Our Faculty and Staff


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Jump to our Post-Doctoral Associates, Emeritus, or our Staff.


Burnap 1

Robert L. Burnap, Ph.D.

Regents Professor
PhD, 1987, Biology, University of California Santa Barbara
230 Henry Bellmon Research Center
Tel: 405-744-7445
Email: rob.burnap@okstate.edu 

Burnap Lab, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

We research the oxygenic photosynthetic mechanism in cyanobacteria. We have projects looking into the catalytic capabilities of specific photosynthetic enzymes and projects examining the adaptive mechanisms that enable cyanobacteria to thrive and survive diverse environments. The projects address basic scientific questions as well as applied questions relevant to solar energy, green chemical production, and CO2 mitigation. Hypotheses are addressed using advanced molecular genetic and bioinformatic tools to reprogram the DNA sequences encoding specific molecules and pathways. To evaluate the hypothesized changes due to the genetic reprograming, we utilize a variety of biochemical and biophysical to probe the targeted molecules and pathways.  

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Matthew Cabeen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
PhD, 2010, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Yale University
Office: 416 LSE
Tel: 405-744-6652
Email: matthew.cabeen@okstate.edu


We use advanced microfluidics and live-cell microscopy together with traditional microbiological techniques to learn how bacteria sense and respond to stress, communicate with one another, and work together to build microbial communities. We work with both the model species Bacillus subtilis and the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Tyrrell Conway, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Tyrrell Conway, Ph.D. (Department Head)

Regents Professor
PhD, 1984, Microbiology, Oklahoma State University
307 Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-6243
Email: tconway@okstate.edu 

Conway Lab, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

We study the physiological state of colonized bacteria in the mammalian large intestine. With NIH funding we characterize the symbiotic relationship between E. coli and anaerobes that degrade complex polysaccharides, which in turn release simple sugars to cross-feed E. coli. The major goal of this project is to determine mechanisms of nutrient competition between E. coli strains in a mouse model of intestinal colonization. In addition, we develop intuitive displays and computational environments for functional genomics data analysis. Check out the E. coli Gene Expression Database.   

Mostafa Elshahed, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Mostafa Elshahed, Ph.D.

PhD, 2001, Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
226 Venture 1
Tel: 405-744-3005
Email: mostafa@okstate.edu 

Elshahed Lab Banner

We are an environmental microbiology group with broad research interests. We are active on multiple research fronts, spanning all three domains of life. Currently, our work is focused on two main research areas: Environmental genomics of novel yet-uncultured microbial phyla, and diversity, metabolism, genomics, and biotechnological potential of the anaerobic gut fungi. Please visit the research section for additional details.   

Babu Fathepure, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Babu Z. Fathepure, Ph.D.

PhD, 1985, Enviornmental Microbiology, Indian Institue of Science
421 Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-7764
Email: babu.fathepure@okstate.edu 

Fathepure Lab Banner

Research in Babu Fathepure’ s lab focuses on aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation petroleum hydrocarbons in hypersaline environments. We use genome-based tools to characterize hydrocarbon degrading microbial communities and their metabolic capacity. We seek to isolate novel hydrocarbon degrading bacteria and archaea and study their ecology, physiology and molecular mechanisms of hydrocarbon degradation at elevated salinity. Also, our lab explores degradation of plant lignin using bacteria and fungi for enhanced saccharification and efficient biofuel production. We use genomic and proteomic approach to understand lignin-active genes and proteins (enzymes) involved in the delignification of plant biomass.  

Hadwiger 2

Jeffrey Hadwiger, Ph.D.

