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Lab Members

Principal Investigator
Mikael Elias

Associate Professor, BMBB/BTI

Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS)

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.

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Mai Beauclaire

Graduate student

Research Interests: My research focuses on the effects of signal disruption by lactonases in complex and mixed microbial communities. I am currently studying how the substrate preference of the engineered lactonases changes microbial communities, and how bacteria respond to different chemical signaling molecules. 

Colton Castonguay


Research Interests: coming soon.

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Kitty Sompiyachoke

Graduate Student

Research Interests: I am interested in applied enzymology, microbial ecology, and biotechnology. I am currently working on characterizing the different classes of enzymes that are able to degrade bacterial signalling molecules and investigating their effects on single species cultures of pathogenic bacteria and in heterogeneous bacterial communities. Ultimately, my goal is to understand and exploit the mechanisms of quorum quenching for bacterial control.

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Reed Jacobson

Graduate Student

Research Interests Coming soon.

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.

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Elias lab (summer 2021)

 left to right: Sudipta Shaw, Reed Jacobson, Kathleen Mahan, Amir Shimon, Kitty Sompiyachoke, Mai Beauclaire, Jo Bravo, Mikael Elias.

Elias lab (summer 2022)

 left to right: Elisabeth Ruder, Eva Grant, Eric Hoffer, Colton Castonguay, Kitty Sompiyachoke, Mikael Elias, Mai Beauclaire, Mayara Almeida, Reed Jacobson, Jessica Smith, Amir Shimon, Rakesh Sikdar, Sudipta Shaw.

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