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Recent Graduates

Spencer Hatfield

Spencer Hatfield

Thesis:
"Establishing Methods for Protein Purification and Activity Analysis for Pkn1 and Pkn5 from Chlamydia trachomatis"

Degrees:
MS, 2016, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2011, General Health Science, Purdue University Carbondale

Advisor:
Derek Fisher


Nicole Lowden

Nicole Lowden

Thesis:
"Developing Genetic Tools to Explore Pathogenesis of Chlamydia trachomatis"

Degrees:
MS, 2015, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2013, Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Derek Fisher

Publications:

  • Lowden, N.M., Yeruva, L., Johnson, C.M., Bowlin, A.K., Fisher, D.J.2015. Use of aminoglycoside 3′ adenyltransferase as a selection marker for Chlamydia trachomatis intron-mutagenesis and in vivo intron stability. BMC Research Notes. 8:570. Link
  • Thompson, C.C., Griffiths, C., Nicod, S.S., Lowden, N.M., Wigneshweraraj, S., Fisher, D.J., McClure, M.O. 2015. The Rsb phosphoregulatory network controls availability of the primary sigma factor in Chlamydia trachomatis and influences the kinetics of growth and development. PLoS Pathogens. 11(8): e1005125. Link


Kristin Rosche

Kristin Rosche

Thesis:
"Infection with Salmonella Typhimurium Results in Destruction of the Splenic Tissue Architecture and Disruption of the Proportion and Distribution of Immune Cells"

Degrees:
MS, 2015, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2012, Biology, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Rosche, K.L., Aljasham, A.T., Kipfer, J.N., Piatkowski, B.T. and Konjufca, V. 2015. Infection with Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Leads to Increased Proportions of F4/80+ Red Pulp Macrophages and Decreased Proportions of B and T Lymphocytes in the Spleen. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 12;10(6):e0130092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130092. Link


Aamal Al-Saadi

Aamal Al-Saadi

Dissertation:
"The Role of the Partner Switching Mechanism in Regulation of the Chlamydial Developmental Cycle "

Degrees:
PhD, 2015, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
MS, 2003, Microbiology, University of Al-Qadisiya, Iraq
BS, 2000, Biology, University of Al-Qadisiya, Iraq

Advisor:
Derek Fisher


Aaron Babbitt

Aaron Babbitt

Thesis:
"Molecular Profiling of the Microbial Community and Sulfate-reducing Bacteria Associated with Six Pilot Scale Passive Sulfate-reducing Bioreactors"

Degrees:
MS, 2015, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BA, 2013, Biology & Molecular Biology, Coe College

Advisor:
Kelly Bender


Alanoud Aljasham

Alanoud Aljasham

Thesis:
"Transport Of Salmonella Typhimurium in ihe Murine Spleen"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2009, Molecular Biology, Kuwait University

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Rosche, K.L., Aljasham, A.T., Kipfer, J.N., Piatkowski, B.T. and Konjufca, V. 2015. Infection with Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Leads to Increased Proportions of F4/80+ Red Pulp Macrophages and Decreased Proportions of B and T Lymphocytes in the Spleen. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 12;10(6):e0130092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130092. Link


Stephanie Layton

Stephanie Layton

Thesis:
"Identifying Kinase/Substrate Interactions in Chlamydia trachomatis"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2011, Animal Science, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Derek Fisher


Juan Svencionis

Juan Svencionis

Thesis:
"The Role of RNAses and Temperature in Capsule Production and Regulation in Streptococcus pyogenes"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2011, Biology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Advisor:
KyuHong Cho

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Cho, K.H., Wright J., Svencionis, J. and Kim, J.H. 2013. The prince and the pauper. Which one is real? The problem of secondary mutation during mutagenesis in Streptococcus pyogenes. Virulence. 4(8), 1-2. Link
  • Tesorero, R.A., Yu, N., Wright J.O., Svencionis, J.P., Cheng Q., Kim , J.H. and Cho, K.H. 2013. Novel regulatory small RNAs in Streptococcus pyogenes. PLOS ONE. 8(6):e64021. doi:10.1371/Journal.pone.0064021. Link


