Research Students

Lin Duong

Occidental College '03, Biochemistry

Atomic force microscopy of bacteria and DNA-protein complexes.

Presented her work at the Southern California Council on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) conference October 2002 and the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 2003. Lin is currently working on a doctorate in pharmacy at UC San Diego.

Elaine Ly (right) and Phyllis Chan (left)

Ly, Occidental College '05, Chemistry

(right)

Atomic force microscopy of bacteria and DNA-intercalator complexes.

Presented her work at the SCCUR conferences in the fall of 2002, 2003, and 2004, at the "Seeing at the Nanoscale" conference in Santa Barbara in August 2003, at the Biophyisical Society National Meeting in Baltimore in February 2004, and at NCUR in April 2005.

Chan, Occidental College '05, Biology

(left)

Atomic force microscopy of bacterial biofilms.

Presented her work at SCCUR in the fall of 2004. Phyllis pursued Master's in Bioscieces at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA.

Anne Malhowski (Wagner)

Mount Holyoke College '05, summa cum laude in Chemistry

Destabilization caused by DNA base lesions.

Anne attended the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Philadelphia in August 2004. Anne worked on protein aggregation as a research technician at Colorado State University after graduation.  After earning a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania, Anne went to work as a research scientist at L'Oréal.

Amber Rosenberg

Mount Holyoke College '05, High Honors in Biochemistry

Detecting DNA base lesions.

Amber served as a CASCADE program research mentor. Amber worked on Nucleotide Excision Repair at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Ohio State University after graduation, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Biochemical Education at Wright State University.

Aleksandra Mihailovic

Mount Holyoke College '07, Biochemistry

Atomic Force Microscopy of DNA.

Aleksandra learned new single-molecule techniques in the Physics Department at Northeastern University in the summer of 2005. After studying in Italy during the spring of 2006, she returned to MHC to study Biochemistry and Italian.  After graduation, she worked as a research technician at the Rockefeller University in NYC for several years before earning a master's degree in international public health at Johns Hopkins University, where she currently works.

Catherine Volle

Mount Holyoke College '06, Biology w/ Chemistry minor, High Honors in Biochemistry

Catherine completed a senior honors thesis about Bdellovibrio binding to model lipopoly-saccharide membranes. She worked full-time after graduation to follow through with the Bdellovibrio experiments and generally keep the lab under control. She presented her work at meetings of the Biophysical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Microbiology, and is first author on two manuscripts. She earned a Ph.D. from Brown University in Molecular and Cell Biology, and she is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Amy Rumora

Mount Holyoke College '07, High Honors in Biochemistry

Amy's thesis explored DNA destabilization by base lesions using small molecule probes and the thermodynamics of DNA melting in the presence of thymine dimers. Amy attended the "Current Trends in Microcalorimetry" conference in Boston in August 2005 and presented a poster at the Biophysical Society Metting in Baltimore in March 07. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Vermont.

Rumora, Appleberry, Marek, and Volle

from left to right: Amy Rumora; Morgan Appleberry (MHC '08, Biology) Effect of DNA structure on rates of base excision repair; Elizabeth Marek (MHC '06, Biochemistry) DNA repair in chromatin. Beth earned a Master's Degree at Georgetown University in scientific methods to examine alternative therapies; and Catherine Volle.

Akriti Singh

MHC '08, Biochemistry

Biochemical characterization of lipopolysaccharide molecules from Bdellovibrio predators and prey.

Jacqueline Wade

MHC '08, Honors in Biochemistry

Presented her work on DNA repair at the Biophysical Society Meeting in March 2007. She used NMR to examine the effect of damaged base lesions on double-helical DNA for her senior honors project. She is currently working as a research associate at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Stephanie Azan

MHC '08, Chemistry

Characterization of lipopolysaccharide molecules from Bdellovibrio predators and prey using Langmuir-Blodgettry and Atomic Force Microscopy. She presented her work at the Biophysical Society Meeting in March 2007.

Sara Barnes

MHC FP '08, Biochemistry

Sara helped to synthesize and characterize thymine dimer lesions as well as to design a new chromatography lab sequence for Organic Chemistry laboratory. She subsequently did a senior honors thesis with Lilian Hsu and worked as a research associate at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She returned to the lab as a full-time research associate to work on the base lesions in DNA, and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Massachusetts.

