Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator | Current Lab Members | Post Doctoral Fellow Alumni | Graduate Student Alumni

Elizabeth (Betty) Stiles

Elizabeth (Betty) Stiles

Executive Secretary to Dr. Scott Hultgren / Molecular Microbiology
Email: betty@wustl.edu
Telephone: 314-362-7059
Fax: 314-362-1232

Betty is Scott Hultgren’s Executive Administrative Assistant. Betty joined the team in 1998 and assists Scott with his many responsibilities.

Jerome (Jerry) Pinkner M.S.

Jerome (Jerry) Pinkner M.S.

Research Lab Supervisor / Molecular Biology
Email: jerryp@wustl.edu

Jerome (Jerry) Pinkner: Jerry is the Hultgren Lab Manager. He obtained a B.A. in biology from Washington University (1985) and an M.S. in Biology from St. Louis University (1988). Jerry who joined the Hultgren lab in 1990 is an integral member of the team managing many aspects of the day to day operations of the lab. He also runs a core facility for the fermentation and purification of proteins for members of the lab as well as for other faculty within Molecular Microbiology and other departments at Washington University.

Karen Dodson, Ph.D.

Karen Dodson, Ph.D.

Research Instructor / Molecular Biology
Email: karen@wustl.edu

Karen is a Research Instructor in the lab. She has a B.A. in Biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1983) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Washington University (1990). She joined the Hultgren Lab in 1990 and is involved with multiple projects in the lab ranging from genetics and structural studies to development of new projects and collaborations.

Tom Hannan, Ph.D. DVM

Tom Hannan, Ph.D. DVM

Research Instructor / Pathology & Immunology

Tom studied Biology at Georgetown University before obtaining a professional doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM) from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. After 8 years in clinical bovine practice, Tom came to Washington University to pursue doctoral studies in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, receiving his Ph.D. in 2008. He is currently a Research Instructor in Pathology & Immunology, working with Drs. Marco Colonna and Hultgren to investigate the mucosal immunology of the urinary bladder, translating basic science discoveries from animal models of UTI to clinical investigations of host susceptibility to rUTI.

Rajdeep Bomjan, Ph.D.

Rajdeep Bomjan, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Rajdeep obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc in Medical Microbiology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He obtained his Ph.D in Biological Sciences from Purdue University (2018). Rajdeep’s project in lab focuses on understanding the molecular dynamics of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) endosomal escape within the host urothelial cells which precedes the formation of the intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs). He is also investigating the mechanisms of late phase acute bladder inflammatory host responses; particularly the role of host COX-2 protein in UTI progression.

Vanessa Muñoz, Ph.D.

Vanessa Muñoz, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Vanessa received a B.A. in Business from Brown University in 2013 and a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019.

Taylor Nye, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Taylor received a B.S. in Microbiology (2015), an M.S. in Bioinformatics (2020), and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (2020) from the University of Michigan. She works on elucidating the mechanisms of pyriside-dependent cell death in Gram-positive bacteria.

Seongmi Kim

Seongmi Kim

Ph.D. Student

Seongmi is a fourth-year graduate student in the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Ph.D. program. She is studying the mechanism how the history of UTI predisposes to recurrent UTI. Her study mainly focuses on investigating the contribution of bladder epithelial cells on bladder remodeling upon chronic cystitis by using primary cell culture. Seongmi is the scholar of a Mcdonnell International Scholars Academy. She received Bachelor degree in Food Biotechnology and a Master degree in Molecular Food Microbiology at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. 

Jennie Hazen

Jennie Hazen

Ph.D. Student

Jennie graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Molecular Genetics in 2016. She joined the Division Program in Molecular Genetics and Genomics in August 2016, and later the Hultgren lab in Spring 2017. Jennie is currently studying the development and differential gene regulation of intracellular bacterial communities, which are biofilm-like communities that uropathogens form within a host’s bladder cells during the early stages of UTI. In addition, she is working to develop high-resolution imaging methods to better study intracellular pathogens.

Philippe Azimzadeh

Philippe Azimzadeh

Ph.D. Student

Philippe received a B.S. in General Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012 and an M.S. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2015. He is studying the intestinal habitat of UPEC and the regulation of factors that allow colonization of this habitat, with the goal of designing probiotics targeting potential reservoirs of UPEC in the gut.

Kevin Tamadonfar

Kevin Tamadonfar

MD/PhD Student

Kevin graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2015 with a B.S. in biology. He works on characterizing and elucidating the role of lesser understood CUP pili in E. coli

Ryan Bitter

Ph.D. Student

Ryan is a second year Ph.D. student at WashU in Molecular Cell Biology. His interest includes membrane protein structure and function. He is involved in collaborative research between the Hultgren lab and the lab of Dr. Peng Yuan that aims to characterize the molecular mechanisms of CUP pili biogenesis using structural biology.

Ben Olson

Ben Olson

Ph.D. Student

Ben graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Biology and Genetics in 2014. He started the Molecular Genetics and Genomics division program in August 2019. He is interested in studying the different factors uropathogenic E. coli uses to colonize various habitats.

Jesús Bazán Villicaña

Jesús Bazán Villicaña

MSTP Student

Jesús graduated from Indiana University in 2018 with a B.S. in Microbiology and in Neuroscience. He is interested in studying underlying genetic mechanisms that contribute to E. coli pathogenesis in the urinary tract.

Morgan Timm

Morgan Timm

MSTP Student

Morgan Timm graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2016 with a BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and French. She is interested in the role of the adaptive immune system in urinary tract infection.

Nathaniel (Cris) Gualberto

Nathaniel (Cris) Gualberto

Research Technician

Cris Gualberto graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis in May 2002 with an A.B. in philosophy and a minor in physics. He joined the Hultgren laboratory in March 2013 after working for approximately six years in the laboratory of Professor Dong Yu in the Department of Molecular Microbiology. Cris undertakes diverse molecular cloning projects for separate projects, ranging from the construction of recombinant UPEC strains to expression plasmid constructs. He is also responsible for assisting laboratory members with tissue culture work involving human cell lines. In addition to his scientific responsibilities, Cris also serves as the laboratory safety officer and is the designated shipper for biological substances.

Danielle Liu

Danielle Liu

Research Technician

Danielle Liu graduated with a B.A. in Accounting, from the Zhongnan University of Finance and Economic in China (1990). She is a technician in the Hultgren lab and is responsible for much of the mouse breeding, weaning and genotyping. She also assists many lab members with experiments as needed.

Chloe Pinkner

Chloe Pinkner

Research Technician

Chloe graduated from the University of Missouri—St. Louis, Pierre Laclede Honors College in 2015 with an Honors and B.A degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She catalogs and processes most of the human clinical patient samples from our catheter, kidney stone, breast implant, and other clinical collaborations. She also specializes in lab gram-positive cloning and assays.

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