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Recent Graduates

Rui Xiao

MS, Microbiology

Rui Xiao

Thesis:
"Symbiont Regulated Host DNA Methylation in Euprymna scolopes - Vibrio fischeri Symbiosis"

Degrees:
MS, 2018, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2015, University of Oregon, OR

Advisor:
Bethany Rader


Evan Landers

MS, Microbiology

Evan Landers

Thesis:
"Characterization of the Chlamydial Partner Switching Mechanism Using in vitro, and in silico Approaches"

Degrees:
MS, 2018, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2012, Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University of Lousiana

Advisor:
Derek Fisher


Katie Melton

MS, Microbiology

Katie Melton

Field:
Beneficial Host-Microbe Interactions

Degrees:
MS, 2017, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2011, Tennessee Wesleyan College

Advisor:
Bethany Rader


Sondus Kahil

MS, Microbiology

Sondus Kahil

Thesis:
"Systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice per-orally infected and vaccinated with Chlamydia muridarum"

Degrees:
MS, 2017, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2011, Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca


Savannah Howe

PhD, Microbiology

Savannah Howe

Dissertation:
"Internalization and immunogenicity of mucosally-administered soluble and particulate antigens"

Degrees:
PhD, 2017, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2011, Biology, Tennessee Wesleyan College

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca

Publications:

  • Abrams JS, Howe SE, Becerra N, Kohli P, Konjufca V. 2016. Immunogenicity of Antigen-Conjugated Biodegradable Polydiacetylene Liposomes Administered Mucosally. Biomed Mater Res A. Oct 17. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35938. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed link
  • Howe SE, Sowa G, Konjufca V. 2016. Systemic and Mucosal Antibody Responses to Soluble and Nanoparticle-Conjugated Antigens Administered Intranasally. Antibodies, 5(4), 20; doi:10.3390/antib5040020. Link
  • Howe, S.E. and Konjufca, V.H. 2015. Per-Oral Immunization with Antigen -Conjugated Nanoparticles followed by Sub-Cutaneous Boosting Immunization Induces Long-Lasting Mucosal and Systemic Antibody Responses in Mice. PLoS ONE 10(2):e0118067. doi: 10.1371/journal .pone.0118067. Link
  • Howe, S.E. and Konjufca, V.H. 2014. Protein-coated nanoparticles are internalized by the epithelial cells of the female reproductive tract and induce systemic and mucosal immune responses. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114601. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114601. Link
  • Howe, S.E., Lickteig, D.J., Plunkett, K.N., Ryerse, J.S. and Konjufca, V. 2014. The uptake of soluble and particulate antigens by epithelial cells in the mouse small intestine. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86656. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086656. Link


Laura Stevens

MS, Microbiology

Laura Stevens

Thesis:
"The Uptake of Particulate Antigens by Epithelial Cells in the Bursa Of Fabricius and the Generation of Humoral Immune Responses"

Degrees:
MS, 2017, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2011, Molecular Biology, Grove City College, Grove City, PA

Advisor:
Vjollca Konjufca


Vincent Colantonio

MS, MIcrobiology

Vincent Colantonio

Thesis:
"On The Pathogenesis Of Soybean Cyst Nematode and Mechanisms of
Resistance by Soybean"

Degrees:
MS, 2017, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Southern Illinois University
BS, 2015, Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Advisor:
David Lightfoot/Douglas Fix


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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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


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:

  • 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


From the years 2008 to 2013, a total of 19 graduates recieved degrees from the Department of Microbiology