Courtney Branch

MHC '10

Courtney studied base excision repair by the BER enzyme Fpg (a.k.a. MutM).

Kasia Kolodziejczak

MHC '10, Biochemistry

Studied DNA destabilization by thymine dimer lesions. After graduation she worked in a laboratory at Yale University.  She is currently a D.O. student at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Doris Tabassum

MHC '10, Biochemistry

Doris studied the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio. She is currently a graduate student at Harvard University, working at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Mya Steadman

MHC '10, Chemistry

Mya is interested in biofilms in the environment, and Bdellovibrio's effect on them.

Melissa K. Hart

MHC '08, Biochemistry

Missy studied biofilms of prey and Bdellovibrio using Atomic Force Microscopy.  A recently minted Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University, Melissa is the mother of twins!

Xiaowen (Wendy) Wang

MHC '11, Chemistry and Biology

Wendy examined DNA mismatches and DNA-binding small molecules using single molecule techniques. She completed an honors thesis with Professor Lililan Hsu and is studying medicine at Duke University.

Lindiwe Ndebele

MHC '09, Chemistry

Lindiwe examined the structure of supercoiled DNA containing base lesions by AFM. She is currently working at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute as a research assistant.

Emily Harcourt

MHC '09, Biochemistry

Emily did organic synthesis research with MHC professor and organic chemist Darren Hamilton for several years, and one semester she designed experiments to test the DNA-binding and cleavage properties of her new family of heterocyclic, aromatic organic molecules. She is a Ph.D. student in the Kool group at Stanford University.

Kelley Harpin

MHC '08, Biology

Kelley was a longtime PLUMS mentor who worked on DNA lesions as a laboratory associate.  She is currently a DVM student at Penn.

Laura Bleyendaal

MHC '09, Biology

Laura investigated quorum sensing in bacterial biofilms.  She currently uses her biochemistry knowledge in her job in biotech regulatory affairs in Boston.

Elisa Frankel

MHC '11, High Honors in Biochemistry

Prepared a thesis on the thermodynamics of DNA with lesions. She presented a poster on her work at the Biophysical Society National Meeting in Baltimore in March 2011. In the summer of 2010, she embarked on an HHMI summer research fellowship working with Joan Steitz at Yale University. She studied DNA spectroscopy at the Weizmann Institute in Israel as a Fullbright fellow in'11-'12, and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

He (Clare) Xu and Phuong Vo

Xu (MHC '12, Biochemistry, summa cum laude), left and below, and Vo (MHC '10, Honors in Biochemistry), right, worked together to examine Bdellovibrio's interaction with mixed-species biofilms.

Phuong earned an A.B. with Honors for her senior thesis, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia. She presented her work at the New England Science Symposium at Harvard University in December '09, and at the Connecticut Valley Section ACS symposium at Amherst College in April '10. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia.

In the summer of 2010, He (Clare) Xu worked on quorum sensing with Helen Blackwell at UW Madison as a summer REU student. She is currently exploring bacterial adhesion using AFM as a thesis project. Clare is working on her Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Martha Segovia

MHC '13

Worked with Elisa Frankel as a Science Scholar during the summer of 2009.

Jessica McKenzie

MHC '10, Biochemistry

Designed and fabricated a microfluidic device to examine chemotaxis and quorum sensing in Bdellovibrio. She presented her work at the Connecticut Valley Section ACS symposium at Amherst College in April '10. She worked at a laboratory in the Chemistry department at Yale University after graduation, and is currently working on her Master's degree to be a high school chemistry teacher.

Catherine Dietrich

MHC '12, High Honors in Biochemistry

Catherine is characterizing DNA assemblies containing base lesions in collaboration with the Williams lab at Northeastern and the Jamieson lab at Smith. She presented a poster on some of her work at the Biophysical Society National Meeting in Baltimore in March 2011 and won the poster prize at the ACS Connecticut Valley local section meeting in April 2011. She worked in Leipzig through an undergraduate summer research fellowship from the DAAD in the summer of 2011, and wrote an honors thesis on her DNA damage work. Katie is an M.D. student at the University of Florida.

