Alumni – Graduate Students

Sam Alcaine

Sam worked in the lab from 2002 until 2006.  He studied the evolution of multiple antibiotic resistance in Salmonella. He was also interested in the regulation of metabolic pathways in S. cerevisiae during fermentation.  Sam's thesis was entitled:  "Evolution of antibiotic resistant Salmonella". Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Edna Arcuri

Edna was a graduate student in the lab from 1995 to 1999. Her research in the lab focused on investigating conservation of sporulation regulatory proteins among Bacillus and Clostridium species.  The title of her dissertation was “Sigma factor E in endospore-forming bacteria: phylogeny, functional conservation, and use for PCR-based detection strategies”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Torey Arvik

Torey originally worked in Geneva studying the wine industry, then came to this lab from 1998 until 2001. Here he worked on creating a nonpolar deletion of the sigma B gene. The title of his thesis was “Alternative transcription factor sigma B in foodborne bacteria: sigma B in Listeria monocytogenes and a search for homologous genes in industrially important lactic acid bacteria”. Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Vinicius Buccelli Ribeiro

Vinicius Buccelli Ribeiro

Vinicius Buccelli Ribeiro

Graduate Student (Ph.D. Food Science)

Vinicius was a visiting graduate student.  While here, his work focused on focused on the transcriptional response of L. monocytogenes serotype 1/2a and 4b to multiple stress environments (temperature and salt).

Steven Cai

Steven worked in the lab, both as an undergraduate and graduate student, from 1998 to 2002. Steven worked on the evolution of the Listeria virulence gene island. He was also instrumental in the genesis and maintenance of the Pathogen Tracker database.  Steven's thesis was entitled:  "Molecular subtyping and evolution of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp." .  Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Yvonne Chan

Yvonne worked in the lab from 2003 until 2007.  She studied the role of Sigma B-dependent and -independent mechanisms during low temperature growth and survival in Listeria monocytogenes using genetic-based approaches such as real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR and whole genome microarrays . Her dissertation is entitled:  "Cold stress in Listeria monocytogenes".  Key publications from Yvonne's time in the lab can be found here.

Travis Chapin

Travis Chapin

Travis Chapin

Graduate Student (M.S., Food Science)

Travis worked in the lab as a technician and then a graduate student from 2009 to 2013. His research focused on the ecology and characterization of foodborne pathogens, in natural and agricultural environments.

Soraya Chaturongakul

Soraya was a graduate student and then a postdoc in the lab from 2000 to 2007. She first worked on the sigmaB operon in Listeria monocytogenes, then on all four of the L. mono alternative sigma factors, using SOEing PCR to create knockout mutants of each and of all possible combinations of the four.  She also did work on the inhibition of L. mono growth by small molecules. Her dissertation was entitled “Regulation of transcription factor sigmaB activity in the foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Tom Denes

Tom Denes

Tom Denes

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Microbiology)

Tom was investigating phage resistance in alternative sigma factor mutants of Listeria monocytogenes.

Belgin Dogan

Belgin was a graduate student in the lab from 1999 to 2003. She worked on the rapid identification and tracking of dairy microflora. The title of her dissertation was “Microbial populations that affect the quality and safety of fluid milk products”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Sarah Douglas

Sarah was a graduate student in the lab from 1996 to 1997. The title of her thesis was “Characterization of chocolate milk spoilage patterns”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.  She left the lab for employment in product development at M&M Mars

Vania Ferreira

Vania worked in the lab as a visiting graduate student from 2008 to 2010.  She characterized persistent Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from traditional fermented meat products produced in Portugal.  Her dissertation was entitled:  "Persistent Listeria monocytogenes in fermented meat sausage production facilities in Portugal represent diverse geno- and phenotypes".

Adriana Ferriera

Adriana was a graduate student in the lab from 1996 to 2002. She worked on the role of alternative sigma factors in stress adaptation and virulence. She also worked on characterizing the phenotype of a Listeria monocytogenes sigma factor B null mutant. The title of her dissertation was “RNA Polymerase Sigma Factor B: Evolution and Role in Environmental stress resistance in Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Hazel Fromm

Hazel was a graduate student in the lab from 2001 to 2004. She worked on a project to identify the spoilage organisms present in fluid milk products 17 days post-pasteurization. Her thesis was entitled: “Characterization of pasteurized fluid milk shelf life attributes”.

