Meet Our Graduate 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.  

Ph.D. Students:

 

Damilare Ajagbe 1

Name: Damilare Ajagbe

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Fathepure Lab

Hometown: Ibadan, Nigeria

"Microbiome and Bioremediation of Oil-Contaminated Hypersaline Environments"

 

Imam Alam 1

Name: Imam Taskin Alam

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Beckmann Lab

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

“I am studying the microbiome involved in the formation and oxidation of the greenhouse gas methane in hypersaline environment to unveil how they impact the global biogeochemical processes.”

ramee aranda

Name: Ramee Grace Aranda

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Hadwiger Lab

Hometown: Eva, Oklahoma

"Our lab studies cellular signalling and signal transduction in the soil-dwelling social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. My project investigates the functional regions of the atypical MAPK Erk2 through chimeragenesis. This research will give insight into the function of atypical MAPKs in human immune cells and other orthologs."

empty headshot 300

Name: Savannah Beakley

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Wozniak Lab

Hometown: 

 

empty headshot 300

Name: Brittney Conn

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: French Lab

Hometown: 

 

empty headshot 300

Name: Noopur Dasgupta

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: 

Hometown: 

 

Rosalie Dohmen 250

Name: Rosalie Dohmen

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Hoff Lab

Hometown: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

"I am reconstructing ancestral proteins to uncover protein structure-function relationships by using the photoactive yellow protein as a model system."

Sudhir 1

Name: Sudhir Doranga

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Conway Lab

Hometown: Syangja, Nepal

"My interest lies in understanding the mechanisms of competition between microorganisms in nature"

Saher Fatima 1

Name: Saher Fatima

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Hadwiger Lab

Hometown: 

 

Rebekkah Friske 250

Name: Rebekkah Friske

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Prade Lab

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

I am currently researching fungal extracellular vesicles (EVs) and trying to determine what triggers EV release in filamentous fungi, as well as the genes and proteins that regulate the mechanisms of action for fungal extracellular vesicles, including how they originate in the cell, how they cross the cell wall, and their overall purpose when reaching the extracellular space."

empty headshot 300

Name: Samikshya Giri

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: 

Hometown: 

 

chris hamm 250

Name: Christopher Hamm

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Cabeen Lab

Hometown: San Jose, California

“I study how bacteria are able to sense stress in their environment, and then mount an appropriate response in order to survive encountering those stressors.”

empty headshot 300

Name: Brenden Heise

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: French Lab

Hometown:

 

Christian Holcomb 250

Name: Christian Holcomb

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Lutter Lab

Hometown: 

 

Kenzie Hull 1

Name: Kenzie Hull

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Patrauchan Lab

Hometown: Yukon, Oklahoma

"I research calcium signaling in Pseudomonas aeruginosa."

clark jett 250

Name: Clark Jett

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Burnap Lab

Hometown: Kersey, Colorado

"I research carbon concentrating mechanisms in Cyanobacteria."

Mamie Kannon 250

Name: Mamie Kannon

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Mitra Lab

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

"My research in Dr. Mitra’s lab involves studying iron acquisition in Pseudomonas aeruginosa."

Rabindra Khadka 250

Name: Rabindra Khadka

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Cabeen Lab

Hometown: Dhangadhi, Nepal

 

Deepali Luthra 250

Name: Deepali Luthra

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Lutter Lab

Hometown: Ludhiana, Punjab, India

“Researching to unravel the mysteries of interactions of the pathogen with host cells stimulates curiosity in me, to learn more about the intricate pathogenesis of a disease."

Suman Maharjan 250

Name: Suman Maharjan

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Morgenstein Lab

Hometown: 

 

Chelsea Murphy 1

Name: Chelsea Murphy

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Youssef Lab

Hometown: Allen, Texas

"My research focuses on leveraging a variety of bioinformatic techniques to investigate the ecological distribution, metabolism, physiology, and phylogeny of both unusual as well as novel organisms found in the environment."

