Meet Our Grad Students

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is proud to have an amazing group of graduate students.  Below, you can meet some of our graduate students and see why they decided to pursue a graduate education in microbiology.  

MICHELLE Michelle King: Ph.D. Student, Patrauchan Lab
From Choctaw, Oklahoma.

“It is fascinating how an organism so small can manipulate and utilize the environment around them to thrive. I love to think how eukaryotes evolved from these organism and the adaptations that had to take place.”

Nick 2 Nick Kuburich: Ph.D. Student, Hadwiger Lab
From Springdale, Arkansas

“Cell biology is a topic that has continued to fascinate me due to the ability for stochastic processes to be carried out in an ordered, autonomous manner with a high fidelity in a microscopic space.”


Jorge Lightfoot: Ph.D. Candidate, Prade Lab
From Carbondale, Illinois

“Researching and learning about cell biology gives me the same feeling as thinking about the size of the universe. While it is intimidating to think about the unknown, it is also exciting to know that there is so much to learn.”


Rawan Ghassan: Ph.D. Student, Lutter Lab
Palestinian-American Descent 

"Genetically speaking, we are only 1% human and 99% bacterial.  Microorganisms matter in everyday life!!"

Biraj 1

Biraj Kayastha: Ph.D. Student, Patrauchan Lab
From Bhaktapur, Nepal

"It is breathtaking to think how microbes present themselves as single cell models for studying various life processes."


Cynthia Bejar: Accelerated Master's Student, Burnham Lab
From Mustang, Oklahoma

"I found it provides me with a more in-depth understanding of a facet of science that will complement the knowledge I learn in medical school."


Neil Miller: Ph.D. Student, Burnap Lab
From Stillwater, Oklahoma

"The utilization of microorganisms to accomplish a desired process fascinates me and I would like to contribute to understanding how those processes function." 


Melissa Brewer: Ph.D. Student, Shaw Lab
From: Weatherford, Oklahoma

"I've been interested in research, especially pathogens and the immune system since a very young age. Doing research here allows me to study interesting interactions between intracellular pathogens proteins and their host cell."


Ibrahim Farag: Ph.D. Student, Elshahed Lab
From Cairo, Egypt

"99% of microorganisms were totally overlooked, and known as yet-uncultured microbes. This intrigued me to analyze the genomes of these microbes and try to understand their ecological roles in different habitats."


Radwa Hanafy: Ph.D. Student, Youssef Lab
From Cairo, Egypt

"Anaerobic fungi have unique cellulolytic capabilities and are considered to be promising for biofuel production. I am interested in harnessing their powers by studying their genomes and metabolic capabilities."


Prakash Sah: Ph.D. Student, Lutter Lab
From: Birgunj, Nepal

"Intracellular survival is intriguing; it's amazing how a tiny creature can manipulate the host to its own benefit."


Sharmily Khanam: Ph.D. Candidate, Patrauchan Lab

"It always fascinates me how the extraordinary genetic plasticity of the microorganisms allows them to interact with their complex environment and adapt accordingly."