Eric Fugett

Eric worked as a graduate student in the lab from 2003 to 2006, using PFGE to characterize Listeria monocytogenes from our strain collection.  He then integrated the PFGE data into our online database, Pathogen Tracker.  His thesis was entitled:  "Development of Listeria monocytogenes subtype databases".  Key publications from Eric's time in the lab can be found here.

Laura Goodman

Laura was a rotating Microbiology graduate student in the lab in 2003.  While here, she studied the evolution of virulence genes in Listeria spp., focusing specifically on the hemolysin and prfA genes.

Veronica Guariglia

Veronica was a rotating Microbiology graduate student in the lab in 2006.  While she was here, she studied SigmaB contributions to stress response and virulence in Listeria monocytogenes lineages I, II and IIA and IIIB.  Her rotation project focused on using TaqMan qRT-PCR to check microarray results that indicated certain genes were SigmaB dependent in certain lineages

Clint Hervert

Clint Hervert

Graduate Student (M.S., Food Science)

Clint's graduate studies focused on both traditional and novel detection methods for coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae, and total Gram-negative organisms in dairy products, as well as yeasts and molds in yogurt.

Adam Hoffman

Adam was a graduate student in the lab from 1999 to 2001.  During his time here, he worked on the detection of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp in fish processing plants using PCR.  His thesis was entitled:  "Detecting and tracking sources of Listeria monocytogenes in the smoked fish industry".  Key publications from Adam's time in the lab can be found here.

Yuewei Hu

Wei worked in the lab from 2002 to 2007 on two related projects. First, she studied the transmission and persistence of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE smoked salmon plants. Then, she focused on the hrcA and ctsR global stress response regulators, which L. monocytogenes uses to survive in its host environments. Wei's dissertation was entitled: "L. monocytogenes stress response systems and in-plant transmission and persistence". Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Jason Huck

Jason was a graduate student in the lab from 2004 to 2008. He worked on milk spoilage microbes with the MQIP lab, particularly on Bacillus and Paenibacillus. The title of his thesis was “Molecular subtyping and characterization of psychrotolerant endospore-forming bacteria in fluid milk production systems: from farm to table”.  Jason went on to be Manager of Cornell’s Dairy Plant. Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Reid Ivy

Reid first came to the lab in 2005 as a Technician, then became a graduate student in 2006. During his time in the lab, he explored the effects of growth temperature on the contributions of response regulators, Sigma B, and PrfA to intestinal epithelial cell invasion and the transcriptional response to acid stress in L. monocytogenes. Reid's dissertation was entitled: "Effects of growth temperature on the regulation of host cell invasion and acid stress response in Listeria monocytogenes". Key publications from Reid's time in the lab can be found here.

Gregory Jeffers

Gregory was a graduate student in the lab from 1996 until 1998. He worked on genetic characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from animal and human cases of listeriosis. The title of his thesis was “Strain differentiation among Listeria monocytogenes isolates”. Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Hilarie Jerauld

Hilarie worked in the lab for the summer of 2005 as a visiting graduate student under the Veterinary Summer Scholar program. During her time here, she worked on reverting a naturally occurring premature stop codon in the L. monocytogenes F2365 inlA gene. This was an attempt to prove that the single bp mutation that created the stop codon was responsible for F2365's phenotype of attenuated invasiveness.

Jiahui Jian

Jiahui Jian

Graduate Student (M.P.S., Food Science)

Jiahui was assessing methods to better differentiate between potentially pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains within the Bacillus cereus Group through (i) toxin gene profiling, (ii) characterizing virulence factors, and (iii) assessing toxin production.

Jihun Kang

Jihun worked on identifying effective antimicrobial combinations to control Listeria monocytogenes on smoked seafood as well as determining resistance mechanisms used by L. monocytogenes to overcome antimicrobial stress.

