Previous Lab Members

2019 — Austin Castellanos

Austin graduated in 2019 from Haverford College with a major in biology and a minor in health studies. He enrolled in Johns Hopkins University as a graduate student in Health Administration. He worked alongside Dr. Miller to further characterize how different quorum sensing signals in Streptococcus suis affect their competence.

2019 — Hope Ebert

Hope graduated in 2019 and is spending time working in Dr. Pluciennik’s laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University before plans for graduate school. Her research focused on the interactions between plants and their leaf-surface bacteria in order to discover more about which bacteria positively and negatively affect plant growth.

2019 — Younghee Hahn

Younghee graduated in 2019 and is now working in the Maday Lab at Perelman School of Medicine. She hopes to attend medical school in Philadelphia to pursue a career in child psychiatry. In the MEE Lab, Younghee was working on a project centered around the “blp” operon within the two microbial species, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus suis. The operon produces what are known as killing peptide “bacteriocins”, as well as immunity proteins that prevent the bacteria from simultaneously committing cell suicide.

2019 — Mercette Ohlwiler
Mercette began gradate school at the University of California Santa Barbra in David Valentine’s laboratory to study marine microbiology, specifically life at methane seeps in the ocean and the bioremediation of oil spills. Their project investigated antimicrobial peptides produced by S. pneumoniae to address questions of evolution in Streptococcus and ecology of the nasopharynx.
2019 — Davis Hammond
In the MEE lab, Davis’s project investigated the antimicrobial peptides known as bacteriocins in Streptococcus pneumoniae. He was working toward the goal of understanding how bacteriocins work in conjunction with one another.
2019 — Catherine 'Cat' Kim
Cat worked in the MEE for one year during her second and third years at Haverford. She studied 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.
2020 — Juliana Benitez
Juliana graduated in 2020 and is now working with Dr. Kelvin Luk at the University of Pennsylvania. Her thesis examined the function of three genes at the tail end of the blp operon in the disease causing bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. This operon encodes peptides that kill other strains of S. pneumoniae.
2020 — Maddie Gallic
Maddie graduated in 2020 and is now attending nursing school. Her work in the MEE lab focused primarily on antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus suis. Her senior research takes an evolutionary approach to studying S. suis resistance genes and looks more closely at the how S. suis gains antibiotic resistance genes.
2020 — Carolin Schmidt
Carolin graduated in 2020 and is now working Dr. Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her work in the MEE lab focused primarily on antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus suis. Carolin investigated the interaction between Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.  More specifically she investigated the ability of Streptococcus pneumoniae to kill the other bacteria via blp bacteriocins.
2020 — Tien Vu
Tien worked in the MEE lab for over three semesters. She is also part of the Chemistry Student Group and has been working on some projects with the KINSC to support students from minoritized backgrounds.
2021 — Trevor Esilu
Trevor graduated in 2021 after working on blp bacteriocin proteins produced by Streptococcus pneumoniae . He is working in the local biotechnology industry.
2021 — Benjamin Kwon
Benjamin graduated in 2021 after working on designing constructs to mark different populations of Gram positive bacteria. He is working as a laboratory technician in Boston.
2021 — Natalie Olivieri
Natalie Olivieri worked for one year in the MEE laboratory on moving genes from one species for expression in E. coli. She spent a summer working in Dr. Scott Gordon’s laboratory at teh CHOP Research Institute. Natalie currently works down the hallway in Dr. Rob Fairman’s laboratory.
2021 — Loui Othman
Loui graduated in 2021 after working on antimicrobial resistances in Streptococcus suis. He is currently working as a laboratory technician for Dr. Scott Gordon’s laboratory at the CHOP Research Institute with plans to attend medical school.
2021 — Corinne Williams
Corinne graduated in 2021 with double Biology and Math majors and is now working as a computational biologist. They are interested in the intersections of biology and math– be that exploring data by using statistics, simulating phenomena by using computational methods, or probing biological systems by building mathematical models.
2022 — Angie Petrichenko
Angie graduated in 2022 after examining the relationship between Arabidopsis thaliana and its associated microbe populations, particularly those residing in the phyllosphere. She is planning on pursuing a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the future.
2022 — Emma Chen
Emma graduated in 2022, and her thesis work focused on community-level selection of the Arabidopsis thaliana microbiome. Outside of lab, she wiggled with Shift Dance Company, and she plans to spend a lot of time backpacking before pursuing graduate studies in microbial ecology.
2022 — Emma Miller
Emma also graduated in 2022, and her thesis work also focused on community-level selection of the Arabidopsis thaliana microbiome! She is planning on pursuing both/either sustainable agriculture and/or education!
2022 — Giancarlo Rendon
Giancarlo graduated in 2022 after completing a thesis on the T4 Bacteriophage of E. coli. He is currently working in a lab for the Red Cross and hopes to study virology in graduate school.
2022 — Lucas Zhu
Jiaqi “Lucas” Zhu graduated in 2022 as a Biology and Music (he plays classical guitar!) double major. He studied pneumococcal bacteriocins for his senior thesis in the MEE lab, and plans to obtain a Ph.D. in either molecular biology, genetics, or microbiology.
2022 — Sophia Mercado
2022 — Olivia Pindzola
2022 — Trea St. Hillaire
2023 — Christina McBride
Christina was chemistry major and biochemistry concentrator who graduated in 2023. As her Beckman Scholar research, she uses bioinformatic and biochemical techniques to identify and isolate promising bioactive proteins (including pneumococcal bacteriocins) as a member of both the Charkoudian Lab and the Microbial Evolution and Ecology Lab. Post-Haverford, she started a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.
2023 — Diego Capcha
Diego was a biology major who graduated in 2023. In the MEE lab, he worked on S. pneumoniae and its bacteriocin system. After graduation, he moved to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as a research technician.
2023 — Maisie Smith
Maisie was a biology major who graduated in 2023 with a thesis in the MEE lab on computational, AI methods to identify interacting molecules. She moved into a research technician position at MIT in the Lamason laboratory.