Lab Members

Lab members


Dr. Deborah Yoder-Himes, Ph.D.

You can reach me at <>

Dave Jensen - M.S.

The research Dave is conducting focuses on studying the gene expression of Cystic Fibrosis pathogens within a polymicrobial environment simulating the CF lung.  Although research has been done on these bacteria in the past, most rely upon the hypothesized misconception that gene expressions of single strain cultures do not differ from their respective expression when found in co-cultures.  With the help of next-gen sequencing Dave hopes to have sufficient data to support our hypothesis that gene expression differs in polymicrobial environments from expression when grown in isolation.  Such findings can give insights into more specialized treatment methods for those suffering from CF, or other immunosuppressed patients who have been infected with these opportunistic pathogens. Dave is the lab expert at bacterial methods and data presentation. Dave successfully defended his thesis in April of 2015.  He will be headed to the University of Kentucky Dental School in July 2015.

Molly McDonald - Post-bac researcher

Molly is investigating the response of lung respiratory cells to Burkholderia dolosa polar and lateral flagellins.  She is using ELISA assays to ascertain the cytokines produced by epithelial cells so we can better understand the immunological response to this organism.  Molly is also examining whether NF-kB, an important transcription factor in eukaryotes, is activated in response to infection by Burkholderia dolosa and Pseudomonas aeruginosa or to the flagellins produced by these organisms.  Molly is the lab expert in tissue culture and ELISA assays.  Molly will be headed to medical school in the fall of 2016.

Brad Clark - Ph.D. candidate

Brad is currently examining the role of the TolQRAB-Pal complex in B. dolosa virulence.  His future work may include examining the response of CF pathogens to amoebae and macrophages. Brad spent 1.5 years as an undergraduate in which he isolated and identified numerous bacteria from Kentucky soils - all of which were extremely resistant to antibiotics currently used in CF clinics worldwide.  Brad also led a team of other undergraduates in the isolate and identification of even more microbes.

Eric Curtsinger - Master's candidate

Eric is working on establishing the ability of antibiotic-resistant isolates to invade into human cells.

Steve Le Tran - undergraduate

Steve is examining the microbial community from many different Kentucky environments.

Kryshawna Beard - undergraduate researcher

Kryshawna is working on identifying the role of Type III secretion systems in Burkholderia dolosa virulence.

Adrienne Michael - undergraduate researcher

Adrienne is is also working on identifying the role of Type III secretion systems in Burkholderia dolosa virulence.


Hallie Lyninger - undergraduate researcher

Hallie is a new undergraduate in the lab and will be exploring bacterial CF pathogens.


Ruthie McIntyre - undergraduate researcher

Ruthie is also is a new undergraduate in the lab and will be exploring bacterial CF pathogens

Mia Starcevic - undergraduate researcher

Mia is examining the epidemiology of CF pathogens in co-culture infections from U.S. CF clinics.

Former students:

Trusha Mehta, B.S. - Lincoln Memorial University Medical School
Danielle Gosney - obtained a hospital position in 2014
Mitchell Jacobs  - continuing in his academic pursuits here at UofL
Christine Invergo, B.S. - is exploring her options post-graduation
Harry Ghooray, B.S. - applying to pharmacy school
Lauren Barrett, B.S. - applying for medical school
Emily Ostrowski, B.S. - Valspar Paint Microbiology Lab, Louisville, KY
Willow Dietsch, B.S. - study abroad in Thailand - considering graduate school or the peace corps
Jimmy Mey, B.S. - medical school in the Caribbean
Charlie Keown, B.S. - applying for microbiology jobs
Lindsey Duffy - B.A. - applying to graduate school
Nicholas Seibold, B.S. - attending officer training school followed by grad school
Mariam Ahmed. B.S. - account liaison for a specialty pharmacy
Jae Seo, B.S. - UofL Dental School
Trevor Loomis, B.A. - UofL graduate school for anthropology;
Jake Trimble - continuing in his academic pursuits here at UofL
Ethan Shelton, B.S. - UofL Dental School
Abi Zhang, B.S. - UofL Medical School
Devin McBride, B.S. - applying to medical school


Lab picnic/BBQ (June 2014)