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Alumni – Graduate Students

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”. View a key publication from Edna's time in the lab.
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”. View Torey's key publications from his time in the lab.
Anoek Backx
Anoek was a visiting vet student working with Ruth Zadoks on differentiation between Streptococcus spp. and enterococci.
Sarah Beno

Sarah Beno

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Sarah currently works on cold growth analysis of Bacillus cereus organisms.  She previously worked with New York State artisan cheese processors, and has also spent several months working with sweet potato processors in Kenya.
Daniella Bocioaga
Daniela was a rotation student in Microbiology and was working to determine whether or not sigma B regulates the expression of multiple internalins in Listeria monocytogenes.
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).
Ariel Buehler

Ariel Buehler

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Ariel’s research focuses on improving the quality of products in the dairy industry, specifically by developing probabilistic modeling tools to describe the microbial dynamics of psychrotolerant sporeformers in fluid milk.
Laura Carroll

Laura Carroll

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Laura employs a computational approach to study the evolution and taxonomy of foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, and Bacillus cereus.
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"View key publications from Yvonne's time in the lab.
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”. View Soraya's key publications from her time in the lab.
Ana Rita De Sa'Henriques

Ana Rita De Sa' Henriques

Visiting Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Safety)
As a visiting PhD student from Portugal, Ana Rita's research assessed the role of alternative sigma factors of L. monocytogenes in stress response.
Tom Denes

Tom Denes

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Microbiology)
Tom was investigating phage resistance in alternative sigma factor mutants of Listeria monocytogenes.
Diana Rovena Duncan

Diana Rovena Duncan

Graduate Student (Visiting Scholar)
Diana will be working on assessing genetic predictors of growth at refrigeration temperatures for commonly isolated dairy spoilage bacteria. Initially, standard milk media will be tested for supporting the growth of psychrotolerant bacteria to determine which media should be used for quantifying growth capability at refrigerated temperatures.
Rachel Evanowski
Rachel studies sporeforming bacteria from the farm level to the finished product. Her project's goal is to give farmers clear and feasible management practices that they can use to reduce sporeforming bacteria in raw milk and hopefully increase the shelf life of dairy products. 
Vania Ferriera
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 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”. Scan key publications from Adriana's time in the lab.
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”.
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 2009.  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
Sophia Harrand

Anna Sophia Harrand

Visiting Graduate Student (M. Sc. Molecular Life Science)
Sophia worked on developing a cloning tool for Listeria monocytogenes by creating a better vector with new integration sites.
Lory Omegan

Lory Henderson

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Microbiology)
Lory is investigating the efficiency of combined stresses on L. mono using simultaneous vs. sequential "checkerboard" assays.
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.
Tsung-Han Hsieh

Tsung-Han (Kent) Hsieh

Graduate Student (M.P.S, Food Science)
With interests in food safety issues of dairy products, Tsung-Han's research focused on characterization of pathogens and coliforms from cheese.
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". View Wei's key publications from her time in the lab.
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. View Jason's key publications from his time in the lab.
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". View key publications from Reid's time in the lab.
Hillarie 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.
Agnes Ju
Agnes worked on a project involving rapid detection of pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
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".  View key publications from Mark's time in the lab.
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”. View Hee-Sun's key publications from her time in the lab.
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".  View Victoria's key publications from her time in the lab.
Scarlett Lee

Scarlett Lee

Graduate Student (DVM, 2017, Cornell University)
Scarlett will be working on a project trying to identify the multi-factorial causes of the transmission of foodborne pathogens onto produce fields.
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
Yichang Liu

Yichang Liu

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Yichang is researching the stress response system in Listeria. Using multiple molecular biological techniques, she is trying to investigate the regulatory networks in Listeria and their roles in helping the bacteria to survive under the changing environments.
Irene 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.
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”. View key publications from Tom's in the lab.
Stephanie Massiello

Steph Masiello

Graduate Student (Ph.D, Food Science)
Stephanie is studying spore-forming spoilage organism in fluid milk and their presence in dairy farm environments.
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".  View key publications from Sara's time in the lab..
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”. View Sana's key publications from her time in the lab.
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.

Viviana Toledo Neira

Visiting Graduate Student (PhD)
Viviana's research focused on phenotypic and genetic characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from listeriosis cases, food, and food processing plants.
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.
Heather O'Neill

Heather O'Neill

Graduate Student (Ph. D., Microbiology)
Heather was a rotation student who used PCR techniques to amplify putative SigB-dependent promoters for cloning into reporter fusions.
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”. View Dr. Oliver's key publications from her time in the lab.
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”. View key publications from Juliane's time in the lab.
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”. View key publications from Liz's time in the lab.
Sarah Perdue
While at the lab as a rotating graduate student, Sarah constructed Listeria monocytogenes internalin C, F and G mutants.
Rachel Pfuntner

Rachel Pfuntner

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Rachel's project focused on isolating and identifying Listeria from pristine environments.
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”. View Sarita's key publications from her time in the lab.  Sarita is a research scientist at Silliker Inc. in South Holland, IL
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”. View Angela's key publications from her time in the lab.
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

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”. View key publications from Brian’s time in the lab.
Supriya Shahi
Supriya worked on the detection and isolation of Listeria, Salmonella, and E. Coli from samples collected from pristine environments.
Courtenay Simmons

Courtenay Simmons

Graduate Student (Ph.D., Food Science)
Courtenay worked with Henk den Bakker on sequencing motility genes in all species of Listeria.
Pranjal Singh
Pranjal worked on molecular subtyping of Salmonella subspecies, mainly the rare species not commonly found in the US.
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”. View Yesim's key publications from her time in the lab.
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 Sue earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences (CALS’00) and a Ph.D. in Food Science (CALS’04) from Cornell University. David now works in Atlanta, GA at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He is a laboratory Team Lead in the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. His team of microbiologists study the bacterial pathogens that cause human anthrax, plague, and melioidosis (Bacillus anthracisYersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei). 

His current research interests include the development of new laboratory tests that quickly detect antimicrobial resistance in bacterial biothreat pathogens using WGS and other molecular techniques.
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”. View key publications from Sharinne’s time in the lab.
Lang Sun

Lang "Sally" Sun

Graduate Student (M.P.S., Food Science)
Lang is investigating the role of quorum sensing in expression of hemolysin BL in Bacillus cereus group bacteria.
Kazue Takeuchi
Kazue's work focused on Escherichia coli O157:H7 acid adaptation and survival under acidic conditions
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”. View Joanne's key publications from her time in the lab.
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

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”. View key publications from Pajau's time in the lab..

Yanan Wang

Graduate Student (M.P.S., Food Science)
Yanan is working with Deanna Simmons and the Food Product Development Lab to develop a protein-fortified yogurt product.
Matt 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”. View key publications from Marie’s time in the lab.
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.