PhD, 1989, Biology, University of California Santa Barbara
402A Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-9771
Email: jeff.hadwiger@okstate.edu 

Hadwiger lab banner

Eukaryotic cells respond to a wide variety of external signals that can regulate cellular growth, division, differentiation, migration, and function. Many of these signals are detected by G protein coupled receptors stimulate specific cell responses. The goals of Dr. Hadwiger's research program are to identify the molecular components of G protein mediated signal transduction pathways and to elucidate how these components act together to transmit signals important for developmental processes such as cellular migration and differentiation. Dr. Hadwiger's laboratory has investigated signaling pathways that regulate the foraging and development of Dictyostelium. This model organism provides an excellent system for the genetic and biochemical characterization of cell movement, cell differentiation, and cell-cell signaling. The research in Dr. Hadwiger's lab has provided insight into proteins and mechanisms that are important for signal transduction pathway specificity.   

Hoff 1

Wouter D. Hoff, Ph.D.

PhD, 1995, Microbiology/Chemistry, University of Amsterdam
230A Henry Bellmon Research Center
Tel: 405-744-4449
Email: wouter.hoff@okstate.edu 

Hoff Lab, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

We use photoreceptor proteins as model systems for studying protein folding, function, and signaling, and have started to explore biotechnological applications for these proteins. Our long-term goal is to uncover fundamental principles in these processes, and to develop biosensors with useful applications. In addition, we are developing novel highly sensitive, specific, and fast biodetection devices based on engineered proteins that allow a direct optical readout.   

Erika Lutter, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Erika Lutter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
PhD, 2009, Bacterial Pathogenesis, University of Calgary
102A Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-2532
Email: erika.lutter@okstate.edu 

Lutter Lab Banner

Our lab is interested in exploring infections at mucosal sites with two main research areas: host-pathogen interactions involving Chlamydia trachomatis and polymicrobial interactions of cystic fibrosis infections.   

Randy Morgenstein, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Randy Morgenstein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
PhD, 2011, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Emory University
420 Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-5126
Email: randy.morgenstein@okstate.edu

Morgenstein Lab, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

The cytoskeleton is conserved in all kingdoms of life.  My interests lie in understanding how the bacterial cytoskeleton is used to control many different aspects of bacterial physiology.  This ranges from the control of the cell shape to chemotaxis.  


Marianna Patrauchan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Departmental Equity Advocate
PhD, 1995, Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology, Kiev
304A Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-8148
Email: m.patrauchan@okstate.edu 

Visit the Patrauchan lab

Our lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of calcium (Ca2+) signaling in bacterial physiology. Since Ca2+ regulates essential processes in eukaryotes, even slight abnormalities in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis are associated with many human diseases, including those caused by bacterial infections. We aim to characterize Ca2+ signal transduction cascades regulating virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen causing severe chronic infections.   

Rolf Prade, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Rolf A. Prade, Ph.D.

PhD, 1987, Biochemistry, University of São Paulo
409 Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-7522
Email: rolf.prade@okstate.edu 

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My scientific interest emphasizes biological views of how and why simple eukaryotes decide to convert one functional molecule into another. Currently we are involved in a metaproteogenomic effort to determine biomass degrading enzymes which function at extreme high temperatures (95 0C). These enzymes are useful to further engineer crop plants (corn) the biomass source for biofuel production.   


Karen Wozniak, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
PhD, 2004, Microbiology Immunology & Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
406 Life Science East
Tel: 405-744-7914
Email: karen.wozniak@okstate.edu

Our lab is interested in studying the role of innate immune cells in protection against fungal infections, particularly their role in protection against the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, which is the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Our current research focuses understanding the mechanisms of interaction between C. neoformans and dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, and understanding their role in the initial control of this infection.

Noha Youssef, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Noha H. Youssef, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
PhD, 2006, Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
225A Venture 1
Tel: 405-744-1192
Email: noha@okstate.edu 

Youssef lab banner

Our lab is interested in exploring the metabolic diversities in single cell genomes of not-yet cultured Bacteria and Archaea. We analyze single-amplified-genomes (SAGs) of candidate phyla including the candidate bacterial phyla WS3 "Latescibacteria," and WWE1 "Cloacimonetes," and the candidate archaeal superphylum DPANN. We are also interested in studying the evolutionary history of the Neocallimastigomycota, the fungal phylum of the anaerobic gut fungi (AGF). Currently, we are conducting a pan genomic survey of all 6 known AGF genera, and utilizing the data for an extensive phylogenomic analysis of this phylum, especially for resolving the evolutionary history of Neocallimastigomycota within the fungal tree of life.   

