Current Lab Members

Trevor Esilu

Trevor Edgar Esilu is a third-year Haverford student majoring in biology and minoring in health studies. He is originally from Uganda but has lived most of his life in Botswana. His ambition is to become a wildlife veterinarian and join conservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. After working under former Haverford professor and current pre-vet advisor, Dr. Jenni Punt, in the Department of Immune regulation at UPenn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, he picked up an interest in the emerging field of One Health. Trevor is now gearing his education and career towards this field which centers itself around the intersectionality of human, animal, and environmental health.

In the lab, Trevor is working to clone regions of Streptococcus pneumonia (S.pneumonia) DNA associated with the production of bacteriocins–antimicrobial peptides that could serve as a more selective alternative to common antibiotics. Using techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis, and bacterial transformation, he will carry out genetic engineering on S.pneumonia and Escherichia coli (E. Coli). His goal is to create the necessary plasmids required for further experimentation on the function and applicability of S. pneumonia bacteriocins. Trevor is also participating in Dr. Millers global health project in Malawi to enhance zoonotic disease surveillance in wildlife and livestock in remote areas in Lilongwe.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-esilu-47a062156/

Davis Hammond

Davis is a senior biology major from Middletown Delaware. In the MEE lab, Davis’s project investigates the antimicrobial peptides known as bacteriocins in Streptococcus pneumoniae. He is working toward the goal of understanding how bacteriocins work in conjunction with one another. His plan after graduating is still in development, however the goal of a graduate degree is something to which he aspires.

In his free time he enjoys playing board games and spending time with friends. He is also always on the lookout for a science fiction book or movie with a focus on realism.

Catherine 'Cat' Kim

Catherine “Cat” Kim is a rising junior majoring in biology and minoring in fine arts from Great Neck, NY. This summer, she will be studying immunity proteins hypothesized to either protect S. pneumoniae from bacteriocins, which are produced by and kill the bacteria themselves, or activate them through post-translational modifications. This work was started by graduating seniors, and she will be continuing this project as a Velay Fellow in the MEE Lab. After graduating from Haverford, she hopes to attend medical school to become a pathologist but is open to change and whatever life may offer.

Outside of the lab, Cat is a PAF in the Customs program, works for the Office of Service, is a hospice volunteer, and does various graphic design work around campus. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, reading comics, and learning songs on the ukulele.

Benjamin Kwon

Benjamin Kwon is a rising junior from South Korea majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience. Benjamin is a captain of the Badminton Club, a hospice volunteer, a board member of the Korean Culture Association, and a member of the HC-BMC Orchestra. His other interests include drawing, graphic design, and playing violin.

This Summer, Benjamin is working on creating a system to measure mutation rates in Streptococcus suis via a tightly controlled multi-fluorescence induction. He is also working on measuring growth curves of multiple S.suis strains to identify which strains to perform experiments and attempt successful transformation on. After graduating from Haverford, he hopes to attend medical school.

Loui Othman

Portrait of Loui Othman ’21. Photo by Patrick Montero

Loui is an undergraduate student majoring in biology and minoring in neuroscience at Haverford College.  He came all the way from Palestine. He is a dual citizen of the US and Palestine; he went to a Quaker school for high school and he did the International Baccalaureate program. Loui is a one of the heads of Middle East North Africa Club and International Student Association Club. Loui  also works in Quaker affairs office and the Morris Health center. Loui tutor Arabic in Haverford, and he wishes to go to medical school after college.

In the MEE Lab, Loui works on patterns of antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus suis isolates from pigs. His previous experience involved studying the bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of plants treated with pesticides by using inorganic chemistry crystallization techniques. In addition to biology, he volunteers in Hospice and as an EMT in Palestine.