Mark Kazmierczak

Mark was a graduate student from 2000 to 2005.  While here he studied the scope of transcriptional regulation by Sigma B in Listeria monocytogenes and used RT PCR and microarrays to identify genes under the control of Sigma B.  He also studied gene induction by Sigma B due to environmental stress.  Mark's dissertation was entitled:  "Defining the Sigma B regulon in Listeria monocytogenes".  Key publications from Mark's time in the lab can be found here

Hee-Sun Kim

Hee-Sun was a graduate student in the lab from 2000 until 2004. She worked on the contribution of the sigma B alternative sigma factor to the invasion of host cells by Listeria monocytogenes through its control of the expression of inlA and inlB. The title of her dissertation was “The general stress responsive sigma factor B and its role in intracellular parasitism of Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Victoria Lappi

Vicki worked in the lab from 2002 to 2003, working on two related projects.  She used culturing and molecular subtyping methods to identify Listeria monocytogenes and track its source and spread within seafood processing plants.  This research helped lead to the development of improved sanitary SOPs for the industry.  Vicki also worked on the development of DNA sequencing based sub-typing methods for Listeria spp. detection.  Her thesis was entitled:  "Longitudinal studies to determine the impact of intervention strategies on Listeria".  Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Beth Licitra

Beth was a rotating graduate student in the lab in 2008.  While here, she investigated similarities between plasmids bearing the Beta-lactamase CM-2 in both E. coli and Salmonella isolates from cattle within the same herd.  This project was part of a collaboration with Dr. Lorin Warnick in Clinical Sciences

Irene M. Loch

Irene was a visiting Veterinary Student who helped Ruth Zadoks  develop strategies for typing Streptococci and Enterococci with known macrolide resistance. These techniques will subsequently be used to characterize the resistance of field isolates collected from mastitis treatment trials.

Courtney Lucas Stelling

Courtney worked in the lab from 2005 to 2008, investigating the function and regulation of Listeria seeligeri virulence genes.  She also characterized Listeria in natural environments.  Her dissertation was entitled:  "Ecology and evolution of Listeria seeligeri".  Key publications from Courtney's time in the lab can be found here.

Tom Malley

Tom was a graduate student in the lab from 2010 until 2012. While here he worked on how the layout and work flow of food processing plants affects their ability to eradicate Listeria species contamination.  The title of his thesis was: “Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food processing plants: persistence indicators and control strategies”. Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Meghan McCamey

Meghan worked with graduate student Dawn Norton on a project using DNA fingerprinting and DNA-based detection methods to determine the sources of Listeria monocytogenes, a human foodborne pathogen, in smoked fish. 

Margrit Meinen

As a Visiting Student, Margrit worked with Ruth Zadoks on the identification of Streptococcus spp. from bovine milk through the use of selective plating media and DNA sequencing.

Sara Milillo

Sara worked in the lab from 2004 to 2008, defining the virulence contributions of select lineage-specific internalin genes in Listeria monocytogenes.  This project used genetic engineering and animal and plant tissue culture techniques to assess L. monocytogenes' virulence potential in a range of hosts.  Sara's dissertation was entitled:  "Attachment of Listeria monocytogenes to plant surfaces and host cells and its survival in host and non-host environments".  Key publications from Sara's time in the lab can be found here.

Sana Mujahid

Sana Mujahid

Sana Mujahid

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)

Sana was a graduate student in the lab from 2008 until 2013. While she was here, she characterized  the sigma B-dependent noncoding RNA, SbrE .  The title of her thesis was: “The alternative sigma factors of Listeria monocytogenes: stress response regulation at the level of non-coding RNAs and proteins”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Céline Nadon

Céline was a graduate student in the lab from 1999 until 2003. Céline's work focused on the transmission, pathogenesis and epidemiology of foodborne bacterial diseases.  The title of her dissertation was “Stress response, alternative sigma factor sigma B and virulence of Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Dorothy Nakimbugwe

Dorothy was a graduate student in the lab from 1994 until 1996. Dorothy's graduate work focused on dairy milk. The title of her dissertation was: “Characterization of ultra-pasteurized (UP) fluid milk: microbial, sensory and chemical properties”. After leaving the lab she became a faculty member at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Jesper Sejrup Nielsen

Jesper is a graduate student in the Birgitte Kallipolitis lab at the University of Southern Denmark.  He visited our lab to work on identifying and characterizing small non-coding regulatory RNAs in Listeria monocytogenes.