Cayla Johnson

Cayla Johnson

Thesis:
"Developing a Tool for Site-specific Gene Inactivation in Chlamydia"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BA, 2011, Biology, University of Missouri Kansas City

Advisor:
Derek Fisher

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Lowden, N.M., Yeruva, L., Johnson, C.M., Bowlin, A.K., Fisher, D.J. 2015. Use of aminoglycoside 3′ adenyltransferase as a selection marker for Chlamydia trachomatis intron-mutagenesis and in vivo intron stability. BMC Research Notes. 8:570. Link
  • Johnson, C.M. and Fisher, D.J. 2013. Site-specific, insertional inactivation of incA in Chlamydia trachomatis using a Group II intron. PLoS ONE 8(12): e83989. PMID: 24391860. Link


Jordan Wright

Jordan Wright

Thesis:
"Capsule Thermoregulation and Non-coding RNA in Streptococcus pyogenes"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2011, Microbiology, Southern lllinois University, Carbondale
BA, 2006, Psychology, Southern lllinois University, Carbondale

Advisor:
KyuHong Cho

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Cho, K.H., Wright J., Svencionis, J. and Kim, J.H. 2013. The prince and the pauper. Which one is real? The problem of secondary mutation during mutagenesis in Streptococcus pyogenes. Virulence. 4(8), 1-2. Link
  • Tesorero, R.A., Yu, N., Wright J.O., Svencionis, J.P., Cheng Q., Kim , J.H. and Cho, K.H. 2013. Novel regulatory small RNAs in Streptococcus pyogenes. PLOS ONE. 8(6):e64021. doi:10.1371/Journal.pone.0064021. Link
  • Kang, S.O., Wright J.O., Tesorero, R.A., Lee, H., Beall, B. and Cho, K.H. 2012. Thermoregulation of Capsule Production by Streptococcus pyogenes. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37367. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037367. Link


Megan Kempher

Megan Kempher

Dissertation:
"Characterization of a Dual Functioning Sam-I Riboswitch and trans Acting Small RNA in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough"

Degrees:

PhD, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
MS, 2010, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2008, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois

Advisor:
Kelly Bender

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Kempher, M.L. and Madigan, M.T. 2012. Phylogeny and photoheterotrophy in the acidophilic phototrophic purple bacterium Rhodoblastus acidophilus. Arch. Microbiol. 194:567-74. Link


Angela Ko

Angela Ko

Thesis:
"Characterization of Pattern-forming Paenibacillus Species Strain Rb14b-m"

Degrees:
MS, 2014, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2007, Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
John Haddock


Shaer Islam

Shaer Islam

Thesis:
"Isolation and characterization of a new bacterium from a shallow hydrothermal vent in Tutum Bay, Papua New Guinea"

Degrees:
MS, 2013, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University;
BS, 2008, Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Advisor:
Antje Rusch


Charlie Pugh

Charlie Pugh

Thesis:
"Effect of substrate composition on microbial diversity and efficieny of in situ pilot-scale passive sulfate-reducing bioreactors treating acid mine drainage"

Degrees:
MS, 2013, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2010, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Kelly Bender

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Burns, A.S., Pugh, C.W., Segid, Y.T., Behum, P.T., Lefticariu, L. and Bender, K.S. 2012. Performance and microbial community dynamics of a sulfate-reducing bioreactor treating coal generated acid mine drainage. Biodegradation 23(3):415-29. PubMed link
  • Behum, P.T., Lefticariu, L., Bender, K.S., Segid, Y.T., Burns, A.S. and Pugh, C.W. 2011. Remediation of coal-mine drainage by a sulfate-reducing bioreactor: A case study from the Illinois coal basin, USA. Appl. Geochem. 26: S162-S166. 