Emma Garst

MHC '13, High Honors in Biochemistry

Emma is continuing the work of Laura and Jess to examine chemotaxis and quorum sensing in Bdellovibrio using microfluidics. She presented a poster on her work at the Biophysical Society National Meeting in Baltimore in March 2011 and at the ACS Connecticut Valley local section meeting in April 2011. Emma did an REU at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2012, and prepared an honors thesis on the chemotaxis project.  Emma currently works as a research technician at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Belinda Wenke

MHC '11, High Honors in Biochemistry

Used NMR to examine DNA lesions. She presented a poster on her work at the Biophysical Society National Meeting in Baltimore in March 2011 and at the ACS Connecticut Valley local section meeting in April 2011. Belinda worked as a research associate at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Biophysics for two years before starting her Ph.D. at Caltech.

Isa Wismann-Horther

MHC '12

Examined the interaction of Bdellovibrio with a decoy strain.

Kelsey Schramma

MHC '12, High Honors in Chemistry

Examined the somewhat puzzling interactions of Bdellovibrio with a decoy strain in the summer of 2010. She studied chemistry and music in Leipzig during the 2010-2011 academic year, and wrote an honors thesis on her organic chemistry experimental work from Leipzig on the Mannich reaction. She is currently TAing our summer Gen Chem class and synthesizing DNA-binding molecules in her "spare time." Kelsey is working on a Ph.D. in chemistry at Princeton.

Raquel Hernandez-Solis

MHC '14

Was a Science Scholar during the summer of 2010, helping Kelsey and Sara with projects in both the "bdello" and "DNA" sides of the aisle. She did a senior research project studying the effect of the Sp lesion on DNA in collaboration with Betsy Jamieson at Smith College. Raquel did an REU at UCSF in the summer of 2012, and presented her work at the national Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).  She is currently working as a research technician at the Rockefeller University in NYC.

Sarah Fleming

MHC '15

Worked with us in the summer of 2011 as a Science Scholar, and is currently learning protein biochemistry with the McMenimen lab.

Erika Norabuena

MHC FP '12, Honors in Biology

Worked on Bdellovibrio behavior in biofilms during the summer of 2011. She wrote an honors thesis in the biology deparment with Prof. Paola Sacchetti. She worked in this laboratory on the DNA lesion project as a full-time research technician for a year before taking her current position as a research associate at Harvard Medical School.

Eleanor Celeste L.

'28, undeclared

Loves biology of all kinds, especially dinosaurs.

Veronika Kivenson

MHC '13,  Biochemistry

Worked on Bdellovibrio motility using microfluidics.  Veronika is currently an NSF graduate research fellow in marine biogeochemistry at UC Santa Barbara.

Diana Seminario-McCormick

MHC '14

Working on interaction of DNA lesions with proteins.

Hube Zahra Taqi

MHC '13, Chemistry

Zahra studied Bdellovibrio behavior in biofilms.

Emma Hughes

MHC '13, High Honors in Chemistry

Emma studied Bdellovibrio motility using microfluidics and fluorescence microscopy. Emma is currently working at the National Institutes of Health.

Leah Huiting

MHC '13, High Honors in Chemistry

Wrote her honors thesis on the effect of the thymine dimer on duplex DNA.  Her thesis work was published in December 2013 in the journal Biochemistry.  Leah is currently a Ph.D. student at Boston University.

Grace (Bauer) Ferris

Mount Holyoke College, Chemistry '08

Wellesley College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry, 2013-2014

Dr. Ferris is a postdoc in the lab who is supervising the syntheis of DNA-binding molecules.  She earned her Ph.D. at Boston College and her A.B. at Mount Holyoke, where she was an awesome PLUMS mentor.

Caitlin Cain

Caitlin CainWellesley College, undeclared '17

Caitlin is investigating the stability of individual DNA molecules using single molecule techniques, in collaboration with Dr. Micah McCauley and Professor Mark Williams at Northeastern U

 

 

Lucy Ortega

Wellesley, Undeclared '17

Lucy is examining guanine oxidation in DNA.

Sally Ruderman

Wellesley, Biological Chemistry '16

Sally is synthesizing DNA-binding transition metal complexes.