Dawn Norton

Dawn was a graduate student in the lab from 1997 until 2000. The title of her dissertation was “Molecular studies on the ecology, transmission and human pathogenic potential of Listeria monocytogenes strains”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Haley Oliver

Haley was a graduate student in the lab from 2004 until 2009. During her time in the lab, Haley used knockout mutagenesis, microarrays, Q-PCR and RNA sequencing to explore how sigma B and prfA function in the stress response and virulence gene expression of the different lineages of L. monocytogenes.  The title of her dissertation was: “Contribution of sigma B to stress response and virulence in Listeria monocytogenes lineages I, II and IIIB”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Juliane Ollinger

Juliane Ollinger

Juliane Ollinger

Graduate Student (Ph.D. Microbiology)

Juliane was a graduate student in the lab from 2004 until 2008. While she was here, Jule studied the SigmaB-PrfA interactions in regulating virulence gene expression, as well as gene expression in non-host environments. The title of her dissertation was: “The sigmaB-prfA co-regulon in the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Palmer

Liz was a graduate student in the lab from 2005 until 2010. While here, she focused on the role of transcriptional regulators in virulence of Listeria monocytogenes, and on small molecule inhibitors of L. mono. The title of her dissertation was: “Understanding the roles of transcriptional regulators for the development of natural and novel inhibitors of Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Sarita Raengpradub

Sarita was a graduate student from 2002 until 2007. She compared the reactions of pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes and the closely related Listeria innocua nonpathogen to various stress conditions and how those responses were modulated by sigma B factor. The title of her dissertation was: “Comparative evaluation of sigma B-dependent stress responses in Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria innocua”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.  Sarita is a research scientist at Silliker Inc. in South Holland, IL

Robert Ralyea

Rob was a graduate student in the lab from 1996 until 1998. The title of his thesis was: “Tracking and identification of microbial contamination in milk production systems. He has since gone on to be Milk Quality Improvement Program Senior Extension Associate at Cornell. Key publications from his time in the lab can be found here.

Matthew Ranieri

Matt was a graduate student in the lab from 2006 until 2009 and a postdoc until 2013.  He worked on increasing the shelf life of fluid milk. The title of his thesis was: “Bacterial ecology of high temperature short time pasteurized fluid milk”. Key publications from Matt’s time in the lab can be found here.

Daina Ringus

Daina was a graduate student in the lab from 2009 until 2013. She studied stress gene expression in persistent and non-persistent isolates of Listeria. The title of her dissertation was: “Novel Strategies for Characterizing and Controlling the Stress Response of Listeria SPP.”.  Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Angela Roberts

Angela was a graduate student in the lab from 2000 until 2004. She used tissue culture and genetic approaches to investigate the effects of allelic variations in virulence genes (focusing on actA), host specificity and virulence in Listeria monocytogenes. The title of her dissertation was: “Virulence differences among Listeria monocytogenes strains and clonal groups”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Lorraine D. Rodriguez-Rivera

Lorraine Rodriguez-Rivera

Lorraine D. Rodriguez-Rivera

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)

Lorraine studied the virulence, pathogenicity, and host specificity of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars.  Her project focused on characterizing the diversity and distribution of Salmonella enterica in dairy farms and subclinical dairy cattle.

Christina Rosas

Christina Rosas

Christina Rosas

Graduate Student (Ph. D., Microbiology)

Christina was a rotation student in Dr. Boor's lab, creating sigma-B null mutations in Listeria innocua and Listeria ivanovii to study the role of sigma factor B in the ability of a gram positive organism to respond to rapidly changing environments and cause human disease.

Brian Sauders

Brian was a graduate student in the lab from 2000 until 2005. Brian's research interests focused on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of foodborne infectious diseases (and specifically L. monocytogenes) and the development and application of molecular subtyping methods. The title of his dissertation was: “Ecology and Epidemiology of Listeria monocytogenes in humans, foods and environmental sources”. Key publications from Brian’s time in the lab can be found here.

Jane Soudah

Jane was a graduate student in the lab between 1994 and 1996. The title of Jane’s thesis was: “The competitive inhibition of Escherichia coliO157:H7 by mesophilic and thermophilic starter cultures”.  Key publications from Jane’s time in the lab can be found here.