Breanna Wham

Breanna Wham

Thesis:
"Ecology of sulfur cycling in flooded strip mines"

Degrees:
MS, 2013, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2010, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Antje Rusch


Saara Mansouri

Saara Mansouri

Dissertation:
"Identification and characterization of pathogenicity genes in Fusarium virguliforme, the causal agent of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybean"

Degrees:
PhD, 2012, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
MS, 2005, Plant and Soil Science, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2003, Plant Protection Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran

Advisor:
Ahmad Fakhoury / Laurie Achenbach


Andrew Burns

Andrew Burns

Dissertation:
"Identification and characterization of novel small RNAs in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough"

Degrees:
PhD, 2012, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2005, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois

Advisor:
Kelly Bender

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Burns, A.S., Pugh, C.W., Segid, Y.T., Behum, P.T., Lefticariu, L. and Bender, K.S. 2012. Performance and microbial community dynamics of a sulfate-reducing bioreactor treating coal generated acid mine drainage. Biodegradation 23(3):415-29. PubMed link
  • Behum, P.T., Lefticariu, L., Bender, K.S., Segid, Y.T., Burns, A.S. and Pugh, C.W. 2011. Remediation of coal-mine drainage by a sulfate-reducing bioreactor: A case study from the Illinois coal basin, USA. Appl. Geochem. 26: S162-S166.


Mark Murskyj

Mark Murskyj

Thesis:
"The uptake and transport of nanoparticles in the murine small intestine"

Degrees:
MS, 2012, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2009, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca


Nicole Jones

Nicole Jones

Thesis:
"Nitrifying bacterial abundance in relation to nitrogen and phosphorus compounds in wetlands"

Degrees:
MS, 2012, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2007, Biology, University of Illinois at Springfield

Advisor:
Antje Rusch


Rafael Tesorero

Rafael Tesorero

Thesis:
"Experimental validation for computationally predicted small RNAs of Streptococcus pyogenes"

Degrees:
MS, 2011, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2007, Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
KyuHong Cho


Jake Chambers

Jake Chambers

Dissertation:
"Identification and characterization of the Hfq protein and small RNAs in Francisella novicida"

Degrees:
PhD, 2011, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2005, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois

Advisor:
Kelly Bender

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Chambers, J.R. and Bender, K.S. 2011. The RNA chaperone Hfq is important for growth and stress tolerance in Francisella novicida. PLoS One 6: e19797. PubMed link
  • Morrone, D., Chambers, J., Lowry, L., Kim, G., Anterola, A., Bender, K. and Peters, R.J. 2009. Gibberellin biosynthesis in bacteria: separate ent-copalyl diphosphate and ent-kaurene synthases in Bradyrhizobium japonicum. FEBS Lett. 583:475-480. PubMed link


Ming Gao

Ming Gao

Dissertation:
"Identification and analysis of proteins and genes responsible for microbial anaerobic nitrate-dependent iron oxidation and overexpression in E. coli of perchlorate reductase from dissimilatory perchlorate-reducing bacteria"

Degrees:
PhD, 2011, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2006, Life Sciences, Wuhan University, PRC

Advisor:
Laurie Achenbach


Nastassia Jones

Nastassia Jones

Dissertation:
"Investigating nitrate-dependent humic substance oxidation and in-service K-12 teachers' understanding of microbiology"

Degrees:
PhD, 2011, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
MS, 2007, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2005, Biology, Albany State University

Advisor:
Laurie Achenbach


Samantha Sellers

Samantha Sellers

Thesis:
"Characterization of two distinct hfq genes in Burkholderia cenocepacia HI2424"

Degrees:
MS, 2010, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2006, Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida

Advisor:
Kelly Bender


Megan Kempher

Megan Kempher

Thesis:
Characterization of newly isolated and established strains of the acidophilic phototrophic bacterium Rhodoblastus acidophilus

