the Poconos, and loves to hike, run, and go out for ice cream. Plans to pursue medical school following graduation with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon.


Amber Delprince

Joined the lab in SP 19 as a pre-med freshman pursuing a Spanish major and a Mathematics minor, currently exploring the molecular basis of functional diversity among paralogous proteins. Enjoys cheerleading, traveling, and tutoring young students. Plans to pursue a career in medicine.


Talia Roth

Joined the lab in SP 19 as a pre-med sophomore working toward a Biology major and Biochemistry, Health Care Ethics, and Public Health minors, currently characterizing bacteria-fungus and fungus-fungus symbioses relevant to human health. Enjoys hockey, volunteering on and off campus, and being a Chairperson of New Student Orientation. Plans to pursue a career in medicine following graduation.


Ava Santoro

Joined the lab in SU 20 as a pre-med sophomore working towards a Biology major and Biochemistry and Healthcare Ethics minors, currently exploring microbial symbiosis that pertain to the human scalp. Enjoys cooking, drawing, and spending time with family. Plans to attend medical school to become a dermatologist.


Raziel Santos

Joined the lab in SP 19 as a pre-med sophomore working toward a Biology major and Public Health and Biochemistry minors, currently exploring the mechanisms of bacterial competition through a pleiotropic post-transcriptional regulator. Razi is our resident artist, who also enjoys exploring nature, impromptu road trips, and dancing. Plans on attending medical school following graduation.

M breakthrough confocal

Former Members

Graduate students  

Swagatika Bhattacharya (MS Biotechnology, 2016-18, Laboratory Technician at University of Pittsburgh)

Danielle Jungo (PB Health Management Systems, 2016-17, enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program at University of Dayton)

Heather Allen (rotated in SP 17)

Brianna Ports (rotated in FA 17)


Jason Chen (2017-18, enrolled in PhD at Emory University)

Barathi Balasubramonian (2017-18, enrolled in PhD at Duquesne University)

William Mazza (2019-20, applying to graduate schools)

Undergraduate students (>1 year)

Ansu Benjamin (BS Biology, 2016-17, enrolled at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)

Devin Greene (BS Biology, 2016-17, enrolled in MBA at Duquesne University)

Sophia Li (BS Biology, 2017-19, enrolled at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine)

John Mauro Gloninger (2017-19, enrolled in BS/MS at Duquesne University)

Jordan Denk (BS Biology, 2017-19, enrolled in MS at George Washington University)

Melisa Echard (BS Biology, 2018-19, enrolled in MS at Duquesne University)

Tanja Cupac (BS Biology, 2018-19, enrolled in MS at Duquesne University)

Bria Christian (BS Biology, 2019-20, applying to graduate schools)

Hannah Straub (2019-20, applying to PA schools)

Visting undergraduate students

Elena McDonald (SU 17, Wofford College)

Diana Kline (SU 18, University of Michigan)

Mingyang Yuan (SU 20, Vanderbilt University)

High school students

Sarah Adrian (Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, CIRCLE, SU 17)

Bhav Jain (Franklin Regional High School, SU 17)

Bana Almoussa (Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, CIRCLE, SU 18)

Vineet Madduru (Franklin Regional High School, SU 18)

Zoe Moser (Franklin Regional High School, SU 18)

Grace Fleury (Franklin Regional High School, SU 18-19)

Kiley Gan (Franklin Regional High School, SU 19)