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Kim Burnham, Ph.D.

Email: kim.burnham@okstate.edu

Bob Miller

Bob Miller, Ph.D.

Email: bob.miller@okstate.edu

Ed Shaw

Ed Shaw, Ph.D.

Email: ed.shaw@pcom.edu

Dr. Vijay

Moses Vijayakumar, Ph.D.

Email: moses.vijayakumar@okstate.edu

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Jerreme Jackson, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University

Jerreme Jackson, Ph.D.: Conway Lab Group

"I’m interested in the molecular mechanisms mediating E. coli colonization of the mammalian intestine, as well as the response of the intestinal epithelium to pathogenic attack and the loss of integrity."

Recently moved to University of Northern Iowa. Best wishes Jerreme!
Email: jerreme.jackson@uni.edu


Aya Kubo, Ph.D.: Patrauchan Lab Group

"I am interested in the molecular mechanisms of calcium signaling in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and how it regulates host infectivity."

303 Life Sciences East
Tel: 405-744-5758    Email: aya.kubo@okstate.edu 

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Teresa Blakely, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University


Teresa Blakley - Assistant Laboratory Technician

Teresa is responsible for culture media and  lab preparation for the Microbiology department. Teresa assists Ms. Budd with the MICR 2132, 4012, and 4112 lab courses. Teresa is in charge of maintaining bacterial cultures that are used in the various laboratory courses offered by the department.

Contact Teresa:
Tel:  405-744-7180     Email: teresa.blakley@okstate.edu 

Connie Budd, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University


Connie Budd - Director of Undergraduate Microbiology Labs

Connie serves the department as the coordinator for all 12 sections of our Intro to Micro labs (MICR 2132).  Additionally, she is the manager of all undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants for these labs. Connie is in charge of media and chemical preparation for all microbiology laboratory courses.  

Contact Connie:
Tel:  405-744-9950     Email:  connie.budd@okstate.edu 

 Alice 3


Alice Bules - Sr. Financial Support Assistant

Alice is the Departmental Acquisitions Officer.  Alice maintains and prepares accurate financial records/statements for all in the department.  She supports academic and research activities to the faculty and advisor.  Alice assists with graduate student admissions/fellowship committees.

Contact Alice: 
Tel:   405-744-6243    Email: abules@okstate.edu

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Marty Coldiron  - Administrative Support Contributor

Marty is our Human Resources Specialist, handling all needs for the department and its students. Additionally, Marty is the coordinator of all travel needs/requests for faculty and students wishing to represent the department at conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.  Marty handles various graduate student pre-enrollment needs. 

Contact Marty:
Tel: 405-744-7180     Email: marty.coldiron@okstate.edu  

Dana Hatter, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University


Dana Hatter - Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Dana serves as the department's advisor to microbiology majors and minors.  She is in charge of all undergraduate academic enrollment issues and helps students navigate their degree requirements to ensure graduation in four years. Students consult with Dana for vaulable insight into resources both in and outside the department.  

Contact Dana:
Tel:  405-744-1387     Email: dana.hatter@okstate.edu 

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Garry Marley, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Dr. Marley is the Senior Coordinator of the MICR 4012 and 4112 Molecular Microbiology Laboratory courses.  Dr. Marley and his courses enable microbiology Majors to learn the research skills needed for success in science and medicine.

Contact Dr. Marley:
Tel:  405-744-6411     Email:  garry.marley@okstate.edu 

haley mcmahon


Haley McMahon - Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Haley serves as advisor to Microbiology and Economics majors.  She helps students navigate degree requirements to ensure graduation in four years. Students consult with Haley for vaulable insight into resources both in and outside the department.  

Contact Haley:
Tel:  405-744-xxxx     Email: hmcmaho@okstate.edu 


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