Yesim Soyer

Yesim was a graduate student in the lab from 2005 until 2009.  She worked on characterizing Salmonella enterica subtypes and also ran the Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis department in the lab. The title of her dissertation was: “Subtype diversity, population genetics and evolution of multi-drug resistant Salmonella”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Matthew Stasiewicz

Matthew Stasiewicz

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)

Matt was interested in improved quantitative tools for food safety risk analysis.  His range of projects included (a) quantitative microbial risk analysis of the impact of pasteurization temperature changes on the safety of fluid milk, (b) using machine learning analysis and whole genome sequencing to identify persistent bacteria contamination in food-associated environments, and (c) field work in Kenya in which he worked on developing a low-cost optical sorter to remove mycotoxin contaminated maize kernels from consumer food supplies.

David Sue

David was a graduate student in the lab between 2000 and 2004. David used Listeria monocytogenes and transcriptional reporter fusions to study the regulation of the alternative sigma factor Sigma B and its role for protection against various stress conditions, including osmotic stress and stress conditions during infection. The title of his dissertation was: “Expression of sigma B-dependent genes in Listeria monocytogenes”. Key publications from David’s time in the lab can be found here.

Sharinne Sukhnanand

Sharinne was a graduate student in the lab from 2002 until 2004. Before that, she was an undergraduate and a technician. Sharinne's work focused on understanding the genetic diversity of Streptococcus agalactiae, a causative agent for mastitis in cows as well as meningitis in human neonates.  She used DNA sequence-based subtyping techniques to identify clonal groups within S. agalactiae.  She further characterized these clonal groups with tissue culture based studies.  The ultimate goal of her work was to define the zoonotic transmission potential for this species and apply the techniques used in this study to other organisms of concern to the dairy industry, e.g., Salmonella enterica. The title of her thesis was: “Molecular subtyping and genetic diversity of human and animal pathogens: Streptococcus agalactiae and Salmonella enterica”. Key publications from Sharinne’s time in the lab can be found here.

Silin Tang

Silin Tang

Silin Tang

Postdoctoral Associate

As a Ph.D. student in the lab, Silin worked on evaluating the efficacies of various antimicrobials against L. monocytogenes on ready-to-eat food at refrigerated temperatures. She also studied the gene expression profile of L. monocytogenes in food matrices and laboratory media under stress conditions via RNA sequencing.

Joanne Thimothe

Joanne was a graduate student in the lab from 2000 until 2002. Joanne's project involved the application of culturing and molecular subtyping methods for the detection and control of environmental Listeria monocytogenes in food processing plants. The title of her thesis was: “Tracking and control strategies of Listeria monocytogenes in seafood processing plants”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Yeu-Harn (Lucy) Tsai

Lucy was a graduate student in the lab from 2003 until 2006. She worked on sequencing the Listeria  internalin A gene from a variety of food isolates. The title of her thesis was: “Evolution of Listeria monocytogenes internalins”.

Pajau Vangay

Pajau Vangay

Graduate Student (M.S., Food Science)

Pajau was a graduate student in the lab from 2010 until 2013. Pajau worked on developing computational methods and approaches for modeling food-borne pathogen transmission into food systems. The title of her thesis was: “Food safety in a data-driven world: developments using machine learning and databases”. Key publications from her time in the lab can be found here.

Kitiya Vongkamjan

Kitiya was a graduate student in the lab from 2007 until 2012. She worked on the ecology, characterization and presence of Listeriophages over time. Also, she genetically characterized the phages and studied their host ranges. The title of her project was: “Ecology and genomics of listeriaphages”. Key publications from Kitiya’s time in the lab can be found here.

Matthew J. Watterson

Matt was a graduate student in the lab from 2012 until 2013. He worked on a project to help understand transmission of sporeforming organisms in dairy powder processing plants. The title of his thesis was: “Understanding Transmission of Sporeformers in Dairy Powder Products”.

Marie Yeung

Marie was a graduate student in the lab from 1999 until 2004. The goals of Marie's research projects were to develop rapid identification of pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus with serotype O3:K6, and to differentiate pathogenic and non-pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus. She then worked on assay development using gene-based and tissue culture approaches. The title of her dissertation was: “Comparative characterization of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and molecular detection of the pandemic O3:K6 clone”. Key publications from Marie’s time in the lab can be found here.

Heng Zhao

As a rotating graduate student in spring 2013, Heng studied the regulons of alternative sigma factors and their regulatory mechanisms in Listeria monocytogenes.