Lab Photo April 2019!

Lab Photo April 2019!

Joanne Chapman (Postdoctoral researcher)   Jo works on characterizing the activity and evolution of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in  Drosophila  species. AMPs are small proteins that can directly kill or impede the growth of microorganisms. As such, they play an important role in innate immune defenses of plants and animals. Jo uses a combination of approaches, including functional assays of AMP activity in-vitro, in-vivo infection models involving RNAi gene silencing and CRISPR mediated gene editing, and bioinformatic analyses of AMP diversity and evolution. This will allow her understand the role AMPs play in negating the negative fitness consequences of pathogenic infection in  Drosophila .

Joanne Chapman (Postdoctoral researcher)

Jo works on characterizing the activity and evolution of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in Drosophila species. AMPs are small proteins that can directly kill or impede the growth of microorganisms. As such, they play an important role in innate immune defenses of plants and animals. Jo uses a combination of approaches, including functional assays of AMP activity in-vitro, in-vivo infection models involving RNAi gene silencing and CRISPR mediated gene editing, and bioinformatic analyses of AMP diversity and evolution. This will allow her understand the role AMPs play in negating the negative fitness consequences of pathogenic infection in Drosophila.

Tom Hill (postdoctoral Researcher)    Tom works on understanding the evolution of parasites and their hosts using bioinformatics. He studies the co-evolution of mushroom-feeding  D. innubila  and their parasites, including a DNA virus and male-killing  Wolbachia . He is currently assembling the  D. innubila  genome and identifying factors related to its ecology, such as genes involved in resistance to toxic mushrooms or immune system evolution. He is also working to understand transposable element host-pathogen co-evolution across different species of  Drosophila  using next generation sequencing.

Tom Hill (postdoctoral Researcher)

Tom works on understanding the evolution of parasites and their hosts using bioinformatics. He studies the co-evolution of mushroom-feeding D. innubila and their parasites, including a DNA virus and male-killing Wolbachia. He is currently assembling the D. innubila genome and identifying factors related to its ecology, such as genes involved in resistance to toxic mushrooms or immune system evolution. He is also working to understand transposable element host-pathogen co-evolution across different species of Drosophila using next generation sequencing.

Sarah Mullinax (Self Graduate Fellow)    Sarah works on understanding the effects of antimicrobial peptide gene conversion on the  Drosophila  immune response. She focusses mainly on the AMP Diptericin. Diptericin is interesting because not only has there been five independent mutations of the same allele in  Drosophila  species, but there has also been a gene duplication event in  D. simulans.  This amino acid polymorphism in Diptericin predicts immune defense upon infection with  Providencia rettgeri .

Sarah Mullinax (Self Graduate Fellow)

Sarah works on understanding the effects of antimicrobial peptide gene conversion on the Drosophila immune response. She focusses mainly on the AMP Diptericin. Diptericin is interesting because not only has there been five independent mutations of the same allele in Drosophila species, but there has also been a gene duplication event in D. simulans. This amino acid polymorphism in Diptericin predicts immune defense upon infection with Providencia rettgeri.

Kent Mulkey (Graduate Student)   Kent is working to isolate  Drosophila innubila  Nudivirus (DiNV) in cell culture using both classical and molecular virology techniques.

Kent Mulkey (Graduate Student)

Kent is working to isolate Drosophila innubila Nudivirus (DiNV) in cell culture using both classical and molecular virology techniques.

Mason Wilkinson (Assistant Researcher)   Mason graduated from the University of Kansas Honors Program with a degree in biochemistry. He is developing new strategies for producing recombinant antimicrobial peptides for  in vitro  studies. Mason loves food, animals, the outdoors, and weightlifting.

Mason Wilkinson (Assistant Researcher)

Mason graduated from the University of Kansas Honors Program with a degree in biochemistry. He is developing new strategies for producing recombinant antimicrobial peptides for in vitro studies. Mason loves food, animals, the outdoors, and weightlifting.

Jenna Lea (Assistant Researcher)   Jenna recently graduated from the University of Georgia where she obtained a double major in Biology and Ecology. She is working as research assistant to understand the evolutionary genetics of meiotic drive in  Drosophila affinis . She will be spending the next year researching the molecular mechanisms, target gene and responder loci responsible for the varying effects on offspring sex ratio. Outside of the lab Jenna likes food, music, hiking and her cat Tuna.

Jenna Lea (Assistant Researcher)

Jenna recently graduated from the University of Georgia where she obtained a double major in Biology and Ecology. She is working as research assistant to understand the evolutionary genetics of meiotic drive in Drosophila affinis. She will be spending the next year researching the molecular mechanisms, target gene and responder loci responsible for the varying effects on offspring sex ratio. Outside of the lab Jenna likes food, music, hiking and her cat Tuna.

Mariaelena Nabors (Undergraduate Researcher)   Mariaelena is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Kansas. She is researching immunity divergence in  Drosophila simulans  and  D. mauritiana .

Mariaelena Nabors (Undergraduate Researcher)

Mariaelena is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Kansas. She is researching immunity divergence in Drosophila simulans and D. mauritiana.

Uma Desai (Undergraduate Researcher)   Uma Desai is a junior from Overland Park, KS double majoring in human biology and Spanish. Outside the lab, she can be found traveling or hammocking. Uma is studying the interaction between  Wolbachia  and systemic infection.

Uma Desai (Undergraduate Researcher)

Uma Desai is a junior from Overland Park, KS double majoring in human biology and Spanish. Outside the lab, she can be found traveling or hammocking. Uma is studying the interaction between Wolbachia and systemic infection.

Emma Pagella (Undergraduate Researcher)   Emma is a Junior pursuing a B.S. in Biology at the University of Kansas. She is researching new pathogens of  Drosophila.

Emma Pagella (Undergraduate Researcher)

Emma is a Junior pursuing a B.S. in Biology at the University of Kansas. She is researching new pathogens of Drosophila.

Mary Reed-Weston (Undergraduate summer researcher - Carleton College)

Mary Reed-Weston (Undergraduate summer researcher - Carleton College)

Skye Perkins (Undergraduate Researcher - BRIDGE program)

Skye Perkins (Undergraduate Researcher - BRIDGE program)

Hazel-Lynn Rosales-Stephens (Undergraduate Researcher)

Hazel-Lynn Rosales-Stephens (Undergraduate Researcher)

Carly Straight (Undergraduate Researcher)

Carly Straight (Undergraduate Researcher)

Emma Beason (Undergraduate Researcher)

Emma Beason (Undergraduate Researcher)

Meena Sreedhara (Undergraduate Researcher)

Meena Sreedhara (Undergraduate Researcher)

Andrew Hilgenbrink (Undergraduate Researcher)

Andrew Hilgenbrink (Undergraduate Researcher)

Samantha Walker (Undergraduate Researcher)

Samantha Walker (Undergraduate Researcher)

Lab Alumni

Randie Rudder (Millipore Sigma)

Randie Rudder (Millipore Sigma)

Rosanna Chan

Rosanna Chan

Judith Ikerionwu

Judith Ikerionwu

Maureen Dowell (Graduate student at Brown University)

Maureen Dowell (Graduate student at Brown University)

Katie Pileggi (Nursing student at Baker University)

Katie Pileggi (Nursing student at Baker University)

Lindsay Ussher

Lindsay Ussher

Jordyn Koehn (Graduate student at Case Western Reserve)

Jordyn Koehn (Graduate student at Case Western Reserve)

Drea Darby (Graduate Student at Cornell University)

Drea Darby (Graduate Student at Cornell University)