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© 2019 EliasLab

Lab Members

Principal Investigator
Mikael Elias

Assistant Professor, BMBB/BTI

Ph.D., Aix-Marseille University, France, 2009
FEBS Fellow (2010), Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Marie Curie Fellow (2012), Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel


Lab Members
Sudipta Shaw

Postdoctoral associate, Ph.D.


Research Interests: I am studying the remarkable ability of bacterial phosphate binding proteins to discriminate between phosphate and arsenate at molecular level. The two anions are very similar in terms of their physical and chemical properties and the ability to differentiate them is a major survival strategy used by several bacteria in phosphate limiting and arsenate rich environments. I am using a combination of molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy to unravel the secrets of these essential bacterial proteins.

Rakesh Sikdar

Postdoctoral associate, Ph.D.


Research Interests: My research interests are focused on bacterial signalling mechanisms associated with virulence and pathogenesis. I am presently studying the effect of quorum quenching lactonases on bacterial virulence using Caenorhabditis elegans infection models.

Siqian Huang

Postdoctoral associate, Ph.D.


Research Interests: My research interest is in environmental microbiology, applied biotechnology in water treatment, bioremediation, and biofouling control. My current research is focused on developing anti-biofouling and biocorrosion coatings with embedded quorum quenching lactonase enzymes.

Anthony Jenks

Graduate student


Research Interests: My work focuses on the molecular engineering of quorum quenching lactonases. The aim is to evaluate some of these mutants on bacterial pathogens and communities.

Kathleen Mahan

MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine


Research Interests: Interference in microbial signaling.

Nathan Hoekstra

Graduate Student


Research Interests: I am studying the activity, structure, and engineering of enzymes used in quorum quenching. I am interested in the systems of chemical communication used by microbial communities, and how those systems can be manipulated via enzymes to modify the behavior of those communities.  

Isabel Larus

Undergraduate Student

Sara Engemann

Undergraduate Student


Bryan Doeden

Undergraduate Student

Ryan Martinmaki

Undergraduate Student

Research Interests: My research interests are based around bacterial signaling mechanisms and pathogenicity. My current research is focused on the interference of bacterial signaling via engineered quorum quenching lactonases.

Elias lab (summer 2018)

1st row, left to right: Mikael Elias, Ryan Martinmaki, Isabel Larus, Maria Ron Vargas, Sol Choi, Sudipta Shaw.

2nd row, left to right: Anthony Jenks, Sara Engemann, Qian Zhang, Celine Bergonzi.

Past Members


Celine Bergonzi

Postdoctoral fellow, graduate student

Prof. Joshua Mylne

Fulbright Scholar

University of Western Australia


Abby Sarne

Graduate student

Tanushree Naik


Ryoya Tanahashi

Visiting scholar

Maria Ron Vargas

Undergraduate student

Olfa Khelifi

Visiting scholar

Sol Choi

Rotation Graduate student

Judee Sharon

Rotation Graduate student


Shannon Moskowitz

Undergraduate student

Louis Hey

Undergraduate student

Sriya Byrapuneni

Undergraduate student

Jacob LaMirande

Undergraduate student

Vanessa Pegos


Michael Schwab

Researcher III


David Nedrud

Rotation Graduate student

Everton Paschoal

Undergraduate student

Ty Covey

Undergraduate student

Joan Dao

Undergraduate student


Tim Horn

Rotation Graduate student

Christine Robinson

Rotation Graduate student

Adak Karamafrooz

Rotation Graduate student

RuiFeng Qi


Nancy Rolstad

Principal Lab technician

Tianlin Xu

Undergraduate student

Mikaela Craig

Undergraduate student

Jordan Friedlein

Undergraduate student