Lab Alumni

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Yoshitomo Kikuchi

Current Position:

Senior Scientist, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

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Rita Rio

Current Position: Associate Professor West Virginia University
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Josh Faucher

Current Position: Undergraduate Student
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Veronica Dejesus

Current Position: Undergraduate Student
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Viyath Fernando

Current Position: Undergraduate Student
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Barbara LeVarge

Current Position: Resident, Harvard Medical School
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Maria Shaker

Current Position: Medical Student, Case Western University
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Andrew Stefka

Current Position: Graduate Student, University of Kentucky
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Cindy Gode

Current Position: Graduate Student, University of Iowa
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Alison Laufer

Current Position: CDC, Atlanta, Georgia
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Adam Silver

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Hartford
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Chadene Zack

Current Position: Graduate Student, Boston College
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Alex Reiss

Current Position: Postdoc, UConn
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Michele Maltz

Current Position:

Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut State University

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Mike Nelson

Current Position:

Bioinformatician II at Sema4 Genomics, a Mount Sinai venture

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Jon Hill

Current Position: Research Associate II, Boehringer Ingelheim
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Lindsey Bomar

Current Position: Post Doc, Foresyth Institute
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Sophia Colston

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow at Navy Research Laboratory
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Jacqui Benjamino

Current Position:

Postdoctoral fellow at JAX Genomic Medicine. My research focuses on the gut microbial community of the termite, Reticulitermes flavipes. R. flavipes feeds solely on nutrient-poor lignocellulosic food sources and relies completely on the gut protists, bacteria, and archaea for digestion and nutrient acquisition. There have been about 13 reported protist species, hundreds of bacterial OTUs, and a few archaeal OTUs present in the termite hindgut, but little is known about the physiology of these individuals and my work has sought to find these answers. The overall bacterial communities remain stable within a colony, with slight differences between colonies and castes (function-specific termites in a colony). When fed different wood-types, the bacterial communities shift in the hindgut, and some members of the community are affected by low-abundant taxonomic shifts. Currently, I am utilizing whole-genome and whole-transcriptome amplification and sequencing to study the physiology of the bacteria associated with single protists.  

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Meredith Mistretta

My first project involved experimentally evolving the native Aeromonas veronii, Hm21S, within the leech as it competed against invasive species. These invasive species are not typically found within the leech crop, but can become established members after the native community is disturbed. By evolving A. veronii Hm21, I determined some of the characteristics that are positively selected for in the more complex community compared to the simple, native community. My second project involved raising leeches with and without Aeromonas veronii within the crop, to determine the role of this member in growth and development. I have shown that without this beneficial symbiont, leeches lack pigmentation in their skin.

Current Position:
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Natasha Rabinowitz

Current Position: Technician, Historex
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Paul Worthen

Current Position: Diagnostic Tech, QuestDiagnostic
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Marc Fantozzi

Current Position: High School Science Teacher
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Yen Lemire

Current Position: Research Associate II, UConn
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Stefan Kuffer

Current Position: Ph. D. Student, University of Heidelberg