Alumni Lab Members

Sandra (Robinson) Roy

Position: Lab Manager/ Graduate Student

Lab Member Since: 2007

Sandra began working in the Riley lab in May of 2007 as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and became the lab manager and a Research Fellow in the Riley lab. She is currently a graduate student in Animal Biotechnology and Biomedical Science. She is currently finalizing a large project examining the evolutionary history of beta-lactamase genes - genes that encode proteins which confer resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. Her thesis focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of catheter-acquired urinary tract infections. She has also founded a small biopharmaceutical company (Bacteriotix) and is working on the development of narrow-spectrum therapeutics.

Victoria Wang

Position: Undergraduate

Lab Member Since: 2017

Victoria is a Microbiology major in the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the Riley lab in 2017, and before joining the Riley lab, she was a member of the Morita lab. She works with mycobacteria to identify bacteriocins that hopefully can target tuberculsosis. She wrote and defended a thesis on this project. She is now off preparing for medical school!

Lena Lu

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2016

Lena was a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the Riley lab in 2016. Her focus was been on the mycobacteria project. She is now off pursuing opportunities in public health.

Kiah Byrd

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2017

Kiah was an undergraduate Microbiology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the Riley lab in her senior year. She assisted the mycobacteria team in identifying bacteriocins that hopefully target mycobacteria. She had graduated and is off pursuing her career in public health.

Dustin Brisson

Position: Professor, Penn State University

Christopher Roy

Position: Graduate Student

Lab Member Since: 2009

Chris was a graduate student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. His research focused primarily on molecular evolution with additional work on the use of bacteriocins as target-specific antimicrobials. He is currently working on a certification in clinical laboratory Science at Berkshire Medical Center (Pittsfield, MA).

Patrick Aoude

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2014

Patrick was an undergraduate student in the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and pursuing a minor in computer science, he began working in the Riley lab in the spring of 2014. He worked on a project analyzing the evolutionary history of beta-lactamase genes, which encode proteins for resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. Additionally, he maintained and further developed the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences website. He has recently been admitted to MIT for graduate studies!

Milind Chavez

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Morgan Dennis

Position: Undergraduate Researcher/ Prep Person

Lab Member Since: 2010

Morgan was a microbiology major. At the lab, he assisted with research projects and also did prep work. He helped found the company Acne Free, Naturally whose mission is to develop a new treatment for Acne. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Health Administration at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Kathryn Wright

Position: Undergraduate Resercher

Lab Member Since: 2017

Kathryn is an undergraduate Biology major with a minor in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and joined the Riley lab in the fall of her sophomore year. She continues her studies at UMass focused on public health.

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