Ayesha Nair 250

Name: Ayesha Nair

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Wozniak Lab

Hometown: 

 

BenjaminNelson250

Name: Benjamin Nelson

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Wozniak Lab

Hometown: 

 

Somalisa Pan 250

Name: Somalisa Pan

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Cabeen Lab

Hometown: Asanol, West Bengal, India

"It was during my undergraduate studies, I fell in love with Microbiology as a subject. I was fascinated by the fact that things that we can’t even see with our naked eyes, can have such a huge impact on our lives. Keeping aside all the industrial applications of Microbiology, microbes in general play an important role in all sorts of disease development; some of them curable, while some of them incurable. Thus, studying them at the molecular level, to understand their physiology and pave a way towards finding a therapeutic cure triggers my interest as a graduate student."

Carrie Pratt 250

Name: Carrie Pratt

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Elshahed Lab

Hometown: Kollweiler, Germany

“I am working to isolate and characterize novel anaerobic fungal strains from herbivore digestive tracts."

Tarosha Salpadoru 250

Name: Tarosha Salpadoru

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Patrauchan Lab

Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka

"I am interested in uncovering calcium-induced antibiotic resistance mechanisms in the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. By studying these mechanisms, I hope to discover novel antimicrobial targets to help combat diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria."

Ross Walker 250

Name: Ross Walker

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Burnap Lab

Hometown: 

 

ArchanaYadav250

Name: Archana Yadav

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Elshahed Lab

Hometown: Janakpur, Nepal

"I am working to uncover the metabolic and evolutionary aspects of different uncultured microbes using bioinformatics and genomic techniques. Its fascinating to know how every microorganism has a role in environment they thrive in."

amal yahya 250

Name: Amal Yahya

Program: Ph.D. Student

Lab: Cabeen Lab

Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

"I have always been an inquisitive child and "why" was my favorite word! Microbiology fascinates me because it never fails to fuel my curiosity to learn more..."

Research Masters Students:
 

Reygan Braga 250

Name: Reygan Braga

Program: Research Masters Student

Lab: Patrauchan Lab

Hometown: 

 

Jacob Burch Konda 250

Name: Jacob Burch-Konda

Program: Research Masters Student

Lab: Patrauchan Lab

Hometown: 

 

C. Ryan Hahn 250

Name: C. Ryan Hahn

Program: Research Masters Student

Lab: Youssef Lab

Hometown: Trabuco Canyon, California 

“ I work within Zodletone Spring to uncover metabolic and evolutionary aspects of unknown microbes using bioinformatics. I aim to understand what role each microbe plays in their environment.”

Adrienne Jones 250

Name: Adrienne Jones

Program: Research Masters Student

Lab: Youssef Lab

Hometown: Ponca City, Oklahoma

"I am currently studying anaerobic gut fungi across many herbivores, but primarily across a lifespan of temporal calves. I do this using a variety of bioinformatic techniques to discover and understand the role that novel organisms have in animal gut mycobiomes."

Casey Meili 250

Name: Casey Meili

Program: Research Masters Student

Lab: Youssef Lab

Hometown: Centennial, Colorado

"I am studying anaerobic gut fungi in herbivorous animals using bioinformatics in hopes of discovering novel AGF genera and understanding the evolutionary history of these genera. I am also interested in what factors contribute to gut mycobiome diversity between different herbivore species."

Accelerated Masters Students:

empty headshot 300

Name: Samantha Burdick

Program: Accelerated Masters Student

Lab:

Hometown:

 

empty headshot 300

Name: Macy Carder

Program: Accelerated Masters Student

Lab:

Hometown:

 

empty headshot 300

Name: Aaron Faulk

Program: Accelerated Masters Student

Lab:

Hometown:

 

Abigail Meek 250

Name: Abbi Meek

Program: Accelerated Masters Student

Lab: Lutter Lab

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas