Congratulations to M&I 2013-2014 Graduates! (Part 2 of 3)

Rodrigo Gonzalez (Miller lab) successfully defended his dissertation in March 2014. Rodrigo's research focused on understanding the earliest events that occur in the host after inoculation of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. In particular he was interested in identifying the mode of trafficking of Y. pestis from the inoculation site to the draining lymph node, the initial site of multiplication. Using a variety of innovative approaches he was able to show that Y. pestis most likely traffics freely in the lymphatics rather than within host cells as has previously been postulated. He will begin his position as postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich von Andrian at the end of May.

Kara Jensen (Abel lab) completed her PhD in December 2013. She evaluated the immunogenicity and efficacy of a novel pediatric combination HIV-TB vaccine in the rhesus macaque model of SIV infection. Kara is continuing to work in Dr. Abel’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow to complete some of the efficacy studies.

Rachael Liesman (Pickles lab) graduated in December 2013 and is continuing as a postdoc with Dr. Pickles until her clinical microbiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic starts next year. Her dissertation title was “Impact of the Non-structural 2 Protein on Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pathogenesis.”

Lauren Ligon (Braunstein lab) successfully defended her dissertation in August 2013. Lauren’s research was focused on understanding the mechanistic basis of the SecA2 protein export pathway of mycobacteria. Lauren is currently working at American Journal Experts, which provides manuscript editing and formatting services.

Eliza Mason (Cotter lab) successfully defended her dissertation in September 2013. Eliza's research revealed evidence of phenotypic bistability resulting from transcriptional interference of the bvgAS master virulence regulator in Bordetella bronchiseptica. She is currently interviewing for postdoctoral positions.

Cheryl Miller (Kawula lab) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in September 2013. Her research focused on mechanisms by which Francisella tularensis survives and replicates within macrophages. Cheryl is now a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jean Celli’s lab at Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University.

Angela Mitchell (Samulski lab) graduated in December 2013, and she is now a postdoc at Princeton in Dr. Tom Silhavy’s lab. Her dissertation title was “Modulation of adeno-associated virus transduction by the promyelocytic leukemia protein, arsenic trioxide, and proteasome inhibitors.”

Lauren Neighbours (Heise lab) completed her Ph.D. work in May 2013. Her work focused on understanding the protective or pathologic roles that Toll-like receptors play in the pathogenesis of alphavirus-induced inflammatory disease. She is currently performing her postdoctoral training at Rho Incorporated.