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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.

Lena Lu

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2016

Lena is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the Riley lab in 2016. Her focus has been on the mycobacteria project. She is working to identify and characterize bacteriocins in mycobacteria, hopefully to target tuberculosis.

Kiah Byrd

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2017

Kiah is 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.

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 is 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 is currently working on a project analyzing the evolutionary history of beta-lactamase genes, which encode proteins for resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. Additionally, he has maintained and further developed the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences website.

Milind Chavez

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dustin Brisson

Position: Assistant Professor, Penn State University

Danielle Snider

Position: Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Member Since: 2014

Danielle is an undergraduate student in the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology. She is currently working on an ongoing project that is testing the stability of bacteriocins from several different species of bacteria under a wide variety of environmental conditions.

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.

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