Meet Our Researchers

Anna Huttenlocher, PhD

“Being a scientist and physician has really been the right path for me. I love it. I considered becoming a musician years ago.”

Meet Anna!

Margaret Alexander, PhD

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to fail – one of the best parts about science is that “failures” sometimes lead to the most interesting discoveries!”

Meet Maggie!

Laura Knoll, PhD

“Don’t be afraid to try new things. Every new experience just gives you confidence for your future experiments. You never know what biology is going to throw at you.”

Meet Laura!

Nancy Keller, PhD

“I was inspired to go to graduate school, majoring in Plant Pathology, from my years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa.”

Meet Nancy!

Andrew Hryckowian, PhD

“A research opportunity I had in high school which involved bacteriophage research opened countless doors for me and helped lead me to my current interests in bacterial pathogens and microbial communities.”

Meet Drew!

Minju Kim, PhD

“I always liked science, especially biology. Having lab experiences in college led me to the fungal world and to go to grad school.”

Meet Minju!

Yiran Hou, PhD

“I’m a rock climbing addict! I love solving problems on the wall with friends.”

Meet Yiran!

Vanessa Sperandio, PhD

“Science is about love for the scientific process. Anyone can be trained in techniques, but you can’t train anyone to love science.”

Meet Vanessa!

Curtis Brandt, PhD

“I have been a member of a band called The Herpetic Legion for several years.  It is a group of herpes virologists that play every year at the International Herpes Virus Workshop.”

Meet Curtis!

Andrew Mehle, PhD

“Sooner or later experiments or a specific hypothesis will fail. This is how science works, but it can understandably be seen as a setback or disappointment. However, if you’re really excited by the question, you can always come back to square one and find a new approach to investigate the thing that drives your curiosity.”

Meet Andrew!

Judith Smith, PhD

“Believe in yourself and your right to be here – there will be lots of people out there to take you down, but you deserve respect and help from others when needed.”

Meet Judy!

Rob Striker, PhD, MD

“[If I didn’t become a scientist] my first plan was to be a “smoke jumper” and put out forest fires.”

Meet Rob!

John Kernien, PhD

“I’ve always valued medical research, and studying microbial pathogens was an exciting opportunity to perform basic research that might lead to therapeutic applications.”

Meet John!

Carlos Ramírez-Flores, PhD

“I was raised in a family of teachers and professors. My mom was teacher of biology and chemistry. Since I was a kid, I used to read the quizzes and evaluations from my mom’s lectures.”

Meet Carlos!


Marta Gaglia, PhD

“We are often told that there is one way to do this job and this career – it is not true. If you want to do it, you can do it your own way.”

Meet Marta!

Caitlin Pepperell, PhD

“Science is hard work and challenging in myriad ways, but at its essence it should be a joyful pursuit. Look for mentors, opportunities and environments that make you excited about the pursuit of new knowledge.”

Meet Caitlin!

Joseph Dillard, PhD

“In graduate school, I found a lab where I could learn to be a geneticist and work in an area relevant to human disease. Since then I have always worked on naturally-transformable bacterial pathogens.”

Meet Joe!