PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Vanessa V. Phelan, PhD

Vanessa earned her BS in Interdisciplinary Sciences with a focus in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from SUNY Albany and PhD in Chemistry from Vanderbilt. Frustrated by a lack of analytical chemistry tools to study microbial chemical ecology, she completed an NIH K01 funded postdoc in the lab of Pieter Dorrestein at UCSD where she developed microbial imaging mass spectrometry and the bioinformatics platform GNPS. With tools in hand, her research interests have turned to developing in vitro culturomics techniques to grow and investigate microbiome communities in replicate environments. Outside the lab, she enjoys hiking and collecting hobbies.

PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Daniel Breiner

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Daniel earned his BS in both Neuroscience and Biology from Creighton University. He completed undergraduate research in the lab of Amy Worthington studying life-history trade-offs in crickets. Following graduation, he continued performing scientific research as a technician in the lab of Julie Soukup working in the area of RNA biochemistry, with a focus on riboswitches. Daniel joined the lab in September 2021 and is spearheading work investigating the effect of host compounds on microbial pathogens and microbiome communities. Outside the lab, he enjoys hiking, trying new restaurants, and tending to his ever-growing collection of houseplants.

Emily Giedraitis

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Emily attended The University of Washington where she earned her BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry and MS in Applied Chemical Science and Technology. Inspired by the evolving planet due to anthropological impacts, Emily has dedicated her analytical chemistry career to research the complex interactions between organisms and their evolving environments. During her graduate research, she completed research in the School of Oceanography of UW developing an analytical mass spectrometry method to analyze carbonate associated δ15N isotope ratios in coral as a proxy for paleo-bleaching. She joined the lab in May 2022, where she is working on applying recently developed metabolomics approaches to microbial interactions. Outside the lab, she enjoys biking around the city and spending time with her dog, Nahla.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Allison Reveles

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Allison is an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Denver, majoring in Biology. Her long-term goal is to attend dental school. She is a fellow in the Colorado Undergraduate Research in Environmental Health Sciences (CUREHS) supported by an R25 from NIEHS. She joined the lab in July 2022 and is studying the role of natural products in mediating interactions within soil. Outside lab, she enjoys dance and any other forms of creative expression.