Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator | Current Lab Members | Post Doctoral Fellows | Lab 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.

Ana Lidia Flores-Mireles, Ph.D.

Ana Lidia Flores-Mireles, Ph.D.


Ana received her Bachelor degree in Marine Biology at Autonomic University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) in Mexico, followed by a Master degree in Marine Biotechnology in the Center for Biological Research of the Northwest. La Paz, Mexico. She obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology at Cornell University, working with Dr. Stephen C. Winans. Currently, she is working on understanding the pathogenesis requirements for E. faecalis catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

Jennifer Walker, Ph.D.

Jennifer Walker, Ph.D.


Jen received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Missouri (2008) and her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Iowa (2013). Her project in the lab focuses on investigating the mechanisms by which staphylococcal species colonize and infect the urinary tract.

Alexandra Paharik, Ph.D.

Alexandra Paharik, Ph.D.


Allie received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Iowa in 2016. Her project in the Hultgren lab investigates host and bacterial factors that promote uropathogenic E. coli colonization of the gut.

Natalie Omattage

Natalie Omattage

Ph.D. Student

Natalie graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Richmond in May 2012. She joined the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis at Washington University as a graduate student in August 2012, and later joined the Hultgren laboratory in Spring 2013. Her thesis work has revolved around chaperone-usher pathway (CUP) pili, with a specific focus on determining the molecular bases for the conformational dynamics of the outer membrane usher protein during pilus biogenesis. She has used biophysical (namely, X-ray crystallography) and biochemical approaches to address these questions. 

Lu Yu

Lu Yu

Ph.D. Student

Lu graduated from Lawrence University with a B.A. in Chemistry & Biochemistry. Currently, her graduate thesis project in the lab is studying the structure and interactions of the Ebp adhesin, EbpA, of E. feacalis with host fibrinogen. She is also involved with projects to determine the basis of the specificity of P pili subunit interactions in UPEC.

Roger Klein

Roger Klein

MD/PhD Student

Roger earned a B.S. from The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH in 2011, majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Physics. He joined the Hultgren lab as a Medical Scientist Training program trainee in 2013 and is investigating the structural and biochemical basis of the function of several different chaperones, including CsgE and CsgF in the Curli system, PapJ in the P-pilus system, and CooB in the CS1 pilus system. He is in the PhD program in the Computational and Molecular Biophysics

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

Nathaniel (Cris) Gualberto

Nathaniel (Cris) Gualberto

Research Technician

Cris Gualberto graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 2002 with an A.B. in philosophy and a minor in physics. He joined the Hultgren lab in March 2013 after serving six years as a research technician II for Professor Dong Yu. At this time, he is working on multiple cloning projects for diverse lab members.  In addition to this, he serves as the laboratory safety officer and is responsible for shipping lab packages.

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.

Aaron Lynch

Aaron Lynch

Research Technician

Aaron Lynch graduated from Rhodes College in 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular biology and a minor in Physics. He had been working the previous several summers in the lab as a research assistant while in high school and undergrad. Aaron is currently working primarily with Ana Lidia Flores-Mireles in understanding the pathogenesis of E. faecalis in catheter-associated urinary tract infections. 

Nicole (Nikki) Riley

Nicole (Nikki) Riley

Research Technician

Nicole graduated with a B.S. in biology and a minor in mathematics in 2017. She started in the Hultgren lab in January of 2017, where she has worked on cloning projects for various lab members, as well as in vitro bacterial mutation work. 

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