Degrees:
MS, 2010, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2008, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois

Advisor:
Michael Madigan


Siebert Tregoning

Siebert Tregoning

Thesis:
"Isolation and characterization of halophilic heterotrophic bacteria from Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica"

Degrees:
MS, 2010, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2006, Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Michael Madigan


Rikhi Gon

Rikhi Gon

Dissertation:
"Identification of genes induced under anaerobic benzene-oxidizing conditions in Dechloromonas aromatica strain RCB"

Degrees:
PhD, 2010, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry
MS, 2004, Microbiology, University of Pune, India
BS, 2002, Microbiology, University of Pune, India

Advisor:
Laurie Achenbach


Stacey Taft

Stacey Taft

Dissertation:
"Identification and analysis of genes involved in anaerobic nitrate-dependent iron oxidation"

Degree:
PhD, 2009, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2004, Biology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Advisor:
Laurie Achenbach


Michelle Galeas

Michelle Galeas

Thesis:
"Thermoregulation of capsule production in Streptococcus pyogenes strain HSC5"

Degree:
MS, 2009, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2005, Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo School of Medicine, Santo Domingo

Advisor:
KyuHong Cho


Jamila Saidou Hangadoumbo

Jamila Saidou Hangadoumbo

Thesis:
"Epitope stability in single chain trimers of a major histocompatibility complex class I molecule"

Degree:
MS, 2009, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2004, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
John Martinko


Marie Asao

Marie Asao

Dissertation:
"Diversity of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in alkaline environments"

Degree:
PhD, 2008, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BA, 2003, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University

Advisor:
Michael Madigan

Publications:
Articles in Professional Journals

  • Asao, M., Takaichi, S. and Madigan, M.T. 2012. Amino acid-assimilating phototrophic heliobacteria from soda lake environments: Heliorestis acidaminivorans sp. nov. and 'Candidatus Heliomonas lunata'. Extremophiles 164:585-95. PubMed link
  • Asao, M., Pinkart, H.C. and Madigan M.T. 2011. Diversity of extremophilic purple phototrophic bacteria in Soap Lake, a Central Washington (USA) Soda Lake. Environ Microbiol. 2011 Aug;13(8):2146-57. PubMed link
  • Kulp, T.R., Hoeft, S.E., Asao, M., Madigan, M.T., Hollibaugh, J.T., Fisher, J.C., Stolz, J.F., Culbertson , C.W., Miller, L.G., and Oremland, R.S. 2008. Arsenic (III) fuels anoxygenic photosynthesis in hot spring biofilms from Mono Lake, California. Science 321:967-970.PubMed link
  • Asao, M. and Madigan, M.T. 2008. The Family Heliobacteriaceae. In: W. Whitman (ed), Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, 2nd edition, pp. 625-631.
  • Asao, M., Takaichi, S. and Madigan, M.T. 2007. Thiocapsa imhoffii, nov. sp., an alkaliphilic purple sulfur bacterium of the family Chromatiaceae from Soap Lake, Washington (USA). Arch. Microbiol. 188:665-675.PubMed link
  • Asao, M., Jung, D.O., Achenbach, L.A. and Madigan, M.T. 2006. Heliorestis convoluta, sp. nov., a coiled alkaliphilic heliobacterium from the Wadi El Natroun, Egypt. Extremophiles. 10:403-410.PubMed link


Manasi Benurwar

Thesis:
"Leading strand DNA synthesis increases the frequency of UV-induced mutations in Escherichia coli"

Degrees:
MS, 2008, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2003, Microbiology; MSc, 2005, Biodiversity, University of Pune, India

Advisor:
Douglas Fix


Lindsay Mondino

Lindsay Mondino

Thesis:
"Isolation and characterization of cold-active heterotrophic bacteria from Lakes Bonney and Vida, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica"

Degrees:
MS, 2008, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
BS, 2006, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Advisor:
Michael Madigan